There are some decisions in life that carry a lot of weight such as our salvation, marriage, divorce, having children, adopting children, or moving to a foreign country. There are other decisions that are life changing but can be changed again without too severe implications such as changing jobs, buying a house, or even dating. The more life alternating a decision seems, the more stress we feel in making the right decision.
Yet again, if God’s Will is good, pleasing, and perfect and His Will is not meant to be difficult to discover and God can even use wrong decisions to work for the good of our character and for His ultimate strategy and plan …then the question arises whether we are putting too much weight on our decisions?
If God made it simple for us to make the greatest decision in our life, which is our salvation, why would He make other decisions so difficult? In Matthew 11, Jesus talked about how astonishing it was that so many people did not repent after the clear signs and messages from John the Baptist. The simplicity of his message was to “Repent” as opposed to trying to achieve salvation by following the over 660 laws implemented by the religious leaders. Jesus went on to praise God for revealing His plan of salvation in such simple terms and requirements that even infants could understand. He says:
“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28-30)
Relax. Calm down. Don’t stress. That’s the message here. The New Testament is full of encouragement about getting rid of anxiety, worry, and fear because God is in control and He cares about you. Jesus talks about how God cares for the sparrows and provides them with food. God cares more for you because you are a part of His creation who was created into the likeness of His own image. Therefore, He’ll care and provide for you too.
Look at the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? … So, don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat? ‘ or ‘What will we drink? ‘ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For the idolaters eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. 34 Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt. 6:26, 31-34)
Now Jesus isn’t saying that we don’t need to think about tomorrow or make any future plan. There is value in creating plans and goals. However, as we plan, it shouldn’t cause us anxiety, worry, fear, and despair. Nor should we plan without understanding that God may have other plans. Be flexible. James puts the balance like this:
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.” 14 You don’t even know what tomorrow will bring– what your life will be! For you are like smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes. 15 Instead, you should say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” (James. 4:13-15)
PAUSE AND PRAY
Take a few moments and think about how much pressure you put on yourself for your decisions. Ask God for forgiveness if you’ve put little significance in His level of care for you for your future. Write out some Scripture that encourages you to not worry or fret and place them in places you can be reminded of God’s love and provision.
This is part of a 4 week devotional plan for the series “Figuring Out God’s Will.” For complete details, see here.