Friday, June 23, 2017

Making Favored Decisions

Decisions … depending on where you live in this universe (I imagine the space station is exempt from this study as theirs is probably triple that of us earthlings) according to research, the “average” adult makes thousands a day, yet not all of them are on purpose.   

There would be little doubt in my mind that the majority of those who live outside of the USA disagree with this statement.  America doesn’t realize how blessed it is with the variety of choices we get to make, solely based on the abundance of products in this country.  It’s not that way all over the world. 

I can remember talking with a neighbor over some remodeling that she was planning.  Rose couldn’t make up her mind.  Running her fingers through her hair with frustration she looked at all the selections.   

Baffled and overwhelmed my friend was in a stupor as to what she should do.  With a smile on my face I stretched out my arms over the samples and simply said,  

“Yes, but look at all the choices you have to help with the decision.” 

Okay … somehow that didn’t quite help. 

Welcome new friends this week from:
See if your city/state/country made the list. 

New on DFB – Brazil; Germany; Hungary; Iceland; Kenya; Netherlands; Australia; Switzerland; Colombia; France Indonesia; Russia; United Kingdom; Ukraine; Turkey; Ireland; Guyana; Estonia; Romania; Bangladesh; Malaysia. 

USA Shelby Charter Township & Warren, MI; Oklahoma City, OK; Fort Payne, Rainsville & Dog Town, AL; Kissimmee, FL; Floyd, GA; Darboy, WI; Kaplan, LA; Reisterstown & Silver Run, MD; Brigantine, NJ; Smithtown, NY; Springdale, AR; Sunrise Beach, MO 

I am so thankful for your visit and hope that you come back each week to participate in the weekly challenges.  Join us in our new series as we spend time in the study of Daily Favor Prayers. 

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Don't miss out on this week's challenge (below).
Read updates on Hubby and visit the Q & A or other sections. Tell Me

That Miracle Drink 

From the time we open our eyes until they shut at night our day is jam packed with decisions.  Not all of them are life altering, but some come close.  I know of one in the form of a beverage. 

One morning my husband had to stop over my sister-in-law’s to pick up her sons. They were going to work with him for the day on a building site.  She answered the door while the boys gathered their things. 

As hubby entered the room he began a typical morning conversation, but before he finished his sentence she held up her hand like a stop sign cutting him off mid-stream.  Keeping silent she motioned for him to follow her into the kitchen. As she poured a cup of coffee into a large mug my husband waited for a signal for when he could resume his conversation. 

Taking a few sips she sighed, leaning back on the counter she said, “Okay, now I can talk!”  She was serious, and wouldn’t make one decision to engage in anything as simple as “good morning” until she downed a few gulps of that miraculous brown fluid that causes her brain to move into motion.  It’s amazing how that runs in my family!  The good thing though is that she never starts a day with an unkind word. 

Choose Me 

What about those who need that cup of coffee on their way to work? They mentally ask themselves if they will have a meal at home or on the fly dashing out the door.  Who can keep up with the vast amount of flavors for what used to be a simple cup of coffee? 
 

Finally our day settles in with the responsibilities set before us.  We sit down to the computer and make even more decisions.  Do we dare open that email, knowing if we do it will take hours before we actually get down to work after we’ve answered them all?   

Who will be the next favored soul to get followed on social media, or who will get eliminated from the inner group we sacredly follow each day?  No matter how hard we try, one cannot escape making decisions in life. 

Decision Based 

Each day people make choices over which cable channel to watch. Not having it eliminates one decision for me … somehow I don’t find much comfort in that.  Hmmm.  Oh, I don’t mind living without cable (it’s a decision we’ve made), it’s that it only eliminates one of the thousands of things I have to decide!

Some decisions we make mainly because we’re used to something so we continue to do that particular thing the same way every time we confront that situation.  For instance, getting up at a certain time, going to bed, what and when to eat and what to wear are pretty much “automatic decision based” modes, simply because they are a regular practice in our daily lives.  

There are decisions we make out of necessity merely because we feel we have no other choice. Many of these are founded on fear, anxiety, stress or exhaustion; these often turn out to be wrong choices. 

From birth we learn quickly the process of decision making.  As we observe others it’s not long before we realize that certain decisions give us what we want or cause friction in our relationships. 

We also make decisions because our parents did things “that way” and it’s just easier to agree than disagree.   Not wanting to stand out as the oddball sometimes our decisions are forced by peer or co-worker pressure.

