Isaiah 46:8-11 (ESV)
“Remember this and stand firm,
recall it to mind, you transgressors,
remember the former things of old;
for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me,
declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
calling a bird of prey from the east,
the man of my counsel from a far country.
I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass;
I have purposed, and I will do it.
Do you know, that for every single decision you make, there can be a massive chain reaction of other events that you did not plan, may not want, and probably don’t even know about? To illustrate, I’m going to write a little story. With two endings. This story may seem farfetched – but I have heard many more amazing things in real life!
So lets say you are on your way to church, but in a little bit of a hurry. As you get to a major intersection, there are a lot of cars, but there is a gap. It’s probably too small, but you might be able to make it. In that moment, rather than be patient, you nail the accelerator and merge.
Unfortunately, the gap wasn’t as big as you thought, and the guy behind, Aaron, had to jam his brakes to avoid denting your car. Unfortunately Aaron also spilled his coffee (debates about drinking coffee while driving aside…). Even more unfortunately, Aaron has a temper issue. But before he can stop at a set of lights and abuse you for your indiscretion, you turn off to church and he goes his way.
Aaron is still pretty mad, and is driving like it. A little too fast into the next corner and he spins, ending up stopped head on against a tree. He’s not particularly injured, some minor bruising, but his car is busted. Aaron is now not going anywhere.
And now for the final kicker. Aaron needs his car to get to work, and has absolutely no money or credit to get a new one or get one repaired. And due to his frequent temper issues, Aaron doesn’t have anyone he can rely on to get him to work. As a consequence, Aaron has lost his job.
All because you chose to rush in, instead of being patient. And really, you don’t know any of this – it is all just a hidden consequence of your actions.
So first, the bad ending. Aaron’s life goes pretty downhill from here, we have all seen it – no money, no job, not really any friends. He resorts to crime and ends up doing time. On top of this, where he worked the business wasn’t doing very well – it was pretty close to closing down. To save some money, the boss decided not to replace Aaron, thinking others could pickup the slack. Turns out, Aaron, temper and all, was much more important than he seemed. Inside of a month orders aren’t getting shipped, and customers are getting mad. Within 3 months the business has gone bankrupt, and 200 other people are now without work, because Aarons boss tried to save a buck, because Aaron couldn’t work, because you were not patient. Sound unlikely? Don’t bet on it!
But wait, we have a better ending! Aaron opens the paper and looks for a new job, and miraculously, finds it through a friend from years ago. And this job has a car, so Aaron is earning more, and has a car, and his friend from years ago is able to again build a friendship back, and Aarons life is back on track. Even better, Jack, and unemployed Christian father of 4, gets hired into Aarons job, and is able to again support his family and give back. Without the accident, Aaron never would have looked for and got a better job, and Jack could still be unemployed living in a 1 room basement with his wife and 4 kids. All because you chose not to be patient.
So what am I getting at? Every single decision in your life has effects far beyond what you can see, even far beyond what you could dream and imagine. I’m sure you have all heard of the shoe salesman who was saved – and shared his faith with a guy buying shoes one day. That guy? Billy Graham. Just an example of someone who made a decision to do something – and look what effect it had!
Only God truly knows the outcome to every decision, every situation.
So what is the solution?
James 4:13-17 (ESV)
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
James is getting at a big point here. We need to live in God’s will for our life – not just for the big decisions in life, but minute by minute, second by second. Every single decision we make needs to be help up to God’s will and standard and tested.
God doesn’t exist as an emergency room - I’ve said it before, God is not a paramedic! Yes, He is there when there is trouble and emergency in our lives, but He is also there all the time – not just for trouble! God is not just there for the big decisions in life, like who to marry, or what job to take, or when and where to move – but for every single decision.
So how can we bring every single decision to God? We need to ‘walk in’ God’s will. We need to hold a close relationship with Him. We need to be in constant prayer. We need to read His words to us regularly, and fellowship with other Christians as often as practical. In short, we need to be Godly. Then, and only then, can we be sure that as we live day by day, we are living as God would have us live.
Heavenly Father, guide us in our daily lives. Teach us to live by Your Word, to live in Your will, to bring every single thing we do before you and live filled with the Holy Spirit. Teach us Your ways, show is the truth we pray in Jesus Name, Amen.