Decisions Follow Us
You and I make decisions affecting the next moment of life every day. We cannot escape decision-making and these critical moments reveal to the world around us who and Whose we are.
The Apostle Peter reflects this. Peter was most compulsive, telling us his desire to please the Lord and the people around him. He jumped into the waves because he wanted to demonstrate his personal desire to follow Christ, but he denied the Lord three times for fear of being considered among those who were following Christ. Far too often we are quite critical of this man, but we are just as he was. Sometimes our well-meaning choices tell us who and Whose we are. Both of Peter’s choices in this example demonstrate this fisherman was committed to Jesus and belonged to Him as well.
Solomon writes this truth, “A person will be satisfied with good from the fruit of his words, and the work of his hands will be rendered to him. The way of a fool is right in his own opinion, but the one who listens to advice is wise.” Proverbs 12:4-5 NET2. We will be content with what our reactions because most of us will ‘stand by what we have said,’ come Hell or high water.’ This is so because of our selfish pride and we cannot escape the words we speak nor the actions we take as a result. However, our opinions are what they are; free and of no expense to another, until we act upon those opinions. There is a very important note we must not overlook, “the one who listens to advice is wise.” Our counselors are important to us, especially the advice coming from those who have decades of life experiences under their belts. Be careful to whom you listen, but those who have been around for a while are able to tell us much…whether we agree or not.
Reading the stories about the lives of King Saul and King David will tell us a great deal about wisdom and following the advice of those around us. Saul proved to be a miserable fool and Samuel said to him, “Does the Lord take pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as he does in obedience? Certainly, obedience is better than sacrifice; paying attention is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and presumption is like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the Lord’s orders, he has rejected you from being king.” Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have disobeyed what the Lord commanded and your words as well. For I was afraid of the army, and I obeyed their voice. Now please forgive my sin. Go back with me so I can worship the Lord.”1 Samuel 15:22-25. We must be attentive to the direction of God and follow His advice.
David, even though his actions proved to be fatal because of poor decisions, we know he was completely committed to following His God. Even though his sin with Bathsheba followed him for many years, David never stopped following and worshiping God. Psalm 32 most likely was written by David as wasPsalm 51. In 51:10-12 we find these words of wisdom, “Create for me a pure heart, O God. Renew a resolute spirit within me. Do not reject me. Do not take your Holy Spirit away from me. Let me again experience the joy of your deliverance. Sustain me by giving me the desire to obey.”
We must understand our righteousness is not the result of our actions. Our righteousness is the result of our love for and submission to God. We who claim to follow Christ must never stop serving and worshiping Him. Indeed, we cannot because we belong to Him, we are His possession. “ What then shall we say about these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Indeed, he who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, freely give us all things? Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is the one who will condemn? Christ is the one who died (and more than that, he was raised), who is at the right hand of God, and who also is interceding for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will trouble, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we encounter death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us! For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor heavenly rulers, nor things that are present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:31-39.
Reading about David’s life demonstrates why he was called a man after God’s own heart, but also reveals us as being Followers of Christ who are also after God’s own heart.
Jesus is Lord.