Saturday, March 22, 2008

February 11, 2008

A "Go with God" moment

How do you make decisions? There are a multitude of models and a plethora of books on the subject. Maybe in an attempt to be objective in the matter, you make a check list of pros and cons. How about strengths vs. weaknesses. If you are business-like you may employ the SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). Some of you resonate with this logical approach (otherwise known as left-brained thinkers) while others of you make decisions based upon your heart. Let’s call it a more intuitive approach (that’s you right-brained, feeling folks). You may be one of the folks who look at the whole picture rather than sub-dividing it into smaller decisions.

I also know that many of you are in the midst of making decisions each and every day…about jobs (summer or for you seniors, real life employment), classes (that can mean “going or not” or is there time to do all my homework), relationships (DTR trumps all this week with Valentines Day). And on a Christian campus such as this, God is called upon to “sanctify” these in lieu of other alternatives.

But there may be a middle ground, where you can make godly decisions incorporating both reason and intuition. It can be done in part by making decisions in advance. You say, “How is that possible?” Well, let me give you an example. In Romans 12:1-2, we read
“I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-- this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-- his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Did you read carefully the cause-and-effect relationship in the passage? When we make a decision in advance to offer ourselves to God THEN we will know what His will is! Our real problem is that our decision-making process usually functions in the reverse. We tell God to reveal His will THEN we decide if we will obey. In honesty, if we are pondering whether or not to obey God, we are already in trouble. To make godly decisions, we must order our lives (and decisions) according to His Kingdom values. And being a Christ-follower means that we will do so in advance.

Over the years, I have tried to find a way to integrate Jesus-values into a personal list to help in making decisions, both big and small. So if you will allow me, over the next few weeks, I will try to give examples that I have implemented into my own decision-making process. I call them life-values. The first two set the groundwork for all the others.

1.Transformation: I believe in the power of a transformed life. I will never forget where I have come from: a sinner saved by grace. However, with the empowerment of the Spirit of God, I will not allow my “past” to prevent Christ from fully reshaping His image within me.
2. Integrity: I will display before all people my transparent self. I will not worry about what I can not control. Rather, I will work on what I can control; first and foremost myself.

May we see what You see
May we honor what You honor
May we love what You love
May we value what You value
May we decide in advance to follow You.
Now Lord, tell us where we are going.

Now, Go with God

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