No matter how young or how elderly we are, there are junctures in all of our lives when the path we are walking on ends and a decision must be made as to what new path we will choose to travel on.
When we are driving in a car and come to a traffic roundabout, the road we are on ends as we enter the roundabout. We then have to decide which exit to take on the roundabout, or we will just keep going in a circle and never get to a destination. Our destination brings about the decision for us as to which exit we have to take on the roundabout in order to progress on our new road.
There are a few different ways of making the important decision of where to go and what to do; however, only one way is guaranteed to be a success:
- We can make the decision on our own based on whatever we choose to make as the most important reason(s) for making the decision (i.e. a feeling, calculated facts, finances, probability of success, etc.).
- We can make the decision based on what other people say (the majority, someone who means a lot to us, a wise close friend, etc.).
- The only way to make the decision so that it is guaranteed to be a Godly success is to make the decision based on what God tells us to do.
In Jeremiah 42, all the commanders of the forces and all of the people approached Jeremiah the prophet. They asked him to pray to the Lord, “That the Lord your God may tell us the way in which we should walk and the thing we should do.” (Jeremiah 42:3) Jeremiah did as they asked. He prayed to the Lord and received an answer for them.
The people promised Jeremiah that if the answer from God was pleasant or unpleasant that they would listen to the voice of the Lord and would obey Him so that it would go well with them.
When faced with decisions, will we really do what God tells us even if it is unpleasant? In Jeremiah 42, the people disobeyed after they heard the voice of the Lord from Jeremiah. They broke their promise.
What if God asks us to do something that is very difficult, and we know we are incapable of doing it? What if what God asks us to do negatively impacts our financial future? What if we have to move away from family and friends? What if the path He leads us on has many lonely days?
What if people make fun of us? What if we are persecuted and lied about? What if no other person on earth understands, and we have to walk the path totally alone except for with God? What if it is a path where we have to carry our cross and lay down our lives as Jesus did? What if …. ? What if …. ?
Will we do as God asks no matter what the cost?
In making the decision to follow God no matter the cost, you may ask, “Does God really have a good plan for my life even if what He asks is unpleasant?” The answer to that question is yes.
” ‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.’ “ (Jeremiah 29:11)
God does have a good plan for ALL concerned. God’s Word is full of promises He made to His people telling them that His plans are good. God’s very character is good, and God is love. God cannot lie. He is the Good Shepherd who laid down His life. He knows what is best for us and asks us to follow His example in submitting our wills to the Father.
Jesus modeled a life of saying yes to His Heavenly Father no matter the cost. Nothing about going to the cross to die was pleasant. His life was unpleasant according to our earthly way of thinking.
Jesus was deeply grieved about having to go to the cross and asked His Abba (Father) to take away the path of the cross, “… yet not what I will, but what You will.” (Mark 14:36) On the roundabout of life, Jesus did ask for a different exit but submitted His will to His Father’s and took the exit His Father asked Him to.
God’s plan was for good for ALL in Jesus going to the cross. God’s plan gave us all a future and a hope in the death of Jesus on the cross; however, it was very unpleasant for Jesus while on earth; however, His reward in Heaven is great!
The only successful decisions in life are the ones where we surrender our will to God and have Him make the decision. When we say, “God – Where do I go? What do I do?”, and then when we receive the answer obey it; that is the road to a Godly successful life – a life with God’s purpose in mind – a life that God planned for us before we were born.
God’s ways are so much higher than ours. He sees the very big picture clearly which takes into account all time, all people and every little detail that our minds could not even begin to calculate. How could we know the effect one of our decisions may have on someone perhaps one hundred years in the future? God knows the beginning and the end.
“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14)