You often hear me preach “Choose wisely,” so I was excited to see that on Day 8, we are focusing on decisions. We’ve spent the last week (re-)committing to a serious pursuit of revitalizing our relationship with God through spending the first 15 minutes of our day in our secret place with Him. And we’ve already learned one of the most important things we can do while there is to listen….so we can make wise choices. Let’s dig in to that a little more.
If you missed any of the earlier posts, take this time to catch up before continuing:
NOTE: I’m basing this challenge on my friend Bob Sorge’s book “Secrets of the Secret Place,” if you’d like to follow along. I bought this book the first night I met and heard Bob speak, and it was a real blessing at a time I was struggling to get back into a daily morning prayer and Bible-reading time. I highly encourage you to buy your own copy today. I promise it will be one of the best investments you make. (Buy it here now. It’s on sale!)
The What And How Of Our Decisions
God isn’t just concerned with what decisions we make….He’s concerned with how we make them. We can make the right choice, but have made that decision without consulting God. (Sometimes we just get lucky, I guess.) When we have a decision to make, especially an important one, we should follow Jesus example and go into our secret place. One of the most important decisions He made here was in choosing His apostles.
Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles… – Luke 6:12-13 NKJV
I guess even Jesus – God incarnate – knew He needed to be absolutely certain His choice was in line with God’s will….so He spent all night in prayer over it. It was probably one of the most important decisions ever made: choosing the twelve men who would change the world! Thank heavens we don’t have that kind of responsibility, right….because when was the last time we stayed up all night in prayer?
But just because we don’t have history-making decisions to make doesn’t make it any less important for us to seek God’s counsel. If anything, it’s even more important for us to consult God because we’re operating from a far-less insightful vantage point than Jesus was.
Don’t Be So Stubborn
Just like He was there for Jesus, God is always there for us. He is interested in every facet of our lives, and waits patiently to be invited into our decision-making process. The key word in that last paragraph is “invited.” Our pastor always used to say that God is a gentleman; He will not force His will upon you. From the moment He created mankind, God has allowed man free will in making decisions….even when we continually choose poorly. And He warns us repeatedly throughout Scripture against going our own way.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding, which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, else they will not come near you. – Psalm 32:8-9 NKJV
Much like a horse or mule, our natural inclination is one of independence. We’re just plain stubborn sometimes; set on doing it our way. We fail to remember that staying close to our Master will provide us the greatest safety and reward. God doesn’t want to guide us from a distance; He wants us to willingly draw near to Him and allow Him to direct our lives…for our own good. And the best way we can decipher His direction is through communion with Him in our secret place.
Do You Want To Be A Thermometer, Or A Thermostat?
When we run to our secret place to seek God’s counsel, we are seeking direction by looking upward, not outward. People who make decisions based on external data are just “thermometers of society: Their lives reflect the natural forces that shape their destiny. But those who make their decisions based upon what they see in God become thermostats of society: They influence their world through the forcefulness of bringing divinely received initiatives to bear upon this earthly sphere.”
The intimacy we develop with God in our secret place brings us insight into the choices laid out before us. And a passion to live in line with God’s will must come before He will disclose His direction to us. The two are inseparably intertwined, thus making the decision to join God in our secret place each morning before making any other decisions one of the most important decisions we can ever make. And we have to make it every single day.Intimacy precedes insight. Passion precedes purpose. - Bob Sorge, Secrets of the Secret Place Click To Tweet
Don’t Leave God In The Dust
We need to spend time in our secret place and wait on God’s direction, but once we hear from Him, we’d better not take off running, leaving Him in our dust. God doesn’t just want us to discover His will for our lives, and then go do it on our own. No! He wants to walk alongside us on the journey. It’s on the journey that we become more intimately acquainted with Him. And the closer we grow to Him, the easier it is to discovering exactly what He has purposed us for, and how we can best glorify Him through it.
So before you do anything else…..run to your secret place and ask God for His direction today. Ask Him to guide your steps. Ask Him to give you wisdom and discernment in whatever choices lie before you. You never know: One of those choices may change your life.