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Decisions, Decisions…

28/11/2011

Did you ever do something, and then immediately wonder, ‘Why on earth did I do that?’

I have – frequently! And I’ve reluctantly come to the conclusion that I’m not very good at decision making. (Ok, I know that you can already see where this is going, but bear with me for a few paragraphs).

Over the course of a sleepless night, when the mind was hyperactive, I found that I was thinking about incidents in life when I made decisions that led to situations where I was seriously disadvantaged, or others were disadvantaged, or where myself for others were actually put at risk.

I separated my decisions into two main categories. The first category contained those ‘spontaneous’ decisions, taken almost mechanically, and without much, if any thought, usually made as a reaction to prevailing circumstances. The second category contained those decisions which were made at the end of a long process of consideration, and hopefully much prayer, and hopefully with a better outcome.

Now, to be fair, most of those poor decisions that tortured my mind during the long sleepless night were of the first category, the instantaneous type. The kind of decision that one makes on impulse and without much thought – and the more decisions I mentally analysed, the worse they seemed to be! Of course, experientially we know that it’s during those long night hours when Satan seems to at his most active, and when he launches some of his most vicious attacks. As I tossed and turned, trying to get enough comfort to induce some sort of slumber, the suggestion entered my mind that perhaps the decision I had made to follow Jesus all those years ago, was just another impulse, just another one of those responses to the subtle external pressures of the environment at the time.

That would cause concern, and for a few moments I felt a rising panic in my gut. Had I really decided for Jesus, with the right motives and after the right process of consideration, or did I just react to the emotional draw of a soft, appealing voice and an organ playing ‘Just as I am, without one plea?’

It’s at times like that when I thank God that I have become somewhat acquainted with Scripture, and with biblical doctrine. Reassurance flooded back, as I remembered that my salvation doesn’t depend on my decision, however I made it. It depends on Christ. It depends on His gracious decision to love me when I was unlovable, and to go to Calvary, to die in my place on the cross, and to take the penalty for sin which was mine. Ultimately, it was Christ who decided for me, rather than me who decided for Him, and that gives me tremendous comfort, in the long hours of the night, and shields me when Satan hurls his fiery darts.

I could never express this any better than Josiah Conder, who wrote:-

My Lord, I did not choose You,
For that could never be;
My heart would still refuse You,
Had You not chosen me.
You took the sin that stained me,
You cleansed me, made me new;
Of old You have ordained me,
That I should live in You.

Unless Your grace had called me
And taught my op’ning mind,
The world would have enthralled me,
To heav’nly glories blind.
My heart knows none above You;
For Your rich grace I thirst;
I know that if I love You,
You must have loved me first.

What comfort! What assurance! What love! What Grace!
Titus 3:4-7 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

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Josiah Condor

From → Encouragement

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