You've got big decisions to make. What should govern your most critical decisions?
Surely, the Word and Spirit of YHWH applied in faith to the facts before us should govern our most critical decisions, really, all our decisions. As the Proverb says;
Trust in YHWH with all your heart, and donít lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5, 6
Yes, but what actually does govern the most critical decisions?
Usually, strong emotions.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying here that emotion should not play any role in decision making. Besides adding to our satisfaction in life, emotions can indicate to us that a decision needs to be made. My point here though, is that emotion needs to be kept in a subordinate role to the will of YHWH in our decisions if we would realize the best results - just like the Proverb says.
This isn't always easy. The human tendency is toward making the most critical decisions on the basis of strong emotions, more than anything else.
The truth is, there are some decisions most people would never make except when motivated by intense emotion.
Why choose one partner over others, for example? Usually this occurs due to strong emotional appeal more than anything else. The failure of this emotional approach is demonstrated by how often those "dream" relationships that began in such strong emotion end up crashing on the rocky shores of unyielding reality.
And what about breaking up a relationship, be it a business relationship, a personal relationship, or even a marriage? Is this not a decision that usually follows a bout of intense emotion when the "I can't stand this anymore" factor kicks in?
Really, for most people, YHWH is not the main factor for them in relationship decisions. This often turns out to be a tragic mistake, with years, resources and life energy spent in vain.
Our Midrash this week got me thinking about all this. We are covering Numbers 33 which lists the stops of Israel in the wilderness after the Exodus. I like this chapter because it is a big picture look at the entire forty year trek. A journey of forty years, by the way, that should have taken only a little over a year! Yes, Israel was standing at the border of the promised Land in about 14.5 months from leaving Egypt. More than that, YHWH had already totally prepared them for battle and told them to go in to take the Land. There was absolutely nothing before them that could withstand the might and stated will of YHWH. All they needed to do was put one foot in front of the next to enter into incredible victory and freedom as a nation on their own soil.
How tragic that they squandered that victorious future for forty years of wandering in the wilderness until that generation was virtually all dead!
Why did they make such a horrible decision? In a word: fear.
They were afraid of the giants.
Really, at all the stops they made involving tragedies you can identify their own bad decisions as the reason. This even infected Moses and Aaron the High Priest at one point, marring an otherwise amazing record of faith. All of those bad decisions occurred when strong emotion rather that the Word and Spirit of YHWH was the primary motivator.
Can't we really say the same about ourselves?
Even if we usually make right decisions based on our relationship with Him, aren't the troubles in our lives largely because of those times when emotion led us astray?
Decisions. Decisions. Decisions.
It becomes ever more difficult to make good decisions in times like these. Turbulent times. Confusing, anxiety-inducing times. Perplexing events are daily in the news. China devalued their currency and strange things happened afterward. Just yesterday the stock market closed down 500 points - the biggest drop since 2008. More economic trouble is on the horizon.
So much is at stake, and the future can seem so unclear. What will you do?
Everything on earth is being shaken - everything.
What is truly solid?
He is. His Word is. His Spirit is.
Don't act in fear. Don't let your emotions run away with you.
Cling to what is truly solid and you will make the right decisions.
"In all your ways He will make your paths straight."
Praise His name.
Blessings and Shalom,
Eliyahu ben David
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