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Seeking Things Above

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (Col 3:1)

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Decisions, Decisions, Decisions...

crossroadsEveryone has choices to make every day. Some choices are easier than others. Sometimes they are easier because there are no lasting ramifications to whatever is chosen (Life Cereal or Mini Wheats). Some choices are more difficult because the ramifications are great or we have no idea what the ramifications might be.

Should I buy a new car or save the money?

Should I work longer so I can provide better for my family or should I work less so I can spend more time with my family?

Should I take the new job offer that will require our family to move?

How many children should we have?

The objective way to make a decision is to write down the pros and cons of each choice. Whichever choice has more pros wins. The problem is that the list of pros and cons is often very subjective and for sure, the importance of each is subjective. This makes the decision based on your own subjective prejudices and experiences which may or may not lead to a good decision.

A few years ago, my wife and I had one of those big decisions to make. We had just had our fourth child. We had surpassed the normal 2.5 child household. Our family felt complete. We decided to get a vasectomy ("we" - kind of like "we" had a baby). There were lots of good objective and subjective reasons on the pro side of the checklist to do it.

The problem was, my wife and I did not seek out God first. Four years later, God started laying it on our hearts that we made the wrong decision. Now we had a new decision. Do I have surgery to give control of our family size back to God? This time we did seek God and did the reversal.

God's Word is clear. We are to seek His will in all of our decisions.

Really? All of our decision? Even between Life Cereal or Mini Wheats?

I don't believe God intends to micro-manage your life. After all, in the Garden he did not tell Adam and Eve which fruit to eat each day. He only told them which fruit not to eat, ever. God gives us similar guidelines today through his Word.

Romans 2:18 (ESV)
18 and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law;

For example, while he may not tell you which cereal to eat, he does tell you that your body is His holy temple so His will is for you to treat your body right.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV)
19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,
20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

We unfortunately try to figure out God's ways based on our own understanding rather than seeking His way.

Isaiah 55:8 (ESV)
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.

So what are we supposed to do?


Psalms 143:10 (ESV)
10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground!


Matthew 7:21 (ESV)
21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

These are the two areas where I usually fail. I either rush to a decision based on my own understanding and don't pray first or I don't like what God's Word says so I do it my way anyway. If I wasn't so stubborn I'd make much better decisions.

Romans 8:28 (ESV)
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

What has been your toughest decision? Did you seek God or did you do your best on your own? How'd that work for you?

Please share your experiences good or bad, Christian or not.


Marjie said...

Most decisions in life are more complicated than the others, and I can't really help but being indecisve especially if I know that the decisions I'll make will affect my future in great amounts. That's where prayers come in. I always leave things to God when things get complicated. When you let him take the front seat, you'll be in the safe ride. I always beleive that's true :)

Tony said...

Marjie -

Amen. The hard part for me is discerning the answers to my prayers.
Thanks for stopping by contributing.

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