We all know that sin is out of the question. When we find ourselves with two choices and one of them is sin, the sinful choice will always be outside of God’s will. The confusion and dilemmas come at the forks in the road where either choice might be good, might be a blessing. Do I take this new job or stay where I am? Do I buy this house or wait? Do I say something or do I stay quiet? Do I quit my job or try to work through it? Do I file for divorce or forgive again? So many questions in life…
We know clearly from Scripture that God has a plan for our life. When we are faced with these dilemmas, we desperately want to know what His will is for us. We want the Lord to tell us what to do. If He would only open the Heavens right above my house and tell me what to do according to His will. I can hear Him now in a big, booming voice, “Put the Blue Bell back in the freezer and eat an apple instead!” Ok, maybe some choices are obvious, but wouldn’t it be great if He would take His finger across the skies and write in the clouds a note, “Take the job.”
We get confused. We stress and we worry. We look for signs from God pointing us one way or another. Have you ever said, “Maybe this is God trying to tell us something?” In the Old Testament, the Lord ordained some of the Israelites to return to Jerusalem and re-build the Temple that had been destroyed. But when they tried, everything went wrong so they stopped building thinking the opposition and difficulty was a sign from God to stop rebuilding the Temple. Years later, the Lord would tell the prophet Haggai to chastise the people for thinking it was not His will just because there were so many problems.
Obstacles do not necessarily indicate God is closing a door.
Neither does ease indicate God is opening a door.
The Lord told Joshua, as the leader of Israel, to make sure the nation kept the laws of God and that Joshua made as his highest priority, pleasing the Lord. God’s reward if Joshua lived to please Him was to give success wherever Joshua set his foot (Joshua 1:3). It is interesting that God did not tell Joshua where to go. God simply promised success wherever Joshua decided to go. His success was to be found in strategic decisions as the leader of Israel. His success was to be found in the motives behind those decisions. Was His motive in every decision to please God?
When we find ourselves at a crossroads in life, we pray as if God is mostly concerned about what choice we make, but the Lord is more concerned about us develop spiritually and mature in Him through the process. He is more concerned about the person we become not than the choices we make. We ask the Lord, “Door A or Door B? Lord? Which one?” The Lord on the other hand would say, “What would be your motivation if you chose Door A? What would be your motivation if you chose Door B? If you chose B, is it because you are filled with the fear of failure if you chose A? If you chose A, is it mainly because of money? If you choose B, is there any hint of selfishness?”
What if the Lord presents the dilemma and confusion about what to do for the sole purpose of looking within that we might see our spiritual state and spiritual directio? What if the obstruction we face at times is God’s mirror into our soul to help us identify areas of weakness or celebrate areas of progress?
If we get so focused on what choice to make, we might miss the whole point of it all. But if, in these times, we lay our thoughts and attitudes down on top of Scripture to see where we might be aligned or misaligned, we will move forward spiritually. We will increase our faith. We will increase our wisdom. We will increase our patience, our love, our mercy, our conviction. And we will make better choices.
Should we go to Heaven one day and say Lord, “I was a big success. I built a great business. I made a lot of money and gave a lot of people jobs,” He may ask, “Yes, but did you learn compassion? Did your love increase? Did your dependence on me increase or decrease? Did you trust your money more than me?” On the other hand, we might go to Heaven and say, “Lord, I was a big failure. Everything I tried to do in this life failed.” And He might say, “But you learned to call my name in your tears. But you learned to hold tight to me in your weaknesses.”
What we do has a lot to do with who we are but if we focus more on what we do than who we are, we will miss the directional signs of the spirit leading us to become the man or woman God desires and that God blesses.