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“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding; I
n all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.”
As you know, we are talking about making some big decisions at OBC, decisions about our path forward as a church and who we believe God is calling us to be. They may be quite difficult decisions for many of us! What does the Bible say about making decisions? Well, there are many, many verses of scripture we could look to for wisdom on decision making. For this article this month, I’ve chosen one of the most famous—Proverbs 3:5-6. Yes, Proverbs 3:5-6 is about making decisions! How so?
1. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
The first part of this verse of scripture reminds us that we don’t have all the answers. We don’t always know the best way forward. This verse tells us that we need to seek the Lord’s wisdom and guidance for our decision making. As finite creatures, we cannot see the future nor can we foresee all eventualities. But God is not finite. He is Omniscient and Eternal. He knows the best path forward for us at every junction on the road of life. He has a plan for us, a path He as laid for us to walk. Therefore, if we can find out which way He wants us to go, we can be sure that we are on the right path!
So how do we find out which way God wants us to go? Well, that doesn’t really seem to be all that easy or evident many times, does it?
2. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.
This scripture tells us that if, in whatever we are doing, we commit ourselves to God’s principles, to His priorities, then He will direct us. Of course, that means we will need to know and understand what God’s priorities are…and to do that we will need to look to the scriptures. So, as we go forward thinking about the decisions that lay before us, we should be asking ourselves, what does the Bible say about the church and what our priorities should be? If we understand that, then we will know what we should do as individuals who are part of the church.
So, what are the commands of Christ concerning the His church? Well, one of the most famous is one of the last commands Jesus gave to His disciples not long before He returned to Heaven.
3. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20.
This is often called “The Great Commission” because Jesus has commissioned us to take His message to everyone. A major purpose of the church is to save souls—to bring those who don’t follow Christ into His family, to make disciples. If this is the mission of the church in general, then it is also the mission of our local church—OBC. So, what? Are we called to all drop our jobs and lives and become missionaries to “all nations”? Not necessarily, again this is the mission of the universal church. So OBC has a part in it, but that doesn’t mean we can fulfill the whole thing by ourselves. Instead, we need to ask, “Who and where are we, as a local congregation of believers, called to live out this mission?” And we can see, I think, the answer to that question by looking at the very last thing Jesus said to His disciples before He ascended back to Heaven. In Acts chapter 1 verse 8,
4. “…you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Jesus didn’t immediately send even His original disciples out to the four corners of the earth to spread the good news. No, they started locally. He said, “you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem…” So then, the question every local church must answer—the question OBC must answer is this: Where is our Jerusalem? Who are we called to reach for the Lord? To whom are we called to minister and bring the Good News first? That is ultimately the question OBC must answer. For we know Jesus’ command—to make disciples—what we need to discern is to whom has He sent us. Where and to whom are we to go first? Where is our Jerusalem? Who are its inhabitants?
As we seek to answer that question, please be in prayer, that as we talk about all these things, we would not be leaning on our own understanding, but acknowledging Him, trusting in Him with all our hearts, knowing that if we seek His Will He will guide our path.