“Like Abraham and Sarah, we can choose to follow God’s leading when making decisions.” That statement (written by Dr David Clarke) is SO true! It’s a decision I often ask God to help me to keep in mind. I want to go the wise, godly way, above any other.
I’ve been reading the book, The Top 10 Most Outrageous Couples of the Bible, written by Dr. Clarke. In it, Abraham and Sarah, from the Bible, are one of the “outrageous” couples that are noted. We can definitely learn from their example, if we make the effort to look at the story of their lives, as the Bible lays it out for us. And Dr Clarke points that out for us.
Going in a Harmful Direction When Making Decisions
I often ask God to help me NOT pull a “Sarah.” By this I’m asking God to help me not to go ahead of what God would have me/us do. This is a true temptation we find ourselves in a waiting room experience.
Sometimes Sarah was patient and faithful in those types of situations. But she really caused problems for generations to come, when she wasn’t. And worldwide, we’re all paying the price for it.
Please let me explain. As you may remember, from reading the Bible, Sarah didn’t think God was moving in an obvious way on their behalf, concerning their inability to have a child. So she talked Abraham into having sex with their maid servant to give them a child that way, instead. I guess this was her way of “helping” God fulfill His promise. That was a BAD decision!
I hesitate to throw critical stones at Sarah. Most of us make bad decisions, at times, when we’re impatient. Or we make them when we think we can orchestrate things better or faster than God is apparently doing. I confess I’m guilty of this. What I/we forget, is that God may have another agenda in mind. It is one that is more important than what I think is vital in the whole scheme of things!
Stretching Our Faith While Making Decisions
For one thing, these types of situations actually strengthen our faith. And God may see that we need this. Even so, these faith stretching experiences sure are difficult to persevere through, no doubt! (And I mean that literally.)
Dr Clarke writes about some of the things he and his wife Sandy have learned. This especially concerns how to make decisions, “by studying Abraham and Sarah.” They obviously don’t want to “pull a Sarah” in their decision-making either. Here’s a portion of what he wrote, that we’ve also learned to implement when we are making decisions:
First Meeting. Sit down with your spouse and have an intitial discussion about the decision. Begin with prayer. Then, share-one at a time-your thoughts and feelings about the decision. Listen and reflect when your spouse is talking. You each share what you think and feel. But your main goal is to discover what God wants you as a couple to do. End this first meeting with another brief prayer, asking God to reveal His direction.
“Step Two: Just You and God.
In this step, you each agree to spend private time with God. Seek His will for the looming decision. This step could last several days to a week. You don’t talk to anyone else during this step.
“Step Three: Let’s Talk.
Now you get together and share what you learned during your time of seeking God’s will. If God reveals His direction to both spouses, the decision is apparent and the process is over. And if one spouse feels strongly that God has made His will clear, then the other spouse needs to discuss and pray about it. If the other spouse comes to believe that the decision is God’s will, the process is over. If not, go on to Step Four. ”
“Step Four: Seek Godly Counsel.
Go to people you know well and trust completely: pastor, a Christian counselor, a family member or a close friend. If possible, talk to these counselors together.”
To help you further with this issue, read the following on how to make better choices, when you’re faced with making decisions:
And then, if you’re having a particularly difficult time making decisions, perhaps you may need to consider:
It’s important to hold to the commitment to make our decisions in godly ways. We are not to panic “pulling a Sarah” where we run ahead of God, making decisions based on what makes sense to us.
Above all human logic, it is wise to stand, believing and walking in faith, according to what we read in James 1:2-8. We’re told to “ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” It is tough to wait for God’s directions to come to us when we want it NOW. But it’s important, none-the-less! He didn’t promise us immediate answers. He just promised us that He WILL give us answers, if we ask. Sometimes they are ones we want, and other times they are ones we may not want. But they’re the ones He knows we should have in the timing He gives them to us.
Making Decisions While in a Waiting Room Time of Life
Right now, Steve and I are in a “waiting room” time in our lives on many different levels. It’s so very difficult to wait on all we have before us right now. I’m the type who wants to have my “ducks in a row” where things makes sense and are put into a time frame that appears to be workable for me. But that doesn’t seem to be God’s plan for me (very often). I confess that I hate it, yet deep down I know this is a good and stretching experience for me. Like it or not, I need to persevere in waiting for God’s direction on important matters, as we head towards Steve’s retirement years, and in family situations, that are tough to wait upon; but that’s the way God is leading all of this.
I really do want to be “mature, not lacking anything” as we’re told in the Bible, concerning perseverance. But with Christian maturity, comes stretching, growing, and faith-walking. I admit that I’m not at my best in those types of situations, yet through it all, I’m learning what is needed, and am leaning upon God. As I’ve heard (and say many times), “it’s not just what you live through that’s important, but what you learn through, and pass along to others.”
I know that’s true… so I (and you) had best do what it takes to make decisions as God would have us, rather than steering things in directions that only makes sense from a human perspective, rather than God’s perspective. We need to “live through” and “learn through” these types of times. This is something I’m passing along to you because I sense that it’s important.
Lord, help us please!
Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this blog.
More from Marriage Missions
Filed under: Communication Tools