It’s Time for a Change
by Les Reading
Zita Stanchekova was my friend from many years ago. She lived in the U.S. under political asylum from Czechoslovakia, then a communist country. She once said to me, “The most important thing my father did was to teach me how to make a decision.” She went on to say, “You Americans cannot make a decision about anything until you’ve seen it on television three times.”
Her words struck a chord with me because I saw the truth in what she was saying.
On the whole, we are not good at making decisions. Not only are we too distracted to reason through the decisions that have deep implications on our lives, but we are also easily swept away by the many waves of emotion at every level as we engage the dramas of modern life.
“Follow your heart” is not good advice for making life decisions. Emotions are useful and good in the moment, but they are not the stuff that makes for life and destiny. Here we need to draw from a deeper source where the answers to destiny and commitment are found.
Decisions have consequences. If there are no consequences, then it is a “personal choice” … not a decision. For example, what brand of canned peas you choose to buy at the grocery store does not rise to the level of being a decision. Who you are going to marry … now there’s a decision that speaks of history and generations to come.
Decisions carry the weight of history and destiny with them, normally along moral or spiritual lines. Good decisions change and enrich lives. Poor decisions destroy them. Knowing how to make good decisions is one of the most important skills we must all learn. In earlier times, this was called “wisdom.”
To understand how to make good decisions, we look to how Jesus handled the many decisions He had to make during his time on earth. Like all of us, his life was a web of complex relationships filled with a myriad of practical issues. However, when you look at his life as a whole, you cannot escape the clear message that there are four things that drove Him to make the decisions He made:
Passion for the Father’s glory
These dominated his every thought and equipped Him to fulfill his role as the savior of all mankind.
You also have a destiny to fulfill. You may not be called to be the savior of all mankind (that job has been taken) yet there remains in each of us a God-ordained destiny that draws from deep in our soul and compels us in directions we might not otherwise take … if we are paying attention.
Left to ourselves, we choose to do whatever we want … usually the easiest or most comfortable thing as we see it in the moment. We look to ourselves to define our destiny. (Bad idea.)
Jesus’ life tells many of us that we are looking in the wrong place. We may be drawing from the wrong well.
Every day and in every moment, we confront the same challenge that Jesus did: Am I aware of and ready to obey the will of my Heavenly Father, or do I follow whatever the world has to offer … whatever I want to do in the moment.
You see, God does not give you a written plan to follow for two reasons:
You would take his plan and run with it as if it were your own formula for success (it’s not)
It does not adapt to your changing circumstances as others choose their own destinies in ways that will influence yours.
Actually, your destiny is not really a thing to be accomplished. Rather it is a life to be lived under His guidance. At the end of the matter, we are known more for how we lived our life that for what we accomplished. It is a process, not an event. Without momentum, there is no destination.
Most of us don’t know God’s will for our lives because we don’t ask and because we don’t know how to listen. There are five reasons for this:
We aren’t in a close, personal relationship with Him.
We don’t settle the matter of obedience between us and God.
We aren’t paying close attention. We aren’t listening. We are distracted.
We have a dispute with God over something deep in our heart.
We are ungrateful.
If we are not committed to loving and obeying God as our objective, then God is not obliged to tell us what we don’t want to know.
These demonstrate the profound principle of reciprocity that resonates throughout the Bible. If you are faithful to Him, He will be faithful to you. If you trust Him, He will trust you. If you listen and hear Him, He will listen and hear you.
Do you want to change your life? Are you ready for a complete reversal of your life story from bad (or really bad) to good?
The answer is clear: Get reconciled to your heavenly Father as quickly and as firmly as possible. Get on the right side of your destiny in Him and discover moment-to-moment where He wants to take you.
Changing your life story may not be easy … but with help it is do-able. Above all, it is worthwhile. Nothing in life carries the weight of purpose, commitment, and satisfaction more than life with Jesus. Here you find your destiny.
If drugs or alcohol hold you back, seek out a rehabilitation program. God’s people look to reach out and offer a “hand-up” … not just a “hand-out.”
Jesus, your savior, opened the door for you and cleared the path for you to have a right relationship with your heavenly Father. Jesus stands ready to fulfill in you all that God wants to accomplish in your life.
And at the end of the day, God will smile … and so will you.