RESTING FOR CLARITY
Maybe I've told you this before - not totally sure - but decision-making is not my strong point –not even a little. I believe the struggle comes partly because the decisions in my day are many and the options seem overwhelming. In a family of five, there are always things to decide upon. Things like where to eat, what to wear, what time to leave for the game, what to get from the grocery store –and on and on the list goes. I would say the majority of decisions are not life-altering ones, so at the end of the day, maybe they matter and maybe they don’t. But what about the not-so-insignificant ones –those that are largely impactful for myself and the ones around me?
"In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor". Luke 6:12-16
Here we see that Jesus was preparing to make one of the most important decisions He would make while on this earth. He knew His time was limited and He needed a group of men that could take over His mission after He returned to His Father in Heaven. The Bible tells us that the first thing that Jesus did before making this decision was that he went out to the mountain to pray. Not for a few minutes or a few hours we see in these verses that in fact all night he continued in prayer to God. The Son of God recognized the importance of gaining clarity, peace, and assurance from God the Father.
And as I read this, I am overwhelmed by conviction over the inadequate way that I sometimes make decisions. After fretting, worrying, stressing, and debating, I choose a route based on my current knowledge and understanding. Here Jesus gives us a beautiful picture of decisiveness –step away, pray, and rest. Seek God and His truths and lean not on our own limited understanding.
I don’t know about you, but my guess is if this decision that Jesus made had been left to me, I surely would have messed it up. I more than likely would have chosen the most educated, well-spoken men to carry on for me when I left. These were not the men that Jesus chose. He didn’t base His decision on their education, job title, or level of sophistication. In all actuality, He chose men that would follow Him boldly and more importantly men who could lead others that followed. Their recognition of their dependence on Him mirrored Jesus’ recognition of His need for His own Father.
Meaningful rest in God is a vital part of our relationship with Him. It involves surrender and trust in His perfect plan all the while allowing the Holy Spirit to step into even our most difficult decisions and speak truth. How much different would our days look if every decision was made by stepping away and resting in prayer with God? My guess is that the worrying and stressing that I’ve been doing would quickly show its ineffectiveness. And in its place, I could rest confidently because the God of the Heavens and Earth is guiding me step by step.
“Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.” Hebrews 4:11
But just as with most things –this takes intentionality. And without it often we find ourselves making decisions that are not pleasing to God. We opt out of resting in Him and we find ourselves on a path that God never intended for us to be on. The hard truth is that when we make decisions without asking for guidance from the Holy Spirit, it’s most often not only our lives that are left in a mess.
So today, whatever decisions you may be faced with, my heart is to encourage you to step away from the busyness of the world and rest in Christ. Seek Him and His plan and just rest knowing that He is fully capable and willing to bring clarity to even the most difficult decisions.
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