This “Go with God” moment is for seniors. Everyone can read it…but I want to draw in closer every senior who needs to make a life choice in the next 3-9 months. I know that many of you are in the midst of making decisions each and every day…about future jobs (read that as “real-life”), about classes (that can mean “to go or not to go” or a daily reality check, “Is there time to do all my homework for each class?”), about relationships (DTR or “Lord, should I end this?”). And on a Christian campus such as this, we call upon God regularly to “sanctify” our decisions if we only cover them with prayer; right?
How does one make the basic decisions in life, the big ones or even the seemingly banal daily ones? Last spring in the Monday Memo, I began a series of discussions of how Angie and I make decisions in our lives…but I never finished. Let me refresh your memories and then move carefully over the subject in the next few weeks.
There are hundreds of books which focus on this topic from a number of differing perspectives. There is the objective, “Let’s make a list of pro’s and con’s and then in the end make the most logical/practical decision. That would be perfect for the “thinkers” out there. Then there are folks who make most of their decisions in life based upon an intuitive sixth-sense. I agree that it’s certainly more than a what-feels-right approach. But it’s certainly hard to explain that one to Mom and Dad, isn’t it? Or to the dating partner whom you are breaking up with.
But I sense there is a middle ground, where you can make godly decisions incorporating both reason (for you thinkers) and intuition (for you feelers). It can be done by making decisions in advance long before you need to make them. You say, “How is that possible?” Well, let me give you an example from Romans 12:1-2:
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 subtly ask God to reveal His will to us first; then we decide if or how much we will obey. Let me be perfectly honest, if you are pondering whether or not to obey God, you are already in trouble. Interestingly, Godly decisions are not always the most practical nor the ones which appear on our intuitive radar-screen. To make godly decisions, we must order our lives (and our decision to obey His will) according to His Kingdom and its values. And being a Christ-follower means that we can do this in advance.
Over the years, Angie and I have tried to find a way to integrate what might be called Jesus-values into our family decisions. For in reality, the values which you orient your life around are at the core of all your decisions. Think about it. What you place your value in (rationally or intuitively) triggers all your actions/decisions. Jesus tells us this in the Sermon on the Mount, “Where your treasure is (read that as what you value) there your heart will be also (read that as decision). So if you will allow me, over the next few weeks, I will try to give examples of how these Jesus-values have assisted my own decision-making process.
May I encourage you this week to begin reflecting over what stands behind your decisions? What is it that you are treasuring/valuing that stands behind your decision?
BTW, I am attaching my entire set of values so you can see precisely where I am going with this entire series.
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
So we can follow with our hearts and our feet.
Now, “Go with God.”