On and On 

Decisions are a process that takes time by making choices that are usually based on thoughts. They are an act of our own free will to do or not to do something.   

 
It’s hard to believe that according to research, most adults can make around 35,000 decisions in one day.  However, when you break it down into categories you see how they add up over the course of 24 hours. 

With the routine decisions under our belt on auto-pilot let’s add a few hundred more to the day.  What about any shopping you need to do?  Will the kids be picked up at school before carting them off to some sports event?  How’s the job hunting/career thing working out for you?  Did you remember to vote or return the book to the library? 

What will you do with your spare time this weekend?  Is church on the schedule, relatives, parties, barbecues, weddings … Have you said yes to that marriage proposal; where will you honeymoon? 

Ladies, let’s not forget all the things we have to decide for our spouses just to keep them on target for their day.  Each time hubby leaves the house I run through a list of things he needs to take with him such as keys, water, wallet, meds, sunglasses, cane umbrella, food, hat, etc.  Then I remind him where he needs to go and in which order so that he can get everything done. 

I guess you can get my point.  On and on, we’re always making some sort of decision even if it’s the most minor or minuscule details.  This kind of choice making can get tiring, but most of the time we muddle through because it’s the sort of thing one has to do to get through the day.   

What about other decisions we make in life … the ones we make based on emotions? 

Are You Willing or Obedient? 

Have you ever said, “I wish I never did or said that?” I know I have.  Wouldn’t it be great if we could hit a “delete” tab and make the wrong decision go away forever?  My friend, making decisions based on emotions can be terribly wrong, and leaving God out of our plans is a good way to have favor deleted from our life.   

The Bible tells believers in Isaiah 1:19 that our decisions are blessed with favor when they come from obeying the Lord. The choices we make will be blessed when we follow God’s revealed will.  That is, what He has let us know through the written (logos) Word in the Bible. 

If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat of the good of the land."
(Isaiah 1:19 NKJV)

This is pretty straight forward if you understand the Bible, and that will come from spending time in the Word.  Here’s an easy concept to grasp. 

No one need argue over loving your neighbor, because it’s spelled out in the Bible.  So the decision to love others will be blessed because it’s already revealed that it’s what God wants us to do as are these: 

“For the commandments, you shall not commit adultery,
you shall not murder, you shall not steal,
you shall not bear false witness, you shall not covet,
and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this
saying, namely, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
(Romans 13:9 NKJV) 

What about situations/things that aren’t spelled out in the Bible, how can we make the right decisions in those cases?  This is where spending time in prayer comes into our daily plans.  

Through the “spoken word” God reveals information to our heart through His Holy Spirit that dwells within us. God’s Spirit will impress on us which decision to make.  In other words, there are many things He clearly speaks to us if our will is in line with His.  

There is a benefit to understanding/knowing how God thinks and knowing His will for us. It makes it easier to eliminate the things we know are not of Him. 

Favored Decisions 

Let’s say you are seeking the Lord on a specific position or job and aren’t sure what to do.  If you seek Him in prayer God will reveal to your spirit the path you should take. When you act on that knowledge the Lord will release favor on the situation. 

Several years ago William was forced to work weekends which took him out of any Sunday church activities.  His desire was to work the day shift and not on weekends, at least not on Sunday.

He and his wife prayed for months about what God would have them do.  When the gentleman approached his boss he was given an ultimatum.  

Either William was to remain where he was or take a $6,000 cut in salary, his wages would be reduced by $3.00 an hour, and he would be transferred to the maintenance department.  What do you think he did?  Yep … he took the cut in pay. 

By deciding to follow the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit, God blessed William with favor for his obedience.  If there was another opening, the program would take at least two years for him to reach the same level and pay scale.   However, that’s not what happened, because it wasn’t the plan God had for him. 

God favored the decision this couple made, because their hearts desire was to please the Lord by putting Him first in their lives.  They included God in their decision. They chose to follow the principles of God, because they had a desire to do the will of God.  His Will was their will, so their will became God’s will. 

Within six months he was transferred back to the job where he was before making the same amount of money, except now with the benefit of overtime – not on weekends! 

 Six Steps on How to Be Blessed with Favor 

1 - Our decisions will be blessed when we include God in them.   

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not depend on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge (or know) Him,
and He will make your paths straight."
(Proverbs 3:5-6 ISV International Standard Version ISV) 

Stay in fellowship through prayer and the reading of His Word.  When we’re out of fellowship with God we can easily make wrong decisions thinking they are right. 

