Decision-Making {part two}

“Luke, eat your noodles, buddy, so we can get ready to leave for the game.”

It was lunchtime on Saturday and we were running late.  I scurried around the kitchen preparing a gourmet meal of leftovers  before heading out to a UT basketball game.  Luke, was preoccupied.  Too busy organizing Pokemon cards to be bothered with food.

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In a baby voice he responded, “I’m twying to organize my cawds.  I’m weawwy (really) not hungwy.”

{wince} Oh, that silly voice.

At six-years-old we are going through a baby talk phase.  So odd.  Every other sentence it seems he is converting his conversations to that of a toddler.  We have corrected him numerous times and now we have come to the point of discipline.

“Buddy, mommy has asked you not  to use baby voice. You are a big boy.  If I hear it again, it will be discipline.  Yes ma’am?”

Big boy response… “Yes ma’am.”

Luke took his fork and swirled a bite of spaghetti.

“I should talk like a sheep.” He said, looking down at his noodles.

“What?”

“Yep!” He said.  “The Bible says the Lord is my Sheperd.  So that means I’m a sheep.  Baaaa!!”

Brent and I burst out in laughter.

“Yes, He sure is, Luke!  Good point. I can’t argue with that!”

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My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me.  John 10:27

When we are facing a big decision I rely firmly on this Truth.  The Lord is our Sheperd … He guides us along the “right paths for His Name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:3)  And according to Jesus, which is as true of a Word as it comes, YOU HEAR THE VOICE OF THE LORD.

#3 The Holy Spirit

Prayer and God’s Word are the first two keys in unlocking God’s will for you as you are making big decisions.  And number three, hands down, is the power of the Holy Spirit at work, guiding you in your moment-to-moment life.

“As the Holy Spirit resides within us He teaches , guides, and empowers us.  John 16, Jesus describes the Holy Spirit as our Counselor and the Spirit of Truth.  Jesus also promises that the Holy SPirit will be with us forever. He will make the things of God known to us.”  -Bill Bright, Living Supernaturally In Christ

Read this one. Slowly. Take it in… Ready?

The Holy Spirit helps us in our distress. For we don’t even know what we should pray for, nor how we should pray.  BUT the HOLY SPIRIT prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.  And the Father who knows all hearts, knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.  Romans 8:26,27

I am in such a state right now, facing life-altering decisions, that I honestly don’t even know WHAT TO BE PRAYING!  Anybody else?  And I am constantly thinking about these decisions, no matter what I am doing.

For example, last night I was putting laundry in our bedroom.  And right there in the middle of my bedroom, I dropped to my knees mid-fold, completely overcome by the weight of our circumstance.  And in that moment, socks in my hands, I cried out to the Father, “I don’t even know what to pray!  Thank you Holy Spirit that you are interceding for us!  Thank you that you are praying God’s perfect will for the future.  Help me to be sensitive to your guidance. I want to know your will!”

Isn’t it tempting to call everyone we know and ask their opinion?  Can I caution you NOT to do that?  When too many voices get involved in your decision-making, it muddies the water and makes the voice of your Wonderful Counselor difficult to hear.  I have chosen only a couple of voices to speak into these decisions.  Brent, my mentor and maybe one other.  That is it.   The advice of good friends is valuable to me, but right now I must be careful not to make a decision out of emotion or opinion.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

The pattern of the world is to seek counsel and get an answer.  And counsel is God’s pattern too,  but it isn’t the first order of business …. Seek God’s good, pleasing and perfect will through prayer, His Word and the Holy Spirit, first, then seek Godly counsel.

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So let’s say you aren’t too sure how to rely on the Holy Spirit for a decision.  Fair enough.  That one is a little less concrete.  And, again, while there is no “formula” to God, there is a bit of a format  found in John 15.

Abide in me and I in you. As the branch can not bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine. You are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:4-5

Abiding in God simply means to remain in constant fellowship with Him.  And in return, He stays in constant fellowship with you, continually operating in your life — causing you to bear fruit.

Apart from Him I can do nothing…expect make a foolish decision. But with Him I can do all things…including making a God-honoring choice.

Abiding in Christ kind of looks like, well, praying while holding clean socks in you hand.  Or praying to yourself in line at Publix, or sitting at your office desk, or simply acknowledging His presence with you right now, while sipping that cup of coffee.  Stay in fellowship ALL OF THE TIME. This is INTIMACY.  This is Going Deeper.

Again, are you hoping for a fancy solution to making your decision?  I so wish there was something new to tell you.  A formula.  An equation.  Sorry it’s not as easy as just going to the elders or asking some people to pray.  Although those things are so helpful.  But making a BIG decision just gives you a BIG OL’ CHANCE to rely heavily on your Wonderful Counselor – The Holy Spirit.

So let’s all get on our knees, and like Luke suggests, let’s call out to our Shepherd.  The One who protects and guides us by His staff.  He protects his flock.  He leads them to safety.

Stay close little lamb.  Stay close.

Add these truths to your list of confessions:

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. John 16:13

Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it.’  Whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left. Isaiah 20:31

This song is my prayer today…. Holy Spirit you are welcome in this decision. Don’t delay!

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