From Across the Net: “Wrestling with Big Decisions”

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Focus on the Famly’s John Ortberg wrote a great piece titled “Wrestling with Big Decisions“. I found the following perspective helpful:

Indeed, for years after my “What should I do with my life?” conversations with God, I did not realize that what I had been actually looking for wasn’t so much “God’s will for my life.” What I was really looking for was a way to be relieved of the anxiety that comes with taking responsibility for making a difficult decision.

God is a door opener, not a celestial enabler.

What is your life?

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 13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. 17If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them. – James 4:13-17 (NIV)

The future is a blank canvas that we like to scribble all over. Ideas fueled by our imaginations, egos, and sometimes even greed paint glorious indecipherable doodles that don’t always line up with God’s will. We say to ourselves, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money. (James 4:13b)” Notice though, that in doing so, we have failed to bring God in on our future plans.

15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

I don’t think that we always intentionally leave God out. Dreams and ideas mixed with future planning can quickly become intoxicating, even overwhelming. No, I think that we get so caught up in planning out the future, that we do not realize just who gives us our dreams.

14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

Our world is full of distractions; distractions that beg for our time and that contribute to the numbness we feel towards the urgency clearly spelled out in Scripture. If our lives are but mist, why aren’t we taking everything to God in prayer?