Thursday, June 04, 2009

TWO PATHS DIVERGED: MAKING THE BIG LIFE DECISIONS - Part Trois

Here are the last of my insights on major decision making. I hope, readers, that you will offer some of your own.



3. GOD’S CHALLENGES (AND THE STAKES) ONLY GET BIGGER. Nothing challenges your faith, endurance, and insecurity like raising your own financial support, but nothing else grows and strengthens you so much. (Well, I’ve heard that marriage does that.) Once it seemed to me an insurmountable task to raise $1,000 for a two-week mission trip. As my confidence in God’s faithfulness grew, along with my needs as a full-time missionary, it took a lot more to scare me. In fact, I was feeling pretty good about my faith level one day after receiving an unexpected, large financial gift from someone I hadn’t been in contact with for years. Then I sensed the Lord’s internal voice saying, like a pin in my balloon, “Betsy, the faith challenges will only ever get bigger.” Oh well.

This is true of life as well as finances. God’s design is to grow your faith and character, and this only happens when you embrace increasing levels of challenge. This is why it’s never wise to dismiss an idea only because it seems bigger than you are. Often, that’s the very indicator of God’s will. He has something to prove to you, about you. He also has something to prove to you about himself.

4. FEAR AND LACK OF MONEY ARE NEVER REASONS NOT TO DO SOMETHING GOD WANTS YOU TO DO. Obstacles have a design. Some are placed in our paths to prevent us from doing something foolish or off God’s purpose; others are put there just to be overcome. Fear and lack of money are the latter. An old pastor of mine always used to say, “Where God guides, God provides.” It’s true. He has plenty of courage available to you to overcome fear, and plenty of monetary and material provisions to overcome lack. Let’s assume you’ve prayed, sought wise counsel, considered the ramifications of your possible choices, listened for the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and chosen a course that you truly believe is God’s will. If self-doubt, fear of failure, fear of man, fear of (fill in the blank) and/or wondering how you’ll ever pay for your choice is the only thing stopping you, trust God and go ahead. (See how that works in tandem with No. 3.?)

NOTE TO THE WISE: Know, however, that your decision will be tested over and over, but God will never fail you.

5. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY. Remember that FAITH is Factor No. 1 in the big decisions. Scripture says that in this life, we see in part, prophesy in part, and know in part (I Corinthians 13). This does not mean that we should entertain the doubts that will inevitably bombard us in our decisions, only that we will have them. But in faith we make our decisions on our best knowledge of ourselves, our Lord and his will that we have, and know that he will accomplish his purposes for our lives. Besides, don’t you think a tiny bit of uncertainty lends a little thrill to it all?

1 comment:

  1. Betsy, This is great wisdom flowing from your heart. Thank you. Your words and insight cause me to look back upon my own journey and look at how the "seemingly seasons of failures" were in fact not really failures at all. We lost a lot but what we gained was so much greater. We have watched the Lord add the more weightier blessings of life such as faith, mercy, love and compasssion, greater and clearer vision and the fact that HE brings healing.

    Also, in the world we are often judged for not "doing something" when we are pressed financially. God may be telling us to be still and wait on Him. Sometimes that pressure is difficult to endure. But He alway vindicates us when we follow Him and not the voices and opinions of man. Thanks for being a vessel of God's heart and voice. You have a great gift in provoking many positive thoughts as well as splashing refreshment upon the lives of others. I appreciate you! Love, Ange

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