Elmer Towns and John Maxwell
Our personal success in our Christian lives will be governed by our willingness to seek God first. The consequences we meet today are a result of the decisions we made yesterday. And the decisions we make today will determine our happiness tomorrow. Notice how Jesus made life-changing decisions.
- Jesus chose. The key word in making decisions is to “choose.” We are not what we are today by accident. We are the sum total of all the decisions we have made in our lives, plus those times we did not make decisions. We arrive where we are in life by decisions and non-decisions, and we are responsible for both. Therefore, it makes sense to be like Jesus and control our lives and destinies as much as possible by choosing to choose.
- Jesus withdrew. When we make spiritual decisions, we have to withdraw from the world’s system so we will not make worldly decisions. Jesus withdrew from the world so He could spend time in prayer. He went alone to think His way through decisions. He went into the wilderness for forty days before beginning His ministry. He prayed all night before choosing the twelve apostles. He spent time alone in prayer before every major decision or circumstance in His life and ministry on earth. What Jesus did is no different than what we also must do if we are going to made the right priority decisions in life.
- Jesus prayed. If Jesus who was God felt it necessary to spend time in prayer, how can we do otherwise? The urgency of His decision compelled Him to pray. How much more should earthly people spend time in prayer, for we do not have the perfection that Jesus had. As we make decisions, we should first of all ask God for the wisdom from able that only He can give (James 1:5). When confronted with a major decision, it is wise to accompany our prayer for wisdom with a period of fasting (Isaiah 58:8-9).
- Jesus obeyed. Jesus made all decisions in keeping with the Word of God. Jesus said, “My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me” (John 4:34). By this He meant His food was to obey the Father. A good decision had to be in line with God’s will, which is found in God’s Word. As He made decisions in life, He did so with an underlying commitment to obey the directives of His Father. We should have an attitude that we will always obey the directives and guidance of God in making a particular decision; that is settled ahead of time. We need to study the Scriptures and seek God in prayer to discern His will, but we should not have to pray about doing what we already know God wants us to do.
- Jesus declared. Jesus knew any and every decision needed to be declared. He was willing to tell others what He had decided. Sometimes this step will make us popular with others who like the consequences of our decisions. Other times, we will encounter opposition and criticism. Regardless of the anticipated consequences, we need to declare our decisions. When we make proper priority decisions in life, we can declare those decisions knowing that regardless of the immediate consequences, ultimately our decisions will prove to have been the best course of action.
For more, read the book from which this article was adapted: God Is Able: A Guide to Biblical Stewardship, by Elmer Towns and John Maxwell.
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