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Posts tagged ‘common sense’

Five Marriage “Rules” Every Couple Should Break—Sometimes

SOURCE:  Karen O’Connor/Todays Christian Woman

My mother gave my husband, Charles, and me what she called a “silly” gift as part of her wedding present to us. It’s a plaque we still have hanging on a kitchen wall after 30 years of marriage. “Never yell at each other unless the house is on fire.” Every time I look at it I chuckle. It’s a good “rule” to follow, though I don’t always.

Other rules also make their way into our marriages, and they’re not so good to follow—at least not without question. In fact, I believe some of them are worth “breaking”—maybe even abandoning. For example, can a marriage really be lived on a 50-50 basis? What about finances? When it comes to spending and saving, does the one who earns more have a bigger say in such matters? Is it important to have full agreement before making a decision? Living by rules can actually hurt a relationship if the couple does not take time to talk about their expectations and desires before they make a commitment.

For some couples there are no rules and never have been. My husband and I are among that group. Neither of us likes to be held captive to a certain way of relating. But we do want to follow Paul’s admonition in Philippians 4:8: “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” We don’t do this perfectly. In fact, sometimes we follow it very imperfectly, but we keep going back to it.

To add to the conversation, I asked three couples to chime in with their opinions and experience related to the following five rules, chosen because they seem to have the most “charge.”

“What does each rule mean to you?” I asked, “and why do you keep, toss, or break it in your relationship?” Here are their candid responses.

Rule #1: Share Everything 50-50

Michele and Dean (from Pennsylvania):

“Oh, my,” said Michele. “If anything, this ‘rule’ is one that could destroy a marriage instead of building it up. My husband and I are in this together, 100-100.”

One year Michele underwent three surgeries in eleven months, suffering debilitating pain from three herniated neck discs. She was unable to do anything during her two-month recovery time. “My husband, Dean, after working an 11-hour day, unloaded the groceries, made supper, cleaned up the dishes, and took care of me. He never once complained or showed a bad attitude.”

Michele then did her part for Dean when he was busy one summer building front and back decks on their house. “I took over mowing grass, tending to the garden, and burning garbage. We’re empty-nesters now, but throughout our 39-year marriage, each of us has done whatever it takes to make it work.”

Sue and Jim (from Washington State):

“We each do whatever is needed,” said Sue. “If one is not feeling well or is unable to perform a usual chore, the other person does it. I do most of the cooking, but recently my husband has been doing the grocery shopping and errands, since I have difficulty standing or walking for extended distances. Jim does all the heavy chores, such as vacuuming, mopping floors, making the bed, taking out trash, and maintaining our cars, watering plants and so on—due to my chronic back problem.”

Now that both are retired, Sue takes care of the finances, taxes, and bill paying. “But we discuss and share where the money goes,” she said. “We carry out the admonition to share with and care for one’s spouse.”

Rachael and Steve (from Indiana):

“When we were raising our children, my husband’s job as a small-town family physician often left me with responsibility for planet earth! But now, with a less demanding medical job and the kids grown up, we tend to follow fairly traditional roles—generally our strengths—but we help each other out when needed.”

Rule #2: Focus on Common Interests

Michele and Dean:

Michele smiled, acknowledging that she wonders how her marriage to Dean has lasted as long as it has when she reflects on all that they don’t have in common. “I love to read; he dislikes reading. He’s an avid outdoorsman. I love the outdoors too, but I’d rather curl up with a good book. He loves the guy movies, such as Braveheart. I’d rather watch You’ve Got Mail. I’m spontaneous; Dean has to plan everything down to the hair-splitting detail, which drives me nuts. I love surprises; he likes stability. Yet I love the man and everything he is and isn’t.

“Focusing on common interests doesn’t leave room for growth,” said Michele. “Allowing each other to pursue different interests fosters individuality, harmony, and expanding each other’s borders. We give one another the freedom to be what we are and do what we enjoy.” For example, Dean never complains when Michele attends a writer’s conference and she supports him when he goes on hunting trips with his sons. “We miss each other during those times,” said Michele, “but we like seeing the other one happy.”

Sue and Jim:

“My husband and I share many common interests such as music, art, reading, traveling, theatre and movies, family, friends, genealogy and photography,” said Sue. “Since moving to the Northwest, we really enjoy the seasonal changes. We also have our own interests. Jim loves sports and technical and military topics, computer software programs and data entry, and other ‘guy’ things. I like to garden, decorate, cook and compile photo albums. I love talking with friends and family and I like to plan and organize parties and reunions.

