This weekend I had the opportunity to go to Dallas to serve with a ministry called Metro Relief. It is a mobile outreach where they serve soup, hot chocolate, etc. to the homeless in the area. Besides the obvious nourishment, the food is a means of engagement to begin conversations to learn how we can be of help. We had arrived just a few minutes before when I saw a man who was walking away from our bus with a cup of hot chocolate accidentally drop it on the sidewalk. I got a fresh cup to bring to him and was walking his way when a lady stopped me and asked me if that was hot chocolate I had in my hand and if she could have it. Her name is Mary and she is about 60 years old with bright blue eyes and a radiant smile. She had a very sweet spirit about her, was clearly a smart lady, and yet was living in a shelter. We spoke for about 45 minutes as I learned more about her story of daily survival, illness, and faith. At the end of our chat I prayed for her and she assured me that she would be praying for my wife Bitsy too! I walked away from that encounter amazed by this woman of hope and resilience. It also dawned on me that I thought I was heading out to replace a dropped cup of hot chocolate but instead God detoured me to making a new friend in Mary!
In his heart a man plans his course but the Lord directs his steps
Things to think about:
· When has God redirected your steps to His divine appointment?
· Sometimes we feel tremendous pressure to make the “right” decision on some issue
o For example, Should I take this new job? Should I lend/give money to this person? Should I confront a situation?
· Do you ever suffer from Analysis Paralysis?
o Are you a deliberator or a person of swift action?
o Are there certain kinds of decisions that are harder for you to make than others?
o Isaiah 30:21 – Whether you turn to the left or to the right, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the way, walk in it.”
§ Sometimes we can agonize over making a perfect decision. While we should always seek God’s guidance, sometimes it may not be clear which direction we should take. In matters that aren’t illegal or immoral, it may be that you just need to GO! God is able to move in your circumstances, irrespective of the choice.
· In fact, inaction may be the worst decision
· Proverbs 3:27 – Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it is in your power to act.
§ God is bigger than any one decision we can make. Numbers 11:23 “Is the Lord’s arm too short?”
· The apostle Paul knew what it was like to move out in faith
o Acts 20:22 – And now behold, bound by the Spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there.”
o Are there other biblical examples you can think of where people stepped out in faith not knowing if they had made the right decision? (HINT: There’s only about a thousand)
o Are you facing a decision today where the outcome feels risky?
§ Seek God’s direction
· James 1:5 – “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let Him ask of God who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”
§ Be alert to God’s voice
· John 10:27, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
§ Obey what He says
· Luke 11:28, “Blessed are those who hear the word of the Lord and obey it.”
§ Trust His goodness and wisdom
· Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him in all your ways and He will make your paths straight.”
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