2 - Our decisions will receive favor when they follow the will and law of God. 

Biblical laws aren’t like our kind of laws, but are laws written on a believer’s heart revealed through the scriptures and the Holy Spirit as our relationship grows in the Lord.   Not wanting to follow the will of God can get us into so much trouble, plus it takes us out of His favor and blessings.  

"When they live by My statutes and keep My ordinances
by observing them, then they’ll be My people and I will be their God. 
 but to those whose hearts delight in loathsome things and
detestable practices, I'll bring the consequences of their
behavior crashing down on their own heads,
declares the Lord GOD."
(Ezekiel 11:20-22 ISV International Standard Version) 

Even satan knows God’s will, truth and Word, that’s why he tried to tempt Jesus.  The thing is though, Jesus knew he quoted the scriptures wrong.  If we aren’t versed in the Word we might think we are making sound decisions based on the Bible, but they could be totally wrong.   

3 - Our decisions will be blessed if we delight ourselves in the Lord. 

“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the
desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4 NKJV) 

4 – Our decision will be blessed if we chose to follow God, not man. 

Are we trying to please God, others or ourselves?  The decisions we form concerning friendships make a difference in the amount of favor we will receive from the Lord. 

17 Now I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who create divisions and sinful enticements that oppose the teaching you have learned. Stay away from them, 18 because such people are not serving the Messiah Christ our Lord, but their own desires. By their smooth talk and flattering words they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.” (Romans 16:17-18 ISV) 

5 - Our decisions will be blessed if our hearts desire is to serve God.  Whether we realize it, the decisions we make truly reveal the deepest desires of our heart.  

In the Old Testament of the Bible we read about an honorable and godly man named Joshua who made wise decisions. He declared among the people that he chose to serve the Lord, and challenged them to make a decision of whom they would follow.  Notice he didn’t tell them they had to decide to follow his God, but declared who he had chosen. 

“And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”  (Joshua 24:15. NKJV) 

By making the decision to serve God Joshua received great favor and those who did the same also received blessings, because he was in the will of God. 

6 – Our decision to seek God as a source of wisdom will lead us into favor. 

God created us to look to Him as our source of wisdom.  Do not lean on your own understanding; he wants to direct your path into favor and success. 

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God,
who gives to all liberally and without reproach,
and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5 NKJV) 

Where are you seeking wisdom and counsel?  Is your source for making decisions based on God’s word and will?  Is it counter to the will of God?  If so, it won’t be blessed by God.   

This Week’s Challenge:
Learn to Make God Favored Decisions 

The Bible doesn’t always point out specific things we are to do, but the Holy Spirit will reveal to our heart the correct decisions to make for any particular instance if we include God in them.  

It’s called the unction or the anointing of the Holy Spirit that speaks to believers and gives us a knowing of what to do that pleases the Lord. (2 Corinthians 1:21)

Our challenge this week is to make an effort to consciously include Christ in the decisions we make. 

Purposely employ the “Six Steps on How to Be Blessed with Favor” in your prayer life and throughout the day.  Let the Lord know that you truly desire His will and want to know what He thinks.   

Ask the Holy Spirit to let you know if you’re heading in the wrong direction, and to give you the courage needed to do what’s right. 

We all make decisions every day; some not so earth-shaking, while others change our lives forever.  Quick decisions or delayed ones; both can be disastrous if God isn’t in them. 

As you pray and seek God’s desires, He will give you the wisdom needed to make the right decisions for life.   

“I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart."
(Psalm 40:8 NKJV) 

Life doesn't have to be confusing, overwhelming or baffle us when we have to make hard choices.  We have help ...
 
If God has a good plan for us, isn’t it time we decided to seek and include Him in our lives?  One thing for sure, He won’t keep you waiting until He’s had His coffee.

“For whoever finds Me finds life, and obtains favor from the Lord.”
(Proverbs 8:35 NKJV)
 

 

If this article has encouraged or helped you, please consider sharing it by using the social media icons provided at the end of this post. 

Until next time, find God and you’ll find His favor. 

“With Me you will have eternal life and favor.”
Jesus Christ 

*Unless noted, the names in articles are changed to protect the individual(s) privacy. 

Note: Emphasis is given in some scriptures to show clarity or understanding and is not to take away from the inspirited Word of God. 

When used, the words satan or devil are not capitalized deliberately, because we give him no place in our lives. 

Disclaimer: Article information is not meant to be used as treatment for mental or physical issues, but geared toward spiritual awareness. 

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by June Hunt
 
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