As we work though Chapter 9, I have posted thoughts on decision-making and how God can help us in this process.
In fact the last post was on three ways that God guide us through decision-making.
I ended the last post “OK, What’s Next” with the lines, “Our task is to follow and trust.”
This is hard to do but it is necessary. My wife and I are in the process of decision-making and we both are going through times of change in our lives and in our family’s lives. Susan is a very private person. We do talk but she is not an overly sharing person. She rarely tells others what is on her heart, even to me, her best friend. I on the other hand, am open.
I am going to be open with you now.
I pray about God’s guidance and I look for things that tell me I am making a good decision. What do I look for? I look for peace even in times of change. A sure sign that God is involved is for me to have internal peace when everything outside of me is in transition, even upset or turmoil. I also look for a good fit for the circumstances in my life. I don’t make things fit together. God does that. I just have an open eye for the work of the Great Arranger. He can make “all things work for the good of those who love Him.” I have a strong belief that things don’t happen by accident. I am patient person as I let God guide me in my life. I have the attitude that He knows what is best for me. He knows what is best for me more than I know what is best for me. I can let go of things because I trust Him.
I am not saying that I have some special connection to God. What I have is available to any believer. I just try to pay attention and listen. I just let Him be my Guide. All I do is follow.
In Revelation, Peter has a miraculous escape from prison. He was bound with chains and was sleeping between two soldiers. An angel of the Lord appeared and a light suddenly shone in the cell. The angel told Peter to get up and when he did, the chains fell off. The angel told Peter to follow him and Peter did, despite the fact that he was not even sure that this was real. He thought the angel was a vision. The angel took him past the first guard. Then the angel took him past the second guard. Then they came to an iron gate leading to the city. It opened by itself! [from Revelation 12].
What happened to Peter? He just followed his Lord and Savior.
What is our problem in these circumstances? We want to know things in advance. But really, there is no need for this knowledge. If we get to the iron gate and it is not open, maybe the timing is not right. Maybe God wants us to go somewhere else and find another gate. If we agonize about a closed gate we will miss another opportunity that is available. We have to trust that God will open the gate when the time is right. Maybe He wants to work on us some more. We are not prepared to go through the gate.
This process requires faith and patience.
We have an awesome God but he asks a lot from us.
That’s what Chapter 9 is all about.
The chapter is about people who have turned their lives over to God and He has shown them what to do.
This leads me to the two open-ended two commandments in Matthew and Mark that will drive you insane if you try to pick them apart. Jesus was asked once which commandment of the Law was the greatest. He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30–32; Matthew 22:37–39). What God wants is really quite simple: He wants us. All our service for God must flow from those two commands to love, or it is not real service; it is fleshly effort.
How do you deal with such vagueness?
He will show you how to deal with it…but don’t make the most common mistake–don’t tell our God how to guide you.
Unless you want a life that is totally lacking in peace.
He will swing the gate open, when He determines that the time is right.