We have choices to make every day. And if the truth be told, we would love to make all good choices. However, we will make some good and some bad choices this very day. The issue is that when we have a choice to make, we don’t see all of the consequences. How can we see all of the ramifications of every choice when we are limited by time and by our experience? We can only visualize certain outcomes that are within our experience or imagination. The most impactful part about this scenario is that some choices carry huge outcomes for us, for our destiny and for others.
So it’s very important that we look back at the track record of our choices, and make changes going forward so that we can make better ones. If we want to get to the end of our life without regret, we need to steer a strong course and not let every wind or current have their way with us.
Here’s an example from the lives of my pastors regarding a choice that was intimidating to make but had powerful consequences. 16 years ago, my pastors took over our church as the Senior Pastors. They had been living in Massachusetts but our church is in Maine. Just before the transition, they had purchased their dream home in Massachusetts and were now commuting up to Maine to lead our church. This commute was difficult but doable. Then came the season that our church was faced with the need to expand. There weren’t many options on the real estate market for the type of building that we needed and we had a time crunch due to our lease ending at our current building. In prayer one day, my pastor, Pastor Denise, clearly heard the Lord tell her that if she would sell her house in Massachusetts and move closer to the church, He would provide land and finances for the church to build a building rather than purchase an existing structure. Pastor Denise told Pastor Ron what the Lord had spoken and they put their house on the market right away. Within one week of putting their house on the market, the land that our church is built on came on the market. It’s a beautiful plot of land on the top of a lovely hill with a pastoral view of farms below.
But the story gets better.
As I said, the pastors had assumed that their Massachusetts house was their forever home, so when they purchased it, they sunk a lot of their savings into transforming the house and making great improvements. But the improvements were so new that real estate agents told them they would never get back all of the money that they had invested. However, the house sold for the right price and they recouped even more than they put in! And in a crazy turn of events, within a couple months after the sale of that home, the bottom fell out of the housing market in that part of Massachusetts. The house value plummeted and now, more than 10 years later, that house still has not come back up to the price that it was when the Lord told my pastors to sell.
I’m sure you’re already thinking this, but let me ask you: What would the end of this story be if they had postponed obeying the Lord when He spoke? What if they didn’t obey at all? What if they had made a different choice? The pastors would have lost money in an investment that still hasn’t recouped its value. And who knows if the land our church is built on would have come on the market? Making the choice to obey and to trust the voice of the Lord saved Pastor Ron and Denise thousands of dollars and also served them well as, for many years, they were living in the town where our church has flourished under their leadership.
- Do you have some important choice to make that is causing you to feel pressured and unsure? Do you want to make the right choice but doubt your ability to make the best decision?
- Have you ever made a choice that seemed crazy at the time but turned out well because you had peace and discernment about what to do?
- Do you ever have situations where you think, “Why did I do that?” or “Why DIDN’T I…?”
So while we can’t see the complete ramifications of our choices at the time that we make them, there is Someone Who does. The Lord not only sees the full picture, He also knows what’s best for us and wants to lead us there. Our problem is that we often let our EXTREMELY limited perspective make the final call rather than asking for direction from the eternal Fountain of Wisdom!
So today, let’s take a deep breath and ask God to guide us, to settle us down so that we can listen and hear His direction and to give us a willing and obedient heart to obey once we hear His direction.
LORD, today I’m going to be faced with choices. I’m only going to see the situation from my side. Please stop me and get my attention so that I don’t make the wrong choices thoughtlessly or realize what choice I should have made when the moment has passed. Impart godly wisdom to me and discernment to recognize when your spirit is leading and directing me. Even when a choice seems foolish in my mind, help me to follow your lead and choose your way. Help me to overcome the sin of rebellion and never again question whether You know what you’re doing as you speak to me about my choices. I’m done with second guessing the King of the Universe, the One who, because of love, died for me and rose from the dead. You are the God who is outside of time. I surrender my choices to you today and expect that they will bring You greater glory every day.