“Therefore,, do not be anxious, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the Gentiles are anxiously seeking these things; for your Heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be granted to you.” Matthew 6:31-33 (JHLT)
Tomorrow I will be doing a funeral for a member of First Baptist Church. In considering what I will say at that gathering, my mind was drawn to a conversation she and I had after worship one Sunday early last year. She was experiencing some angst over an important decision that she needed to make. She was concerned about making the right decision. She wanted to make the decision that was God’s will. I truly appreciated her desire to make a decision that God desired, but since she couldn’t determine what that was, she was stuck. This is sometimes called, “paralysis by analysis.” She is not the first, nor will she be the last, to experience this.
Here is what she was forgetting – her heart’s desire. I reminded her that I knew for a fact that her heart’s desire was to follow, serve, honor, and glorify God. She was definitely fulfilling the part of the passage I quoted above of “But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.” The decision that needed to be made fell into the category of life “stuff” which Jesus mentioned by speaking of those things people chase after in life.
So this is what I told her. Because of your heart’s true desire, you cannot make a wrong decision here. If you decide it one way, God will like that decision. If you decide it in the opposite way, God will like that decision. This is true because God is letting you decide. While what I just wrote may seem counter-intuitive, what we must remember is that with God, trust is a two-way street. We trust God, but God also trusts us, just like we trust our own children to make decisions based upon what we have poured into them.
God had poured His nature, through Jesus, into her and He knew what her heart’s true desire was. Because of those two realities, I told her that God trusted her enough to give her the option of choosing how to make the decision. Therefore, I told her that no matter how she made the decision, she couldn’t go wrong. There was no need to feel any angst, paralysis, or consternation over the decision. God trusted her. And she made the decision, and it turned out to be just like I said it would be.
I have met so many Christians throughout my years as a pastor who have experienced similar situations in which life-decisions were needing to be made, but were paralyzed by it.
If you find yourself currently in that type of situation, I would ask you this: what is truly your heart’s desire? Is it for God’s kingdom? Is it for His righteousness? Is it that God would be glorified? Is it that God’s reputation would be enhanced? Is it that His kingdom would be built? These are the most important questions to be answered, because it is the basis from which you will decide the decision to the life-question you are facing.
If you answered, “Yes,” to the previous questions, God will proceed in one of two ways. One way is that He will do things to show you which way He desires. The other way, and the one not often mentioned, is the way of trust – God’s trust. When He chooses that way, you will not see anything that will tell you God’s desire because He is saying, “I know you and I know your heart. Therefore, I trust you. Here are your options. What would you like to do? Oh, that’s what you would like to do? Great, let’s do that then.”
Remember, with God, trust is a two-way street. So it was with my friend. So God wants it to be with each one of us.