Saturday, May 2, 2009

Praising and Learning

I am just praising the Lord tonight for His direction and care for our family. I don't know about you, but sometimes when I come to decisions that take faith I am fearful. I seem to forget that the Lord has directly guided us so many times, and He WILL do it again.

Sometimes, I chalk God's guiding up to coincidence. That is lack of faith. I am learning through experience that there is no logical way to explain away how many times the Lord has provided for and directed our family.

We have recently been praying for an issue that took a lot of faith. There was turmoil, the temptation of doubt, the fear of being alone in the decision, the disappointment of an unexpected turn, etc. -- but the Lord guided us and we are sure that we trusted Him in the decision.

I am learning that trusting the Lord may go against what you think you want or should get at the beginning. God often may choose a decision for you that you don't want. You may not understand why God guides a certain way and you may even be disappointed. But, were you wanting your own way or the best way? Were you wanting your will or His will? Trusting God means going His direction with the assurance that where He is leading is better. No matter what, in the end, whether you see it or not, His way is better. This is faith.

I know that God speaks to us through His Word. My decisions must be based on some Biblical principle. Some times, that principle may simply be James 1 prayer for wisdom. When we pray this way and we don't have a verse to rest on, we must believe the Lord has given us the wisdom to make the decision. We can make the decision in assurance and not look back in regret or fear.

At my last Master's class, I debated with a Pastor at my BJU class about discerning God's Will by "feeling". You cannot trust your "feelings". You shouldn't make decisions primarily based on "feelings". People who base their decisions on "omens" and "feelings" regularly make unwise decisions that may even conflict with principles in Scripture and Godly counsel. This is wrong....... However, I concede that God does assure His will to us sometimes through a "peace" that is hard to explain. Sometimes, it is the experience of many believers to know in their hearts exactly what the Lord wants them to do. I do not doubt this as long as it "run through" the filter of God's Word. I do not find this is my case often in decisions. Some of the best decisions I have made have been raw faith without much "peace".

When I have a large decision to make, I nearly always read Proverbs. I usually just open Proverbs and read several chapters to get my mind thinking as God's. Sometimes there are principles from verses that directly apply to what I am trying to decide. Sometimes it just quiets my heart and gets me thinking like God to ponder the Proverbs. In all cases, it is good.

We have the promise of Scripture that the Lord will direct our paths "if we acknowledge Him". I am working on "liking" that at the beginning of something that seems to go wrong as well as at the end. God can be trusted. I am learning.

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