“In most cases, we’re able and willing to shift gears when we’re involved in one of our personal activities, as the opportunity arises for something we both enjoy.”

Rachael and Steve:

“The ultimate common interest that forms our foundation is our relationship with God,” said Rachael. “We share many others that help build and strengthen our marriage, but they are secondary: intellectual and artistic interests, music, watching basketball games, especially the Indiana University Hoosiers, and riding our tandem bicycle.”

Rule #3: Reach Full Agreement Before Making Decisions

Michele and Dean:

“Full agreement? We’d probably never make a decision if we followed that rule. For most of our marriage, Dean left the decision-making to me. At times, I resented it, feeling like all the weight was on me, especially the consequences. Now we thoroughly discuss and research all the options, pray about it, then pursue the one that seems best. Dean still prefers that I make the decision, but I make sure he has plenty of input.”

Sue and Jim:

“We generally share all major and many minor issues, purchases, opportunities, and choices with each other before making a decision. We don’t always agree, but in most cases we honor each other’s opinions.” The couple said they’ve never held this custom as a “rule” so there is none to “break.”

Rachael and Steve:

Rachael grinned. “We didn’t discuss this one much—probably because Steve is trying to talk me into something right now!”

Rule #4: Pray Together Daily

Michele and Dean:

“We pray over meals daily and include anything else that may be on our minds and hearts. Forcing a daily prayer time together didn’t work for us, so it’s never been a rule. We each pursue our relationship with God individually. It’s like a triangle, with God at the top and each of us at the lower angles. The closer we each get to God, the closer we get to each other.”

Sue and Jim:

“We do not pray together,” said Sue, “so this has never been a rule for us. We see prayer as an individual matter.”

Rachael and Steve:

“We feel passionately about praying together and do so every morning before we get up. But it wasn’t always that way!” said Rachael. “Actually, I wrote an article about this for Marriage Partnership a while back.

Rule #5: Resolve Disagreements before Going to Bed

Michele and Dean:

“We can disagree, but being disagreeable is unacceptable. If we disagree on something, we’ve found it’s best to wait until the time is right to talk about it, when tempers, usually mine,” said Michele, “aren’t flaring and emotions aren’t so sensitive. It may take a day or two, even longer, but forcing the issue doesn’t work for us.”

Sue and Jim:

“Our disagreements get resolved when both of us are ready, instead of on a schedule,” said Sue. “It’s more honest to make up or resolve our disagreement when it feels right, rather than because we have to. Therefore, this has never been a rule for us.”

Rachael and Steve:

“We try to avoid going to bed angry with each other, as the Scripture says. But some disagreements take a long time to resolve. In the real world, some are never resolved,” said Rachael, “but we’re required to accept that we’re different people with different approaches—and, hopefully, willing to offer extra hugs and extra grace when things get rocky.”

I came away from these interviews feeling renewed and encouraged. I looked at my own marriage and those of the couples who shared their experiences, with a new point of view. Marriage is a living, breathing unit made up of two unique people who agree to love and support one another and to change and grow together as time goes by. It is not a staid partnership that is run by rules and unrealistic expectations. “Each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband” (Ephesians 5:33).

The rest is optional!

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Karen O’Connor is a retreat speaker, award-winning author, and writing mentor from Watsonville, California. Visit Karen’s website:KarenOConnor.com/.

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Do I Say to Jesus: “Yes— But…!”

Lord, I will follow You, but . . . —Luke 9:61

Source:  Oswald Chambers

Suppose God tells you to do something that is an enormous test of your common sense, totally going against it. What will you do?

Will you hold back?

If you get into the habit of doing something physically, you will do it every time you are tested until you break the habit through sheer determination. And the same is true spiritually. Again and again you will come right up to what Jesus wants, but every time you will turn back at the true point of testing, until you are determined to abandon yourself to God in total surrender.

Yet we tend to say, “Yes, but— suppose I do obey God in this matter, what about . . . ?” Or we say, “Yes, I will obey God if what He asks of me doesn’t go against my common sense, but don’t ask me to take a step in the dark.”

Jesus Christ demands the same unrestrained, adventurous spirit in those who have placed their trust in Him that the natural man exhibits. If a person is ever going to do anything worthwhile, there will be times when he must risk everything by his leap in the dark.

