Lost in a Totally Foreign Country. How Can I Make Right Decisions? Part 1

Mackinac Island

How often do we encounter friends and family members who are asking themselves: ďWhat should I do?Ē ďHow can I make a decision that is according to Godís will?Ē ĒHow can I know what to do next?Ē They are confused in the face of uncertainty. How are we to help them? With so much confusion, how can we make the right decisions?

Some believe like Eliho. "Let us discern for ourselves what is right; let us learn together what is good." (Job 34:4, NIV2)

Honestly, how often havenít we tried to come up with the perfect solution without good results? There are so many decisions! Life can be a real labyrinth, enough to confuse anyone!

Still, according to Jesus, the answer is quite simple: "Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete." (John 16:24b, NIV2)  Itís a solution that always works. However, given this pressure-cooker kind of life that we lead, we usually canít help but be impatient, and that impatience becomes one of our deadliest enemies: ďI want it now!Ē No wonder we make so many wrong decisions.

Imagine finding yourself in a completely foreign country.

This is how we felt when we landed on Mackinac Island in Michigan. Even thought this island is part of the United States, it seemed like we were definitely in a foreign land, one that looked more like a carribean island than anything else. There were no cars nor busses in sight, as these have all been banned. Instead there were numerous bike rental places, as well as multiple horse trolleys. That wasnít too bad, in fact it was quite an innovative way to avoid pollution! Except for what the horses left behind on the roads, that is . . .

In addition to the lack of motorized vehicles, we were also feeling out of our element due to the vast number of tourists. Iím not sure we have ever seen so many tourists in one place! We felt like sardines in the street, and it didnít take us long to become completely disoriented. We tried asking, but either they ignored us, didnít hear us, or answered us with a shrug. What should we do?

Thatís when hope appeared: A tourist information bureau! Ask and you will receive, but we still had to ask someone who knew the way.

I know of only One who can always guide us to the right decision. If we ask our Heavenly Father, He will answer. Sometimes we donít hear the answer right away, and often this is because we arenít ready for His answer. After all, why give an answer that will only be ignored?

Too often we forget "I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go." (Isa 48:17, NIV2) God has always our best interest at heart. We can truly trust Him; however, He cannot reveal His answers if we are not ready to follow His advice. This is why it is so important to wait upon Him with an eager heart, willing to follow His advice, no matter what.

"But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently." (Rom 8:25, NIV2)

"But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me." (Mic 7:7, NIV2)

Do we truly believe this promise? Too often impatience will lead us to the wrong decision; however, waiting on the Lord will lead us to a decision that we will never regret. Unless, of course, we are dedicated to making our own decisions. Itís at such times that we miss the opportunity to truly experience our Heavenly Dad and His wisdom that is beyond understanding. He has our best interest at heart, no doubt about it. We can truly trust Him and be assured that His answer will always be the best decision for us. Waiting for His answer is worthwhile and will keep us from making wrong decisions.

Now itís up to us to decide if whether or not we will wait on our Father.

There is just one more more ingredient that needs to be part of this equation. "When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures." (Jas 4:3, NIV2)

What should we do next?

Wouldn't it be good for us to discover how to ask our Father for directions and know with certainty what His will is?

Till next time!

Rob Chaffart

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