There’s no doubt that some decisions are bigger than others and we’ve all had our share of big “do I or don’t I” decisions to make. However, being at peace with a decision isn’t always a good thing.
We pray about it.
We seek wise counsel.
We labour through the thought process.
We create a pros and cons list.
We weigh our options.
Sometimes we agonize over which way to go.
Then, after all of the above, and more, we come to a decision that we say we are “at peace” with and we start to take the steps needed for follow-up — and step right off the edge of the cliff.
Consider the following two contrasting illustrations from the Bible…
Jonah was not anywhere near where God wanted him yet he was peacefully asleep in the midst of a raging storm.
Remember the story? God had clearly commanded him to go and take a message to the city of Ninevah. Instead Jonah chose to do his own thing and set off in almost the exact opposite direction of Ninevah on a ship. An incredibly gusty storm arises, he is tossed overboard, and swallowed alive by the big fish. After a rather enlightening dialogue with God in the most surreal of surroundings, the fish spits him out on the beach right where (I’d like to think) he was when God first commissioned him for Ninevah.
God says to Jonah, “Now… let’s try this again.”
Jesus couldn’t have been more squarely where God wanted him yet he was painfully agonizing in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Remember the story? Jesus knew what lay ahead of him:
- An incredibly bogus criminal arrest
- Desertion by his closest friends
- Ongoing, inhumane beatings and torture
- Wrongful imprisonment and unsubstantiated, libellous allegations
- Public shame and humiliation
- Death by one of history’s harshest and most cruel methods
God hears from Jesus, “It is finished.”
God intends to use hardship, trials, and suffering to accomplish his purpose however he pleases; he’s God and we are not. Don’t misunderstand me — the right decision won’t always necessarily be the hardest to accomplish. However, don’t oppose the clearly revealed oracles of God to follow a path of lesser resistance.
Have you ever over-spiritualized a decision you were making by saying you’d pray about it, all the while ignoring the Scripture’s crystal clear command to do it regardless?
- “My wife and I are praying about getting a divorce.” God hates divorce.
- “I’m praying about dating this unsaved guy.” Don’t be unequally yoked.
- “I am asking God for wisdom about becoming a member at my church.” Don’t forsake assembling yourselves together.
- “I prayed about not serving anywhere in my local church and I’m at peace with the decision not to.” I know… but this really happens.
We need to at least be aware that being at peace with a decision might just mean we need to grow up — in our faith and understanding of the plan of God for our life. The strongest metals are tempered by the hottest fires and the purest gold is refined in the hottest furnaces.
“But what about Isaiah 26:3, where it talks about having perfect peace” you might ask…
“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”
Exactly… perfect peace — true peace, godly peace — comes to those whose minds are grounded in and built upon God, and we do this through the Word of God. We cannot know the will of God aside from the Word of God.
Grow up in your faith. Do the things that are clearly laid out. Then, some of those big “do I or don’t I” decisions – Which job do I take? Whom should I marry? Where do I go to college? — will become a lot easier to make.
Bottom line: What decision are you in the process of making right now that may be outside of Scripture’s parameters? Will you commit to bring clarity to the situation by aligning yourself with and applying God’s Word, regardless of any challenges the outcome may bring? Please leave your comments below.