In the spiritual realm, Jesus Christ demands that you risk everything you hold on to or believe through common sense, and leap by faith into what He says. Once you obey, you will immediately find that what He says is as solidly consistent as common sense.

By the test of common sense, Jesus Christ’s statements may seem mad, but when you test them by the trial of faith, your findings will fill your spirit with the awesome fact that they are the very words of God. Trust completely in God, and when He brings you to a new opportunity of adventure, offering it to you, see that you take it. We act like pagans in a crisis— only one out of an entire crowd is daring enough to invest his faith in the character of God.

IDEAS FOR A HEALTHY LIFE & HEALTHY FAMILY

SOURCE:  Unknown

Consider these suggestions and adapt them to your life situation, temperament, interests, talents, and gifting to help bring more calmness and peace to yourself and your family.  As a result, you will experience healthy change in your life and in the life of your family.

1.  Go to bed early (one hour before your normal bed-time).  Experiment with a new pattern for your sleep to find out how more sleep might be helpful.

2.  Declare one night a week to be a “quiet night” (no TV, music, noise of any type).  Talk with each other, play games, read.

3.  Give kids an alternative to watching so much TV or being on the computer.  What about hobbies, family chore time, family fun time, date time with one child?

4.  Read a chapter from the Bible every day until it becomes a habit.  Experts say it takes 21 days of practice to develop a habit.

5.  Turn down a promotion or area of service that would demand even more time from your family than you can afford to give.

6.  Don’t accept any unnecessary business breakfast/dinner appointments.  Make it a working lunch when possible.

7.  As possible, sit together as a family at church….at least on occasion.

8.  Avoid the cultural pressure to give your children “everything now.”

9.  Establish strong family traditions around birthdays, holidays, back to school.  Make time to celebrate significant times in the life of the family.  Also celebrate “fun” times (successful studying for a test, completion of a hard task, “for no special reason” times)

10. Have a purposeful 10-minute dialogue with each family member every day for 21 days.

11. Unclutter your children’s schedule.  Balance them between work, play, friends, family, and rest.

12. Unclutter your own schedule.  Take 4 hours of “unnecessary” events out of your week.  Give one hour to your spouse, one to your children, one to a friend, and one to the Lord.

13. Help your children establish “purpose goals.”  These are goals that help them improve as an individual like goals in music, school, work, relational skills, involvement with older people, handling money, learning to maintain the car, etc.

14. As possible, write each one of your parents and children and tell them why you think the world is better because of them.

15. Give each family member a hug for 21 days in a row.

16. Compile a family tree and teach your children the history of their ancestors.

17. Get involved in a family project that serves or helps someone less fortunate.

18. Praise your spouse and children (genuinely) in their presence to someone else.

19. Help your kids with their homework.  Let them know you are available and interested.  But, don’t do it for them.

20. Make every effort to not let the sun go down on your anger.

21. Make a list of people who have hurt your feelings over the past year…then check your list to see if you have forgiven them.

22. Make a decision to honor your parents, even if they made a career out of dishonoring you.

23. Write out information about finances, wills, and important business information that your spouse can use to keep things under control in the event of your death.

24. May a priority to get out of debt.

25. Be willing to accept legitimate criticism from your spouse or a friend without reacting or defending yourself.

26. Say “no” to at least one thing a day that pulls your time, attention, and health away from what is better – even if it’s only a second piece of pie.

27. Go through your closets and give everything that you haven’t worn in a year (or longer) to a clothing relief organization.

28. Exercise a little every day for 21 days.

29. Establish a budget.

30. Pray for your spouse and children every day.

31. Take your spouse on a “dialogue” date.

32. Go to a Christian marriage enrichment seminar or read a book together on marriage and parenting appropriate to where you are in your family life cycle.

33. Establish a family mealtime at least one evening a week.

34. Develop distractions from problems and stresses such as hobbies and interests, but be sure these things do not contribute to the stress.

