For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
We have two choices when making decisions in our lives. We can try to do it ourselves OR we can rely on God to help guide our path. If we chose to do it on our own, we are most likely basing our decisions on the limited knowledge we have at our disposal. We may base a decision on our past experiences, someone else’s guidance or what we “perceive” is a future benefit versus our current situation. That’s all well and good, but honestly by making a decision that way, we are basically “guessing”. Why is it a guess? Because unless our Magic 8 ball knows the future that’s what we’re doing. We are naturally weighing the pros and cons of the current situation and then we go with the weight of the evidence (or maybe our “gut”). Doesn’t sound like a bad way of making a decision I guess, but I’d argue there’s a better one.
What’s the “better” way of making a decision? How about consulting someone who already knows the outcome. For you see God is omnipresent, meaning He knows not only the past and the present but, most importantly, the future! If we believe in Jeremiah 29:11, then we know God has a plan for us, so why not ask him for direction when we encounter a decision. It’s pretty simple, pray. Just pray. By asking God for guidance, we are showing Him that we need Him, and “aren’t” trying to do it all on our own. Proverbs 3: 5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” The BEST part about this Bible verse is that even if we end up making an incorrect decision, God “promises” to straighten our path because He was included from the start. So, why don’t we all do this? Mostly because we are hardwired to try to solve our “own” problems. Anything other than that requires FAITH. Faith is trusting God that He knows what is best for us and will guide our path accordingly. What can get even more scary is when we are looking down a path that looks AWEFULLY uncertain. I recently encountered just such a situation back in December.
In December, I was asked by my employer to move from an area I really enjoyed living to an area about two hours away that I had no desire to move to. Not only was it an area I didn’t care to live in, but it would also put me almost five hours away from my parents (from the current three). At first, I declined their request. Quite honestly, I’m not sure how much praying I did on that first go around because “I” really didn’t want to move. However, a couple of weeks later they came back and asked me yet again as they really needed me there. This time, I did pray about it and asked for God’s guidance. Within the week, I felt that God did indeed want me in the new location so I agreed to move down. Over the next month of preparations, everything seemed to fall into place. From getting out of my current lease, finding a new place on an accidental “drive by”, to many other smaller “encouragements”, I felt this was the right decision. And most importantly, was the one God wanted.
Now, fast forward to three weeks ago. I moved into the new place and was feeling good about life and being led to be in the new locale. Then that first Monday there I find out I had moved into a zip code where I had to change health insurance which subsequently messed up my kids’ coverage. Then, over the next couple of days, came multiple client issues. All of this had me second guessing the move. Not only was I second guessing the move, but I started thinking that maybe I had “chosen” incorrectly and God was in the process of straightening my path. However, upon a long discussion with my father (a pastor for 34 years), I came to the conclusion that these incidents had more to do with satan trying to throw me off my path, than God trying to straighten it. This was now Wednesday night. I ended up scheduling some appointments back in my old stomping grounds that Friday and was debating about going up the rest of the way to see my folks. I decided that if I could set another appointment for Monday (on the return trip) then I’d head up, if I couldn’t then I wouldn’t. In the end, I was able to set that appointment Monday so up I went.
At this point you may be asking, “exactly what does this have to do with faith or following God’s will?”. Well, that very Sunday my dad started feeling sick. He didn’t think it was anything serious so was just going to stick it out until Monday morning. That was until an early evening text exchange with him, when I ended up telling him to get ready because I was taking him to the ER (I was about 5 minutes away at the time). I got back to his house and he was still in bed. He was once again thinking he’d just tough it out overnight and see his doctor in the morning. I insisted that he get up and go to the ER so he relented. To make a long story short, dad ended up being diagnosed with “sepsis” and was admitted to the hospital. If you know anything about sepsis, you know that one’s survival depends on how quickly you get treatment. With sepsis, "hours" matter! Dad is now at home recovering but had I not been there to coax him into the ER, and he had waited even a FEW more hours, that outcome may have been much different.
Here’s the bottom line. I trusted in God’s path for me “months” earlier. I agreed to move someplace I didn’t want to go, but one that I felt “He” wanted me to go. Had I not moved, I NEVER would’ve been at my parents that weekend and my dad may no longer be with us. How’s that for God knowing His plans for us and what can happen if you just have FAITH in Him. Who could’ve known, huh? Well lol, there was obviously ONE who did! And I praise Him for guiding my path these last few months as it probably saved my dad's life.
All for His glory folks. God is good.