Not Many Wise -

Faith and spirituality in a modern world

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Decision making at the crossroads

Decision making time, a footpath sign pointing to the right.
Decision making time, a footpath sign pointing to the right.

So we could feel as if we’ve come to decision making at the crossroads.

Some ‘routes’ will shout louder than others, but they are not necessarily the best one.

So how do we choose?

The first question to ask ourselves may seem to be rather obvious, but it still needs to be asked:

a) Decision making: does it compromise our or other peoples consciences?

Proverbs gives us some sensible advice:

Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil men.
Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way.”
Proverbs 4:14-15

Jeremiah had some particularly good advice for making a decision (quoting what the Lord said):

Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Jeremiah 6:16

We may be feeling bombarded by all the new things, new ideas, new morals, so we just don’t know what to do, or which way to go.

b) Decision making: stand and look.

So the first bit of advice according to Jeremiah is ‘look’.

Stand and look, so don’t rush into it.

There is tremendous pressure to run headlong into everything these-days.
No! “Stand at the crossroads and look.” Wait!
Wait patiently!
Give time to this decision. While we look we can think things over.
We’re called to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.

I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.
Matthew 10:16

Let’s not spend years going along pathways that don’t particularly lead anywhere.

c) Decision making: ask!

The second thing to notice in the passage is:-  ‘Ask’.
Ask the Lord which is the right way to go. Ask a wise person.

Have you noticed about signposts that they always give a destination, or a road number, but they never show what the best way is, nor what the worst way is. The sign doesn’t tell us that if we go on this road, the car in front of us is going to have an accident!

But it is good to ask the Lord, and to trust Him that you will make the right decision.

d) Decision making: the ancient path and the good way

Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is…”

A footpath through the woods.The Lord is saying ask for the ancient path, so that means that not everything old is bad!

Where are the ancient paths?
The ancient paths and the good way, is found in the ancient Book:

I meditate on your ancient laws; O LORD, they comfort me.”
Psalm 119:52

Moses told the people:

So be careful to do what the LORD your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. Walk in all the way that the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.”
Deuteronomy 5:32-33

e) Decision making: trust in the Lord!

If we are putting God first in our lives then we can believe and trust that in His time He will steer us in the right direction.
That doesn’t mean we opt out of making decisions, because in all the choices we make we can trust that they are right.
And if we do take a wrong direction we can have the confidence to know that He will make that clear to us.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Proverbs 3:5-6

Peter Reason

February 2012

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