35. Develop a low-fat, low-sugar, low-salt diet.

36. Laugh.  Have fun.

37. Learn how and practice Christian meditation in the Presence of God and on His Word.

38. Choose friends wisely.

39. Don’t let things drift or be postponed – deal with them.

40. Admit fears and face them.

41. Work on a realistic self-image.

42. Do what is right – don’t cheat, lie, or be immoral – admit your faults and confess your sins.

43. Take one thing at a time – set priorities and steps to action; then cross them out when they are finished.

44. Be realistic – some things you cannot change.

45. Slow down – move, eat, and talk more slowly, to feel less pressured.

46. Avoid excuses – take responsibility for yourself and your own actions.

47. Talk things over – with a friend, relative, pastor, or counselor.

48. Complete unpleasant tasks first.

49. Set up “recovery times” after particular periods of stress.

50. Postpone making major decisions in times of stress.

51. Give yourself permission to fail.

52. Value life’s little blessings.

53. Accept yourself for who you are.

54. Cherish God’s love and wisdom.

55. Lean to say “no” to unreasonable demands without feeling guilty.

Quotations of BILLY SUNDAY

SOURCE –  Adapted From:  Keiki Hendrix

Brief Biography
Billy Sunday (1862-1935), was a professional baseball player from 1883 to 1891 for Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia teams.

He was converted through the street preaching of Harry Monroe of the Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago.

He left a $5,000 a year salary as a baseball player for a $75 a month for the previously evangelistic YMCA. From 1893 to 1895 was associated with J. Wilbur Chapman.

He was an evangelist from 1893 to 1935. It is estimated that over 300,000 people walked the “sawdust trail” to receive Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. (Adapted from “The Wycliffe Biographical Dictionary of the Church,” page 387, Elgin S. Moyer, 1982, ©Moody Press, Chicago, IL)

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+Let’s quit fiddling with religion and do something to bring the world to Christ.

+If you want to drive the devil out of the world, hit him with a cradle instead of a crutch.

+I’m against sin. I’ll kick it as long as I’ve got a foot, and I’ll fight it as long as I’ve got a fist. I’ll butt it as long as I’ve got a head. I’ll bite it as long as   I’ve got a tooth. And when I’m old and fistless and footless and toothless, I’ll gum it till I go home to Glory and it goes home to perdition!

+Live so that when the final summons comes you will leave something more behind you than an epitaph on a tombstone or an obituary in a newspaper.

+The Lord is not compelled to use theologians. He can take snakes, sticks or anything else, and use them for the advancement of his cause.

+I believe that a long step toward public morality will have been taken when sins are called by their right names.

+Your reputation is what people say about you. Your character is what God and your wife know about you.

+If you took no more care of yourself physically than spiritually, you’d be just as dried up physically as you are spiritually.

+If you live wrong you can’t die right.

+Look into the preaching Jesus did and you will find it was aimed straight at the big sinners on the front seats.

+If good preaching could save the world, it would have been done long ago.

+Churches don’t need new members half so much as they need the old bunch made over.

+There wouldn’t be so many non-church goers if there were not so many non-going churches.

+There are some so-called Christian homes today with books on the shelves of the library that have no more business there than a rattler crawling about on the floor, or a poison within the child’s reach.

+Too many churches are little more than four walls and a roof.

+Home is the place we love best and grumble the most.

+I don’t believe there are devils enough in hell to pull a boy out of the arms of a godly mother.

+There is nothing in the world of art like the songs mother used to sing.

+To train a boy in the way he should go you must go that way yourself.

+Don’t stop with telling your boy to do right. Show him how.

+Be careful, father, or while you are taking one lap around the devil’s track your boy will make six.

+If you would have your children turn out well, don’t turn your home into a lunch counter and lodging house.

+Not to walk in the straight and narrow way yourself, is to give the devil the biggest kind of a chance to get our children.

+Some homes need a hickory switch a good deal more than they do a piano.

+Better die an old maid, sister, than marry the wrong man.

+Whiskey is all right in its place — but its place is hell.

+The normal way to get rid of drunkards is to quit raising drunkards — to put the business that makes drunkards out of business.

+Riches have never yet given anybody either peace or rest.

+It won’t save your soul if your wife is a Christian. You have got to be something more than a brother-in-law to the Church.

+You can’t raise the standard of women’s morals by raising their pay envelope. It lies deeper than that.

+The reason you don’t like the Bible, you old sinner, is because it knows all about you.

+Going to church doesn’t make a man a Christian, any more than going to a garage makes him an automobile.

+The difference between God’s side and the devil’s is the difference between heaven and hell.

+God keeps no half-way house. It’s either heaven or hell for you and me.

+A man can slip into hell with his hand on the door-knob of heaven.

+The Bible will always be full of things you cannot understand, as long as you will not live according to those you can understand.

+The inconsistency is not in the Bible, but in your life.

+God likes a little humor, as is evidence by the fact that he made the monkeys, the parrot — and some of you people.

