Character Trait No. 14
Definition: Making all decisions based on the perfect will of God.
“And if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your father’s served which were beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Josh. 24:15)
God has granted man the awesome power of choice, which He considers so valuable that He will not override it even to save us from the never-ending tortures of hell! Man is an autonomous being whose final destiny lies within his own hands. Every day we make innumerable choices, whether good, bad, terrible, or excellent. Our choices count! We are not to be apathetic and careless about them. Calvinists, atheists, Hindus, Moslems and other religious orders are all fatalists. “Insha Allah” - (Arabic for “God’s will”) – is a phrase describing everything that happens. Yet God’s permissive will is much different than His actual desire for us. For example, Jesus said God permitted divorce because of the hardness of their hearts. (Matt.19) God’s original plan was one man and one woman together for life, referring to Adam and Eve. God allows many things to take place on earth that grieves His Spirit and displease Him greatly. BUT judgement will fall someday, on that great and terrible day of the Lord! He’s just giving time for sinners to freely volunteer for inclusion in Christ’s kingdom of righteousness without any coercion.
In order to be decisive – “to make all of our decision based on the perfect will of God” – we must know just what His perfect will is. This means we must be completely submitted to Christ and disconnected from the world’s pattern. For instance, the Israelites had to leave the valley of the Nile and go into the wilderness of denial, (of fleshly indulgence). We must be removed from the flesh-pots of Egypt (worldliness), and then disciplined and trained. Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness after his immersion, being tested by suffering and Satan. A virtual reprogramming of our minds is necessary. First we must be de-bugged of the world’s destructive brain viruses. Then according to Romans 12:2, “we may prove what is the will of God, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Perfect men are men who follow God’s perfect will as revealed in the Scriptures. (Phil.3: 15)
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, that the man of God (every Christian) may be adequate (complete or perfect – helios – in Greek), equipped for every good work.” (II Tim. 3:16-17)
Thus we see that, true decisiveness arises from having a perfect knowledge of God’s perfect will. That’s why David repeatedly taught Solomon to search for wisdom as for hidden treasures in the Proverbs. The acquiring of wisdom equals LIFE. (Prov.8: 35) The more knowledge we get, the more decisive we become in every situation.
“And I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ.” (Phil. 1:9-10)
To be decisive is the opposite of being double-minded. We must not have any room for sinful thoughts. A decisive man hates sin and loves God. He chooses the right path – usually the harder way – without hesitation or second thoughts. Once committed to a decision, he follows through to the end, no matter what it takes to accomplish the goal. He doesn’t constantly fret over all the “what –ifs” and “might-have-beens”. Using James 1:5 as his guide, he expects wisdom to be granted from above, and acts according to that assumption. Therefore he gets things done - without getting tied up in a million knots. A great king can accomplish much more much faster than any other form of government for this reason. (The problem is when a bad king comes into power, he also can get much done, but its evil things that he’s getting done.) A king is not tied up in bureaucratic red tape. Likewise, churches with an experienced, true-to-the-Bible evangelist can move fast in accomplishing much. All the better when Biblical elders are available as part of the leadership team.
God needs decisive people. Fathers especially need this quality to lead their families in these ungodly, permissive days. Mothers likewise, particularly in setting daily schedules and disciplining strong-willed tykes. Teachers and business leaders need such decisiveness. Disciples must not hesitate in seeking perfect obedience to God’s entire will for their lives. He who he hesitates is lost! The times are perilous and demand men and women of action. The proper daily utilization of time is a real test of our decisiveness.
“Therefore, be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil. So then, let us not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
Here are some hints to help you be decisive:
- Make an overall plan, then work the plan. Short term, mid-term and long term goals.
- Stick with your plan long enough to give it a real trial as to its effectiveness.
- Make a list of pros and cons about any major decision, then decide yes or no, do or don’t, stay or go.
- Ask advice from a good source, but only if you are willing to follow it!
- Simplify your life and set simple, measurable, and realistic goals.
- Divide the essential from the non-essential. What must you do daily, weekly, and monthly? Our preferences and selfish desires often become “weights that so easily entangle” us. (Heb.12:1)
- Always obey any strong urgings of the Spirit. These will never contradict Scripture or be morally or ethically wrong.
- Keep a time schedule and budget. All further choices should take this into careful consideration, or you’ll end up “robbing Peter to pay Paul.”
- Let your “yes” be “yes” and “no” be “no”. Don’t vacillate (waver) unless there are very good reasons to change your mind.
- Pray and ask for Jesus to help you choose right and be a decisive person.
Remember that the road to hell is often paved with the “asphalt” with good intentions. “I thought” is not the same as “I did”. Also, knowing what the will of God is demands courage, conviction and strong determination. Above all, we need to be good. Our goodness by loving God and doing His will, is the key to having the wisdom that we need to always choose the perfect way. Goodness proceeds, and outweighs in importance, knowledge. Knowledge alone can just make us clever devils!
Above all, let us have the moral excellence that Christ gives, and then build our knowledge on top of it. Then we will have the ability to make the moral choices necessary to be perfect, as our Heavenly Father is perfect. Any man of average intelligence can figure out what is right and wrong and understand the Bible. Few there are, that have the will to do the right. More information is not needed, usually, for these people, but backbone and love of God and His goodness.
BE DECISIVE AND GET THINGS DONE TO THE GLORY OF CHRIST!
“HOW LONG WILL YOU HESITATE BETWEEN TWO OPINIONS?? IF THE LORD, IS GOD, FOLLOW HIM; BUT IF BAAL, FOLLOW HIM.” (I Kings 18:21)