Archives for posts with tag: decision making

outoforderYou see this sign and what do you immediately know: something isn’t working correctly or is broken and needs to be repaired.

I was reading an article by Mike Adams on Townhall.com when I began to think of other ways we are hurt by getting things out of order. You’ve heard the old expression, ‘getting the cart before the horse’, but putting things in that order really is a funky way of moving a cart around, especially if it’s loaded.

Putting feelings before our will/our faith.  Feelings or emotions are the last things that should guide any decisions we make or conclusions we draw.  When we forsake our will and its adherence to the Truth of God’s Word to how we feel about people and things, we will always fall short of the truth. How? By focusing our aim on something that falls short to begin with. Not one of us is perfect or completely right so why would I allow my will to settle for falling short because I might feel better about it.  In the end, feelings don’t account for much. If I feel great about myself but I don’t trust Jesus, I’m still lost even though I feel good about where I am. If I feel terrible about myself but I don’t trust Jesus, I’m still lost even though I’ll be depressed when I die. Have faith in God and let your feelings follow.

Putting the praise of people ahead of the praise of God. This is a close cousin of  putting feelings ahead of our faith. Who is going to validate your life? Who tells you you’re good? If it’s people, know that you will be aiming at a moving target for what is an approved response.  If it’s God, know that the standard you seek to attain will be the same: yesterday, today, and forever, though not popular at given times, seasons, or places.

Putting convenience before our commitments. How many good things could we have accomplished if we didn’t give in to procrastination or momentary laziness?  How many times have we excused ourselves from following commitments by saying we will catch up to them later?

Making decisions and commenting on subjects before seeking the Lord in prayer.  How many complaints and conflicts can be diffused before they begin by simply asking the complainer or the conspirator, “How have you been praying about this?”  “What part of the Scripture led you to this conclusion or course of action?”

If you would like to add to this list, please do. How do things get out of order in your life or in the lives of ones you love?  Help me know where the turn-around battle needs to be fought.

Remember, being out of order is meant to be a temporary situation. There is nothing, by grace through faith, that can’t be restored or turned around.

truthIn John, chapter ten, Jesus makes a declaration: “Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.  They will come in and go out, and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10: 9 – 12)

Then, Jesus describes his disposition: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10: 13) Four more times after this verse Jesus emphasizes that as the good shepherd, he will lay down his life for the sheep, and that he does this willingly and because of love. Jesus has the authority to lay his life down and to raise it up again.

Then, the division and schism from Jesus is exposed. There is a divorce between the Jesus’ deeds, miracles, and example and his death and resurrection. There is a divorce between Jesus’ deeds, miracles, and teaching from his divine claims. Sadly, people today are still pursuing these terms of divorce trying to follow Jesus’ earthly ministry but not following him all the way to the cross and to the empty tomb. There are those still trying to promote his teachings, his exemplary deeds, and miracles but not the reason he had authority to do them.

Why pursue and maintain these terms of divorce? It gives you a reason not to follow Jesus as the LORD HE IS and instead continue to talk like the Pharisees did, as if there is some big, suspenseful unknown about Jesus that if we could have explained, then we would follow him with all that we are or ever hope to be.

There is a decision with which we are left to make. Keep on trying to pick and choose to follow aspects of Jesus or just follow Jesus.

Decide wisely.

 

When we are afraid, it is best if we don’t make important decisions based on our fears. Instead, the Lord shows us through Jacob that we should lead with our gifts.

There is no denying the fear Jacob felt when he heard the news that Esau was coming to meet him and their reunion would be accompanied by 400 men who came with Esau. In his fear, Jacob divided his people into two bands, thinking if Esau attacks one, perhaps the other can escape.

But, then Jacob slowed down his thinking and spent some time before the Lord in prayer. It was after a night of prayer, Jacob “selected a gift for his brother Esau: two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, thirty female camels with their young, forty cows and ten bulls, and twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. He put them in the care of his servants, each herd by itself, and said to his servants, ‘Go ahead of me, and keep some space between the herds’.

He instructed the one in the lead: “When my brother Esau meets you and asks, ‘Who do you belong to, and where are you going, and who owns all these animals in front of you?’ then you are to say, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob. They are a gift sent to my lord Esau, and he is coming behind us.’ ”  He also instructed the second, the third and all the others who followed the herds: “You are to say the same thing to Esau when you meet him.  And be sure to say, ‘Your servant Jacob is coming behind us.’ ” For he thought, “I will pacify him with these gifts I am sending on ahead; later, when I see him, perhaps he will receive me.”

So Jacob’s gifts went on ahead of him, but he himself spent the night in the camp.” (Genesis 32: 13 – 21)
Leading with our gifts means we move things forward based on what we have instead of what we don’t have. Leading with our gifts is meant to work the same way as leading with love; they’re meant to cover and bridge the distances between us. Leading with our gifts can be risky as we offer our best first but learn from Jacob that the offering of our gifts can be portioned out and shared sequentially.
Don’t get stuck as Simon Sinek points out, “only able to see what keeps us from what we want.” Lead with your gifts as you set your sights and focus upon what you want.