Its easy for me as I read about the Israelites in the Old Testament to think how stupid they were, how foolish for not being faithful to the One who not only led them out of slavery, but provided for their every need, took them to a fruitful land, and defeated their enemies at every turn. They listened to those around them more than the Faithful One, and they were distracted and led away from the path. Its easy to forget how swayed I am by the people around me. Even in my relationships with believers, I have to be wise. I have to depend on God to guide me. You never know what He's going to say. Sometimes He surprises.
Decisions are also scary, because, get this: we might do the wrong thing. So we are paralyzed, gathering information, trying to hear more from God, waiting for the dream, the writing on the wall, or the prophet to pick you out of the crowd.
But, whatever we do, we are making decisions. Savings, college funds, discipleship: one day we will reap the consequences of our decisions, good or bad. Our job is not to blindly go with the flow, but to continually keep our eyes open, and make those decisions in faith. Every decision has opportunity costs. We choose one thing, we opt out of something else. Every decision is an opportunity to draw into Him.
If we don't, then we tread a dangerous path of default. It doesn’t mean we trust God more, it just means we are like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind and opinions of man.
Default is still a decision.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. -James 1: 5-8
Am I a doubter, Lord?
The path that God has for me is only for me (Thank you, Lord!). The freedom of knowing God is that out of relationship comes wisdom. He gives generously to all without finding fault. Even in your faults, he gives it generously. Lavishly. The wisdom of God. Its free to all who ask in faith. And when we walk in faith, we are free from the judgment of others.
You know what else is the wisdom of God? The Gospel. So, don’t be surprised if God asks you to do things that are foolish-sounding. We need ears and eyes to see the kingdom of another place, a heavenly one. We might not know all the implications of our decisions, but we know this: God works to the good of all who love him and are called together according to his purpose. He works all things to your good—-he can turn even poor decisions into grace.
Whatever decisions you have made, there is always redemption. There’s always a way back to the path. God loves you so much that he uses such discipline along the way to bring you closer to his heart.
Mercy is new every morning. Even for the exiled Israelites, there were new mercies every morning. Even in deep mourning, his mercies are new. He has mercy on us because he knows what we’re made of: dirt.
Today I am glad that all of this isn’t dependent on me. Today I remember how He's led me thus far, and in His loving-kindness he's always turned me back to the right path when I have strayed.
Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you. -Psalm 116:7
Today, I will step out again in faith. I will make decisions, and I will commit to walking forward in all that God has for me.