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What They Think-March 4, 2024

What are you thinking and why are you thinking about it? And what are other people thinking about. All viable questions.

Monday Morning Devotion-March 4, 2024

What They Think

O Lord God of Israel there is no God like you in Heaven above or on earth below…You who keep our covenant of Love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way.  1 Kings 8:23

*From august 2015

           "What was I thinking?"   It's a statement that is usually followed by hitting our forehead with the open palm of our hand as an incredulous look crosses our face.

            Am I the only one that has ever had that experience?  Probably not.  It happens, sometimes, more frequently than we would like to admit.  Maybe, not always with the forehead-striking part, but in life we are going to make decisions that we second guess.

            In retrospect we are questioning just why in the world we were thinking that way.  What caused us to make that decision that ended up with an outcome much different than the one that we anticipated?

            Was it simply a mood we were in?  If so, why was that?  Could we have made a better decision if we had not been so hasty in our decision-making?

             Sometimes we want a certain thing to happen so much we rush ahead without considering all the options and possible strategies that were available.  We try to force an outcome that simply is not there with the hurried strategy we tried to execute.

            Much of the time when a decision is made that is not the best one it is because we are trying to fit it into what others will think about it.  How will the action we are taking be viewed by others?

            Many times, it takes lots of prayer and planning to get it right.  We may have more time than we realize to make the best decision.  Sometimes it just takes time.

            God does not have us on a strict timetable for most of the decisions we make.  So why should we put that pressure on ourselves.  Again, the answer to that is that we want to influence what other people are thinking about us and how they view our actions.  We often think that inaction will send a message of inability to accomplish something.

            Usually when we are approaching a complicated decision that we feel needs to be made it is concerning a problem that has built up over time.  Since it took time for it to develop, it may not be one that can be solved overnight.  Prayer provides the answers.

            Sarah Young writes in "Jesus Calling" that these instructions come from the Lord:

"Do not worry about what other people think of you.  The work I am doing in you is hidden at first, but eventually blossoms and will burst forth with abundant fruit."

            Trusting him wholeheartedly allows His Spirit to fill us with joy and peace.  Now that sounds good, and it is good.  But it is not always easy.  The reason is, once again, our concern over what others are thinking. 

            Often the best decision, in the long run, is not the one we feel pressured to make quickly.  And quickly can mean that day or maybe even that week or month.  It all depends on God's timing and that's what we must first discern.  What does He want us to do?  How should we do it?  When should it be done?

            When faced with a tough decision to make we can learn from King Solomon's prayer in 1 Kings 8:23.  He starts out with praise and thankfulness.  Think about that.  Whenever we want to get a positive response from someone isn't it a good thing to start the conversation with a compliment and thanking them for something?  It doesn't have to be empty flattery or an overdone, obvious attempt to win favor.  Something small and complimentary can set a positive tone.

            While that sets a positive tone for the conversation I am not, by any means, putting a conversation with God on the same level as one with a man or woman.  But praise and giving thanks just shows that you recognize and appreciate the things God does and is doing in your life. 

            It is too easy to take the good things in life for granted.  Accept them and go on your way without acknowledging where they came from.  So, even when we are not faced with a difficult decision it is good to lift up praise and thanksgiving. I start each day with a simple "Thank You Lord for the Gift of Another Day."

            Then Solomon acknowledges that he knows God is faithful and has made a covenant of love with His servants who follow Him.  In this way he is saying that while he needs help, he is willing to follow wherever God is leading him in his decision-making. 

            Solomon's wisdom that he asked for when God made him king is shining through.  He knows that the way through these things that are troubling him needs to be God's way, not his own.

            So that's our first step in making the right decision.  Praise and thanksgiving to the One

who will give you the answer.  Then acknowledging that you want to follow God's way, not man's way.

            The rest is up to Him.  You have placed the ball in God's court.  He is faithful.  He will not let you down. So, don't get impatient.  He works in His own time.  And God's timing is never off.  Not by a minute or even by a second.

            Sometimes He may have us wait until the time is right so that we may more fully understand all that went into the right-decision-making.

            It's a phrase that rings out at my home church, Good Samaritan, often.  "God is good.  All the time."

            He will not let you down.  So, the next time you feel pressured to make a tough decision in a hurry stop and think: "Am I rushing this decision to please man or is it God-directed?"

Monday Prayer:  Thank you, Lord, for always being there for us especially when the tough decisions need to be made.  Amen!

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