Friday, August 15, 2014

COD: Choices. Options. Decisions

Choices.  Options.  Decisions.  

Do they make you feel free or do they stifle you?

Most situations in life come along so that progress can be made, but when we feel overwhelmed, the opposite can happen.  It can throw you into turmoil and give you a spirit of unrest. 

Life will give you opportunities where you need God to show up big!  Through these times, we build our faith because we seek the Lord for wisdom that only He can give.  When we ask, He promises to give it generously.

What do you do when faced with a choice that will effect your future?  

The first place you should go is to God.  The folks in the Old Testament had the privilege of hearing the actual voice of God.  We, on the other hand, have to figure out the best way for us to “hear” His will for us.  

Seeking wisdom outside of God is dangerous.  By doing so, we step out of the Lord's covering of protection. We saw this through the life of Saul when he sought wisdom from a medium and lost his kingdom. As God’s children, we must hold tight to the Lord alone.

In Judges, we see Gideon “lay out the fleece”.  He was unsure of what the Lord wanted for Him, so He laid a piece of fleece outside and asked the Lord to assure Him that he was hearing God correctly by making the fleece wet, but the ground dry in the morning.  That request was fulfilled.  Not only did he do it once, but he actually asked God to do it again by sending a sign that was the opposite to build His faith during this very frightening time for him.  The Lord provided the answer again.  Then, Gideon took action with full confidence.

Some people believe that asking for signs is wrong and exhibits a weak faith.  Some personally avoid asking for signs, because even though they  trust God and any sign He might send, they do not trust their own ability to read the sign properly. Luckily, we have a Father that is flexible in the ways He communicates with us.

I  (Kim) recently laid out the fleece when it was time to purchase our new home.  When the house hunting began, I prayed that God would show me where He wanted us to be through seeing sunflowers.  I had some prayer warrior friends join me in that prayer.  We narrowed our houses down to two.  One of them had sunflowers in the decor, and the other did not.  We kept going back and forth between the two houses, not able to make a clear decision.  When the morning came to make an offer on a house, I called the realtor and asked her to see the “non-sunflower” house one last time to make sure. 

We hung up.  I prayed.  

I told God that I needed to hear Him clearly, that I didn’t know why I couldn’t get that house out of my head, but I couldn’t, and I needed a clear sign to cut through the gray.  Less than five minutes later, the realtor called me back to tell me that the owners had taken the “non-sunflower” house off the market.  Gotcha!

If you choose to lay out the fleece, be specific.  Then, listen and look for answers.  Whether you do it or not, He will speak to you.  It will take some work and silence and effort to discover the way God communicates with you, but it’s worth it.

Passages to Ponder:

James 1:5-8 “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you.  He will not rebuke you for asking.  But when you ask Him, be sure that your faith is in God alone.  Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.  Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.

I Chronicles 10:13-14 “Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord.  He failed to obey the Lord’s command, and he even consulted a medium instead of asking the Lord for guidance.  So the Lord killed him and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse.

Judges 6:36-40 “Then Gideon said to God, “If you are truly going to use me to rescue Israel as you promised, prove it to me in this way.  I will put a wool fleece on the threshing floor tonight,  If the fleece is wet with dew in the morning but the ground is dry, then I will know that You are going to help me rescue Israel as You promised.  And that is just what happened.  When Gideon got up early the next morning, he squeezed the fleece and wrung out a whole bowlful of water.  Then Gideon said to God, “Please don’t be angry with me, but let me make one more request.  Let me use the fleece for one more test.  This time let the fleece remain dry while the ground around it is wet with dew.”  So that night God did as Gideon asked.  The fleece was dry in the morning, but the ground was covered with dew.

Contributors:  Karen Bromby, Jodi Dunbar, and Kim McClure

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