Making God-honoring decisions.

So the Israelites examined their food, but they did not consult the Lord. Then Joshua made a peace treaty with them and guaranteed their safety, and the leaders of the community ratified their agreement with a binding oath. – Joshua 9:14-15

God told Moses to instruct the Hebrews to not make any alliances with the people of Canaan, for they were to all be destroyed. However, after Joshua led Israel in the defeats of Jericho and Ai, a group of men from nearby Gibeon came to make a peace treaty with Israel. They knew of God’s directive to wipe out all the inhabitants of the land, so the people of Gibeon deceived Israel into thinking they were from a faraway land. Joshua and the elders of Israel proceeded to make a peace treaty with these men  but did so without consulting God first. Because Israel took matters into their hands, they were deceived and now bound to protect the people of Gibeon in spite of God’s command to destroy them. Why? Because Israel had taken an oath in the name of God to protect these people. Breaking the oath was more devastating than not following God’s command because they’d invoked the very name of God in their oath to protect Gibeon.

Isn’t it absolutely amazing the trouble we get ourselves into when we don’t consult the LORD our God first? Joshua had been given clear commands not to make any treaty or alliance with any of the peoples within Canaan. Here was this mighty warrior, who studied under the tutelage of Moses, heard and saw great miracles from his young adulthood, and for 40 years in the wilderness saw enemies defeated, disobeyed God in making a peace treaty with the enemy. One lie tricked him and an entire nation into breaking God’s command. It bound them by oath to protect the enemy!

Have you ever said or done something that you knew was in direct violation of God’s command? Even more so, have you ever been deceived by someone into doing something that turned out to be against God’s word because you failed, like Joshua, to inquire of the LORD himself before proceeding? I have! I don’t know about you. When I have done this, it never turned out well for me or anyone else involved save the person who deceived me.

Not so many weeks ago Pastor Barry Clardy of Princeton Pike Church of God taught a message on making God-honoring decisions. There are 8 steps involved in doing so, they are the following:

  1. Pray for guidance;
    1. Prov 28:26 – He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who lives by wisdom will escape.;
  2. Get the facts;
    1. Prov 13:16 – Wise people think before they act; fools don’t—and even brag about their foolishness.
    2. Prov 18:13 – Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish.
    3. Prov 23:23 – Get the truth and never sell it; also get wisdom, discipline, and good judgment.
  3. Ask for advice;
    1. Prov 24:6So don’t go to war without wise guidance; victory depends on having many advisers.
  4. Set your goal;
    1. Prov 17:24 – Sensible people keep their eyes glued on wisdom, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.
    2. Frustration causes us to take risk.
    3. Don’t take risk just to prove yourself.
  5.  Count the cost;
    1. Prov 25:25 – Good news from far away is like cold water to the thirsty.
    2. A calculated risk.
    3. Is it necessary to make this decision?
    4. What will it cost?
    5. Is it worth it?
    6. Count the cost.
  6. NEVER make a decision when you’re tired.
    1. Plan for problems.
    2. A bad day isn’t a bad life.
    3. Don’t let your problem define your decision.
    4. Don’t ignore your problems because they won’t ignore you.
  7. Face your fears;
    1. Prov 29:25 – Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety.
    2. We hate to admit we’re afraid.
    3. You can’t play close to fire without getting burned eventually.
  8. Go for it!
    1. If you done all of the above and God’s word is in your heart, proceed forward!

Are you facing a decision today, as if none of us never have to make a decision for we make them all day every day, that requires much and will impact the rest of your life? Don’t proceed further until you’ve sought out the mind of Christ and what our Father wills for your life. Your choice today will impact the rest of your future.

There is one decision we all need to make that will definitely impact not just the rest of our earthly future but for all eternity. Do you have a personal relationship with the Almighty God and Creator of the universe? He gave his one and only Son, Jesus, to pay the debt you and I owed for our wrongdoings. There was no humanly possible way for this debt to be paid, It took the perfect, unstained by sin blood of Jesus to be shed during the excruciating death he suffered on the execution stake, the cross. The word of God is clear, those who believe in their heart that God’s Spirit resurrected (brought back to life from the grave) Jesus and confess with their mouths, “Jesus is LORD,” will be saved! There is no other name given under heaven among men by whom we must be saved, that name is JESUS! Have you believed in your heart and confessed with your mouth the above things? This decision to accept or reject this gift will determine your destiny. “For the wages of sin is death [eternal separation from God in a devil’s hell], but the gift of God is eternal life [spending eternity with God] through Jesus Christ our Lord.” The choice is yours. You have the knowledge to make your first God-honoring decision that WILL impact your eternity. I leave it between you and your Creator.

Father, I’ve tried for the last two months to make nothing but God-honoring decisions by heeding the word above from your servant Barry Clardy and the written account of your holy Scriptures. Forgive me for the choices, any choice, I’ve made that has not brought you glory and honor, even those made when no one was around but you and me. Help me to never again make the mistake that Joshua made and take matters into my hands, especially without consulting you. Teach me the discipline and dedication that Jesus had the night of the arrest in Gethsemane when he cried out to you three times, “Nevertheless, not my will but your will be done.” Father, I know the mission you’ve set me out on in our nation’s capital. It’s more than just working a job but facing the leaders of our day and warning them of the things to come, the judgment on America if she doesn’t turn from her wicked ways, and the fate of our leaders for abandoning your people, Israel. Have mercy upon those who thumb their noses at you and spit on your word, but LORD I lift up your name for all the world to hear of how great and marvelous you are! Ingrain in me the practice of always making God-honoring decisions, so that the consequences of my actions only bring blessing from obedience to you and not the curse of disobedience. I know that I must live with the consequences of my actions, thoughts, and decisions. Let them only be according to your Word and your Will that I may live in your blessing and protection. To you be all glory, honor, power, and praise! In Jesus’ name, Amen.