+Yank some of the groans out of your prayers, and shove in some shouts.

+If you are strangers to prayer you are strangers to power.

+What have you given the world it never possessed before you came?

+The Bible says forgive your debtors; the world says “sue them for their dough.”

+Temptation is the devil looking through the keyhole. Yielding is opening the door and inviting him in.

+I am not the author of the plan of salvation, but I am responsible for the way I preach it.

+I am an old-fashioned preacher of the old-time religion, that has warmed this cold world’s heart for two thousand years.

+When I hit the devil square in the face some people go away as mad as if I had slapped them in the mouth.

+The backslider likes the preaching that wouldn’t hit the side of a house, while the real disciple is delighted when the truth brings him to his knees.

+To discover a flaw in our makeup is a chance to get rid of it, and add a new line of beauty to our life.

+It is not necessary to be in a big place to do big things.

DECISION MAKING AND THE WILL OF GOD (Adapted from the book by Garry Friesen)

The expression “will of God” is used in the Bible in two ways. God’s sovereign will is His secret plan to determine everything that happens in the universe. God’s moral will consists of the revealed commands in the Bible that teach how we ought to believe and live.

The Nature of God’s Moral Will

  1. It is the expression, in behavioral terms, of God’s character.
  2. It touches every aspect and moment of life: goals, attitudes, and means (why, how, and what).
  3. It is fully revealed in the Bible.
  4. It is able to equip believers for every good work.

For God’s children, all things within the moral will of God are lawful, clean, and pure. In decisions that are made within that moral will, the Christian should not feel guilty about his choice; neither should he fear that his decision is unacceptable to God. God has made it clear what He wants: His plan for His children is for them to enjoy the freedom that He has granted.

What One Must Do To Acquire Wisdom
Have the right Attitude

  1. Reverence
  2. Humility
  3. Teachableness
  4. Diligence
  5. Uprightness
  6. Faith

Take The Right Approach

  1. Ask God for Wisdom
  2. Seek Wisdom in the pages of Scripture
  3. Seek Wisdom through personal research
  4. Seek Wisdom through wise counselors
  5. Seek Wisdom from life itself

To sum up: The ultimate Source of the wisdom that is needed in decision-making is God. Accordingly, we are to ask Him to provide what we lack. God mediates His wisdom to us through His Word, our personal research, wise counselors, and the applied lessons of life. Regarding counselors, one should seek two kinds: Of those who possess deep spiritual insight, the question should be asked: “Are you aware of any biblical principles that touch upon my decision?” To those who have gone through relevant personal experiences, the question should be: “When you went through a similar experience, did you gain any insights that would be of value to me?”

Principles of Decision Making – The Way of Wisdom

  1. In those areas specifically addressed by the Bible, the revealed commands and principles of God (His moral will) are to be obeyed.
  2. In those areas where the Bible gives no command or principle (non-moral decisions), the believer is free and responsible to choose his own course of action. Any decision made within the moral will of God is acceptable to God.
  3. In non-moral decisions, the objective of the Christian is to make wise decisions on the basis of spiritual expediency. Spiritual expediency, put simply, means what works best to get the job done-within God’s moral will. Wisdom is the power to see, and the inclination to choose, the best and highest goal, together with the surest means of attaining it.
  4. In all decisions, the believer should humbly submit, in advance, to the outworking of God’s sovereign will as it touches each decision.

God’s Sovereign Will and Decision Making

  1. God’s sovereignty does not exclude the need for planning; it does require humble submission to His will.
  2. Circumstances define the context of the decision and must be weighed by wisdom�not “read” as road signs to God’s individual (as opposed to His moral) will. Such events are determined by God, to be sure, but they are not to be viewed as “signs” to be read. Circumstances must be evaluated, not to determine some clue from God, but to help decide the advisability of a given course of action. Circumstances indicate many of the pros and cons, but they carry no “yes” or “no” tags.
  3. Open doors are God-given opportunities for service�not specific guidance from God requiring one to enter. Opportunities, like everything else, come through God’s sovereignty. The nature of such opportunities indicates that most of the time “open doors” should be utilized as part of wise, resourceful living for the Lord. If a greater opportunity or more pressing work is at hand, it is acceptable and proper to pass by the open door. An “open door” is not a direct providential sign from God telling the believer to go in a certain direction. A door is used, not because it is a sign, but because doors facilitate entrance. Considering the concept of “closed doors,” if one were sovereignly prevented from pursuing a plan, and yet the plan itself was sound, one simply might wait and try again later. In this view, a blocked endeavor (i.e., closed door) is not necessarily a sign from God that a plan was faulty. One might accept the fact that he could not pursue it at this time and continue to desire, pray, and plan for the eventual accomplishment of the goal.
  4. “Putting out a fleece” is an invalid practice that sometimes works when it is really wisdom in disguise.

