Monday, July 22, 2013

Making God Centered Decisions

Making God-Centered Decisions
            Life is about making decisions … so how is a person who is trying to follow Christ, able to negotiate decisions in life that will definitely bring blessings or consequences?

I'm going to digress for a bit....

I’m thoroughly enjoying our STS/Character study about the Life of David.  David was an ordinary person- that reckoned that God would be with him.  As a result- he does marvelous things.  As a result of following God and being more concerned about what God thinks of him- he makes tough choices that reveal a character about him that God says how David is a “man after my own heart.”  (1 Sam 13:14 But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people, because you have not kept the Lord's command."   NIV)
            One of the things that caught my attention this past week from my study that has really impacted me and is causing me to rethink how I think about decisions and talking to God about them….This is the  passage that has gotten me thinking…

1 Sam 26:1-12 The Ziphites went to Saul at Gibeah and said, "Is not David hiding on the hill of Hakilah, which faces Jeshimon?" 2 So Saul went down to the Desert of Ziph, with his three thousand chosen men of Israel, to search there for David. 3 Saul made his camp beside the road on the hill of Hakilah facing Jeshimon, but David stayed in the desert. When he saw that Saul had followed him there, 4 he sent out scouts and learned that Saul had definitely arrived. 5 Then David set out and went to the place where Saul had camped. He saw where Saul and Abner son of Ner, the commander of the army, had lain down. Saul was lying inside the camp, with the army encamped around him. 6 David then asked Ahimelech the Hittite and Abishai son of Zeruiah, Joab's brother, "Who will go down into the camp with me to Saul?" "I'll go with you," said Abishai. 7 So David and Abishai went to the army by night, and there was Saul, lying asleep inside the camp with his spear stuck in the ground near his head. Abner and the soldiers were lying around him. 8 Abishai said to David, "Today God has delivered your enemy into your hands. Now let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of my spear; I won't strike him twice." 9 But David said to Abishai, "Don't destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the Lord's anointed and be guiltless? 10 As surely as the Lord lives," he said, "the Lord himself will strike him; either his time will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish. 11 But the Lord forbid that I should lay a hand on the Lord's anointed. Now get the spear and water jug that are near his head, and let's go." 12 So David took the spear and water jug near Saul's head, and they left. No one saw or knew about it, nor did anyone wake up. They were all sleeping, because the Lord had put them into a deep sleep. NIV

(I’ll tell you in a little bit why I highlighted this last verse) 

So… David is being chased down by Saul.  God makes the entire Israelite camp fall asleep.  This gives David and Abishai a great opportunity to sneak down into the camp and finish off the man who is causing him so much trouble and heartache.  David and Abishai stand over king Saul and Abishai tells David this is the chance to finish off his enemy and God has given him the chance.  Abishai says he will run him through with his spear- “I won’t need to do it twice,” Abishai says.  But, David is convicted.  He cannot be part of such an act and decision.  David chooses the high road and instead chooses to take the king’s spear and water jug as a testament that he was there and had the opportunity to kill the king- but didn’t.
            This is my point….
            God made the entire Israelite camp fall into a deep sleep- EVERYONE.
            So God engineered this opportunity for David to kill the king.
            David entered the camp.  David saw the opportunity.  David ……..   did NOT kill the king.  David proves his character before God, before the men, before himself.
It wasn’t just enough to have an opportunity or an open door.  The issue for David was to have the kind of character that would CHOOSE the high road, the Godly decision (even though it meant prolonged trouble, discomfort, pain).  David saw the open door and was able to make a BETTER decision.
My conclusion and application:
·         Don’t pray for opportunities or open doors- pray for the character to know what decision to make

That is my hope and prayer for me, my family, my friends, and our ministry.
No doubt someone out there is feeling a little upset or insecure about the idea of not praying for opportunities or open doors-  I’m not intending in any way to attack or demean those who do (I have prayed for these opportunities and open doors too) 
My point is that I believe it takes a higher degree of commitment to Godlike character to pray for Christ like wisdom- so that I can make God centered decisions in the face of these decisions throughout my life.  Just like David, just because the door was open, doesn’t mean that I MUST take it.  David had the opportunity to take the open door (in this case, end the man who was hunting him down).  But, David doesn’t take the open door and instead, he proves his God like character.

Lord… May you bless me, my family, my friends, and those who’ve partnered with us in our ministry, that we can all display your wisdom and God like character in the face of life’s decisions…  Amen.