I thought I'd have some coffee today with devotions, but God gave me so much more. Today's reading and study took me to Deuteronomy 32:28-29, "They are a nation without sense, there is no discernment in them. If only they were wise and would understand this and discern what their end will be"! NIV
I realize this passage is referring to the Israelites, but I'm also cognisant that we, as a people, have mimicked the behaviors of the Israelites more times that we would care to remember. We're a repetitious people with short memories and even shorter focus. God laid out a history; He laid out a play book for the future. Unfortunately, we don't like to play by the rules. We ignore direction and we keep making the same mistakes over and over. Yes, we are no better than Israelites at heart. Our sins parallel theirs, but sometimes I wonder if we aren't trying to surpass their level of rebellion and ungodliness.
But, I do digress from my main point, which is this: My devotion today was entitled "Making Wise Decisions". It talked about the people of Israel having little discernment and lacking wisdom. In contrast, Moses was intimately acquainted with God and sought His will in all things. It is said that the wise person knows the will of God but the successful person knows and does the will of God. The devotion gave the following questions for Christ followers to consider when trying to discern God's will and make wise decisions.
- Have you prayed about it? You might recall that the Lord's prayer begins with a petition to establish His kingdom and do His will.
- Is it consistent with the Word of God? We should consult the bible when making decisions. The major part of God's will for our lives has already been revealed in His Word.
- Does this decision or choice compromise my Christian witness? If any choice we are considering requires us to compromise our integrity or christian witness, then that choice is the wrong choice. The end does not justify the means. My thought is, "What good is our life if we sell our soul to the devil?
- Will the Lord be glorified? Are we seeking the glory of humankind or the glory of God? Can we make this choice and know that it honors God? Are we concerned about building God's kingdom or ours?
- Am I choosing and acting responsibly? What are my responsibilities and how can my actions carry them out honorably?
- Is it reasonable? God expects us to think with the wisdom He provides. He is a rational God and His ways are reasonable.
- Are unbiased, spiritually sensitive associates in agreement? We should be careful not to consult only with those who are inclined to agree with us or with those we know are afraid to be honest with us or disagree with us. We should give people permission to ask hard questions and be ready to reconcile our hearts and actions to God's Word.
- Do I have a sanctified desire to do it? The greatest joy in life is to serve God and be in His will. We should feel good about doing God's will, and we should want nothing less. If we delight ourselves in the Lord, His desires will be our desires.
- Do I have a peace about it? If we are within the boundaries of God's will, we will sense an inner confirmation from Him. Sometimes we have to wrestle with God's will verses our own will. His conviction always leads us to surrender our will to His and, when we do, He gives us peace that surpasses understanding.