Applicational Solutions of the Wisdom View

  1. Ordinary Decisions: One should exercise good judgment and not waste time.
  2. Equal Decisions: One should thank God for the opportunity to select from acceptable alternatives, and choose one’s personal preference.
  3. Immaturity: One should apply maturity by gathering and evaluating data, devoting sufficient time to the process, giving personal desires their proper place, and basing the decision on sound reasons.
  4. Subjectivity: Since God’s moral will has been completely revealed and the means of acquiring wisdom has been explained, the knowledge required for decision making is fully attainable.

The believer already has at his disposal everything that God is going to tell him about his decisions. The moral will of God is objective, complete, and adequate. God’s Word does not tell one what to decide in every situation; it teaches how to come to a decision that is acceptable to God. It is from Scripture that we learn the necessity of determining those choices that are both moral and wise. It is the Bible that tells us to acquire wisdom and apply it to our decisions. It is the Bible that tells us where wisdom is to be found. It is the Bible that tells us of God’s involvement in giving us wisdom. It is the Bible that established the objective standard by which we may define and recognize what is moral and wise. It is assumed in Scripture that knowledge of God’s moral will and the necessary wisdom for good decision-making are attainable. The Bible indicates that one’s depth of wisdom and knowledge of God’s moral will certainly will increase progressively over a period of time. The believer is expected to study the Word sufficiently to become personally convinced of its meaning. As he grows in spiritual insight and understanding of God’s Word, his convictions will be appropriately revised, his judgment will mature, and his decisions will reflect greater wisdom. But at any given point, the believer can acquire a sufficient knowledge of God’s moral will and an adequate level of wisdom to make a decision that meets God’s approval.

Wisdom Signs Pointing to God’s Moral Will and Wisdom

  1. Bible
  2. Inner Impressions
  3. Personal Desires
  4. Special Guidance
  5. Circumstances
  6. Mature Counsel
  7. Common Sense
  8. Results

Impressions can come from a multitude of sources. They must be judged by the moral will of God and by wisdom. On the basis of that evaluation, the believer determines his response to the impression. Those impressions that conform to God’s moral will and to wisdom may be followed.

The presence of peace or the lack of it may or may not mean a decision is the best. The lack of peace may indicate immaturity, fear of one’s inability to keep a potential commitment, concern about the wisdom of a course of action, or uncertainty about one’s judgment in the decision at hand. The way of wisdom judges the emotional makeup and momentary emotional state of the believer himself as one of the valid circumstances in the situation. That “concerned feeling” should be judged by wisdom. One’s emotional makeup should be judged by wisdom. In the final analysis, every good thing comes from God. So any thought, impression, or feeling that is both moral and wise has its ultimate origin in Him.

According to the Bible, God is involved in our decision making at several levels. First, He has provided the resources for making decisions that are acceptable to Him. He has revealed His moral will in its totality. He has instructed us in His Word to seek wisdom for making decisions, and has informed us how to do it. Further, He has given us a new nature which makes obedience of His moral will possible. As a loving Father, He has equipped us with everything we need to make decisions that are pleasing to Him. As we work through the process of arriving at a decision, God is continually present and working within us. The words of Paul remind us that “it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Phil 2:13). Specifically, His grace enables us to trust in Him (Acts 18:27). He gives the believer the desire to obey His will. By His Spirit, He provides the enablement to keep His commandments. Furthermore, it is God who sovereignly opens doors of opportunity for us. When we ask for wisdom, He gives it through the channels He has established for our benefit. He also answers the related prayers we offer concerning our decisions. And He brings to successful completion those of our plans that are within His sovereign will. Along the way, He utilizes the circumstances and the very process of decision- making to change our character and bring us to maturity. Finally, He works through our decisions to accomplish His purposes – not only in us, but through us. We can trust that if anything more is needed for guidance – such as an audible voice, an angelic messenger, or some other form of supernatural revelation – He will supply it just as He has when it was necessary in times past.

Decision Making and the Will of God

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