Sunday, October 24, 2010

"The Lord Made Me Do It"

"It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord..." (Acts 15:25) "It seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us..." (Acts 15:28)

If you want to forestall criticism or unsolicited advice before you make a decision, simply repeat these seven words: "The Lord told me to do it." It may very well be His will, and we may feel strongly that it is, but the truth remains, just because we prayed, it does not follow that our inclinations are infallible. This is especially true if we're relying on a Bible verse we closed our eyes and pointed to!

Failing to make a decision is bad, as we have been arguing, but failing to own up to it once we do is just as bad. Yes, God is working behind the scenes, and our choices, right or wrong, will fit perfectly in His overall plan for our lives; but as far as you and I are concerned, those choices are just that: ours.

You may be asking, should we not pray then, or search the Scriptures, or feel free to express what we believe to be the direction in which God is leading us? Yes, most definitely, we should seek guidance through both prayer and the Word (more on this later); and, indeed, we should share our thoughts and feelings with others (more on this later, too). How will we benefit from good, godly counsel, if we keep our thoughts to ourselves? What we might need to change, however, is our terminology.

Instead of dogmatism where the Scripture is not dogmatic, why not opt for more biblical language, as in the cited verses in Acts. Why not, "I have prayed and searched the Scriptures about this matter, and it seems to me that God is leading in this direction." This lends both credence and reasonableness to our decision. Those who hear of it will not fear to question; but they will be cautious of assuming their own infallibility

My purpose here is to remind us that we can seek to diminish our own responsibility and accountability for our choices by putting the blame on God, as it were. If our choices are unpopular, we can soften the resentment by naming God as the instigator. "I really didn't want to do it, but God just wouldn't leave me alone." If our decision is unreasonable, we can quiet any voice of reason, by claiming the voice of God. But our decision was not God's fault, right or wrong.

It may be His will all right; but you and I will make the choice.

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