Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Decisions decisions other

[so, when i was tidying out my room the other day, before i lacerated the top of my finger and had to stop, i found a handout from a CU meeting in my first year about decisions making. I don't actually remember much about the meeting itself (apart from lil rach at the beginning in the skit saying its ok to have three chocolate bars in a day because there are three members of the Trinity) and not all of it is relevant, but here's some/most of it]

First of all, what do we think of truth in general? What has sin done to our appreciation, our sense of truth. Romans 1:22 says that we have exchanged the truth about God for a lie, that we have claimed to be wise and actually become fools. We have 'leant on our own understanding' and have paid the price. We now live in a truth decay, where we can't trust our feelings, what we think, what we know. It's all tainted. Sure, this part of Romans deals with the truth of worship and of God, but if we can't get that right, then what hope have we got of getting anything right? Our thinking about God will affect our thinking about everything else.

So what will we do in light of this. In his books 'The Cross Centered life' and 'Living the Cross Centered life' CJ Mahaney talks about preaching to ourselves rather than listening to ourselves. Don't listen to your sinful, broken mind, tell it the wonderful truth. Feeling far from God? Tell your mind about Calvary. Not sure that Jesus loves you? Tell your mind about Calvary. Just woken up in the morning? Tell your mind about Calvary. Anyway, i've digressed do we fight the lies our mind tells us, how do we learn the truth, how to we live from day to day in the truth? We take our our Bibles, as we read.

1. Does the Bible speak specifically about my decision?
One of the most valuable things i learnt as a cell leader was that the Bible is a book about Jesus, and not about me. That the story of Jesus being tempted by Satan is a story about Jesus being tempted, not about how to respond to temptation. The Bible is the final authority on all things, God's infallible and Holy Word. We must listen to God through the Bible. Know God through the Bible. Enjoy and rejoice in God through the Bible. The Bible's great! Through God's Word and Spirit He will transform us, and this is how we'll deal with most of our decisions. As Christians we have chosen the truth about God and must seek to maintain that in life.

2. 'Guidance' or 'decisions'
These are two approaches taken by people committed to scripture and the Gospel. The Bible is clear on many things. Heartbreakingly so. But there are some vocational things (jobs, marrying) where its not so specific.

a) Guidance.
By the Holy Spirit, who's voice we hear through the Bible we can recieve inner prompting and peace on things that we need to make decisions over. We need to be careful with the whole 'peace' issue though i think. If God asks me to go to Iran tomorrow and preach the Gospel, i doubt i'd have peace about it, but that doesn't mean it wasn't the Holy Spirit telling me to go. So when we think we here His voice, weigh it up against scripture, seek wise council and decide. This way gives us an image of us as the sheep and Jesus as the shepard. But, if you 'feel God telling you' to do something that disagrees with are wrong!

b) Decision
When the Bible doesn't speak specifically about our situation we are simploy to seek to honour Him with all our heart. Through prayer, and application of scripture and the advice of others. This does raise the question though of whether there are anything more than occasional areas of direct influence in the Bible though. For what its worth i think that prayerful reading and application of the Bible with the guidance of the Holy Spirit and others is the best way. We need to seek first Him, with all our hearts and minds and souls.

Some common pitfalls in guidance (from Packer's 'Knowing God')
Unwillingness to think
Unwillingness to think ahead
Unwillingness to take advice
Unwillingness to suspect oneself
Unwillingness to discount personal magnetism
Unwillingness to wait.


Cat said...

I love the - 3 bars of choccy a day cos of the trinity...awsome!! I think we should promote that hehe

Good post btw!! Your always challenging..keep it up!

FloydTheBarber said...

LOL hello Cat.
I think only little rach could get away with that...also possibly Bish wasn't there :-)