Hot Wheels were a staple of my childhood. Even cooler than Hot Wheels were the cars that were sort of remote control, but not really. The ones that had their own track – you just placed the car on the track in these little metal grooves and watched them go around. I think they were called slot cars? You didn’t really control where the cars were headed, they were at the mercy of where ever the track led, but you did control how fast they got there.
I remember being able to hold them just above the track and pressing the button to watch sparks fly. That was pretty awesome. They probably don’t make them like that anymore since it’s probably a safety hazard or something.
Inevitably, friends and I would get them going so fast that they would fly off the track and into the other room at a pretty high rate of speed. We’d go find them and then do it all over again.
When it comes to God’s calling on our lives I think we too often think about it being laid out like one of those slot car tracks. I’m either in the grooves of the track or I’m not, and for moral decisions I think that’s true. We are either living the way God called us to through the Bible or we aren’t. It’s either sin or it’s not. But that’s not what I want to write about today. What about the “life” decisions that we all have to make. Where should I work? Who should I marry? Where should I live?
God gave us free will so that we could have a relationship with him. He could have made us into robots who followed his every command, but he didn’t. We can make decisions on our own. And that has meant a bit of uncertainty. What if I make the wrong choice? Will God leave me? Will he let me fly off the track and hang me out to dry if I choose against what he wants?
The answer to that question is no, he won’t bail on us, but I’ll come back to that.
God does have a plan for our life, but that plan doesn’t read like an instruction manual, it reads more like a novel. Where God’s story and his heart are woven into every aspect of ours. God works in and through every situation in our life to tell his story in our lives.
What matters is God is a part of every decision we make and everything we do. We go to him in prayer – which is as much listening as it is talking if not more so – we read scripture to be reminded of what God is doing all around us everyday and look for wisdom that we can apply to our situation, and then if the decision isn’t clear then we move carefully listening and keeping watch out for him to lead us. God has even given us a helper for these moments…
“15 “If you love me, obey my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. 18 No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you.” John 14:15-18
He will not leave us. He will work in every decision anywhere and anytime as long as we are seeking after him. That’s what matters. It may be saying “God, I don’t know if I’m heading in the right direction, but I’m going to bring you honor and glory in whatever direction I’m headed.” And then do just that.
If God wants us to be somewhere or to do something he will make sure that we get there. Remember Jonah and the whale? God wanted Jonah to go and say some things to some people, and because he fought Him and wouldn’t do it, a whale swallowed him and took him where God wanted him to be.
God used a whale… to swallow him… and put him right where God wanted him to be.
Even when we fight him and don’t listen he still has his way. As crazy as that story is, we can take rest in knowing that God will get us where we need to be.
I hope it doesn’t take being swallowed by a whale for any of us to do what God has called us to do, but rest assured if that’s what it takes then I hope you don’t get seasick.
Here are the things I try to do to for decisions I’m facing, especially the bigger ones…
1. Pray – Pray hard and pray often. Don’t forget to listen for God, it’s easy to just talk his ear off. It’s his opinion that matters not ours.
2. Read Scripture – What does God say about the problem or choice you are making? You’d be amazed at how much you can glean from the bible.
3. Seek out Christians you trust – Find someone who follows Jesus and whom you trust and bounce your thoughts off them. Don’t make your decision based on their thoughts, but maybe they can offer a different perspective.
4. Make a choice and live with it for a few days – It’s not always possible to do this, but it can be extremely helpful. When you think you are at the point of a decision being made, make the choice, keep it to yourself for a few days, but live like the decisions been made and see how that goes. If you can’t shake the feeling that you’ve made the wrong choice then head back to the drawing board and repeat the above steps.
5. Put God first – No matter what decision you make, seek to glorify God in it all. Make Him famous in whatever situation you find yourself walking into.
Is any of this helpful to you? What do you do when faced with a big decisions? Feel free to share your opinions and thoughts below! Thanks for reading!