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Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

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New Years Resolutions and Decisions

Everything I saw on New Years day and from my friends on Facebook had to do with best wishes for a new year, what your resolutions for this year were going to be, that they hope that this year would be better than last year, that it was a chance to start over, etc, etc, etc.
Were those things that you thought about? That maybe this year things would turn out right? This year I’ll make decision that will benefit me rather than screw my life up.
Prayer
Everyone wants a both a peaceful and fulfilling life. Nevertheless, a good share of people I’ve met or know feel that in some way life is not cooperating with their desire. Life keeps setting up barriers. The only way to get peace and fulfillment is to make the right decisions about how we are going to conduct our life. We can’t control what happens to us, but we can determine the principles we live by.
The fact is, our life is the sum total of our decisions. Some decisions are momentous and some are trivial. Some are easy and some hard. Every day of our life is filled with decisions. How can we make good decisions to get us through the year and survive?
Let’s look at the life of Moses as summarized by the author of Hebrews. Here we find that fundamental decisions will determine the quality of our life.
Hebrews 11:24–28 NKJV
24 By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. 27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.

Like Moses, we must chose God’s plan over our own.

A. Our Plans may please us more.

Kathy will probably tell you that when we first got married, if I had formulated a plan in my mind, that was the direction I wanted to go. It wasn’t very easy for me to change my thought process. I butted heads with my mother-in-law quite a bit. I hope I have learned my lessons and am a little more flexible now. We as humans are like that. We want to to do our own thing. We like our own council.
Philippians 2:21 ESV
21 For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.
Paul here was speaking to the christian’s around him at the time. It seems that none would help go to Philippi to help the followers and the cause there. We like our own plans.

B. Our own plan making may even seem to make sense.

How many times have you formulated an idea in your mind and then written it down. Satisfied with it, you bring to a colleague or friend and they shoot it full of holes. Solomon had many words to say about wisdom and things that make sense like this passage.
Proverbs 12:15 NET
15 The way of a fool is right in his own opinion, but the one who listens to advice is wise.
1 Corinthians 3:18–20 NKJV
18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness”; 20 and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.”

C. Trying to improve God’s plan by substituting our own is ultimate futility.

Plans can be faultily right? We’ve all had plans fail from time to time and we’ve had to adjust them. Have you ever tried to adjust a plan that you felt the Lord had set up for you? Yeah, did it work?
Psalm 33:11 NKJV
11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever, The plans of His heart to all generations.
Isaiah 14:24 NKJV
24 The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying, “Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass, And as I have purposed, so it shall stand:
Acts 5:39 NKJV
39 but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it—lest you even be found to fight against God.”

D. However difficult for us, our plans must yield to His plan.

Oh how hard this thought is for us to accomplish. We are wilful people. It is not easy to conform to the Lord’s will. I think of David. Out of his love for God he wanted to build a house for Him. He formulated the idea in his mind and he brought the idea to Nathan and even Nathan thought it was a good plan. 2 Sam 7:3 Go, do all that is in your heart, for the LORD is with you.” The Lord had other plans.
1 Chronicles 28:2–3 NKJV
2 Then King David rose to his feet and said, “Hear me, my brethren and my people: I had it in my heart to build a house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and for the footstool of our God, and had made preparations to build it. 3 But God said to me, ‘You shall not build a house for My name, because you have been a man of war and have shed blood.’
1 Chronicles 28:6 NKJV
6 Now He said to me, ‘It is your son Solomon who shall build My house and My courts; for I have chosen him to be My son, and I will be his Father.
If David saw fit to acquiesce to the Lord’s will, how much should we follow suit?
In 2 Cor 1 Paul had planned to go to Ephesus and Corinth and fully intended to go. The Lord way laid him and he realized that it was not the Lord’s intent that he was to go. So he had to change his plans.
Our plans must always yield to the counsel give us through prayer and reading of His words to know his plans.

2. Like Moses, we must choose authenticity over prestige. (v. 24)

Let go look at that verse again.
Hebrews 11:24 NKJV
24 By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter,
Prestige vs authenticity. When I look at the verse we just read I see in my imaginings prestige with the grandeur of Pharaoh’s court, the status of a son of Pharaoh and all that goes along with that. But that not all of what prestige means.
pres•tige \pre-ˈstēzh, -ˈstēj\ noun 1: standing or estimation in the eyes of people: weight or credit in general opinion 2: commanding position in people’s minds
Those definitions are a little different that what my minds eye dreamed up aren’t they. The first one especially falls into that category where we would like people to see us doesn’t it if we’re honest with our selves?
au•then•tic \ə-ˈthen-tik, ȯ-\ adjective 1 a: worthy of acceptance or belief as conforming to or based on fact b: conforming to an original so as to reproduce essential features c: made or done the same way as an original 2 not false or imitation: REAL, ACTUAL 3 true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character
What strikes you in this definition? Look at some of the words again. Acceptance and belief based on fact, conforming to the original to reproduce the same, nothing false or imitation, true to spirit and character.
Moses show these traits to Isreal, based on what he had learned from his mother and the Lord.

From a worldly perspective, it appears he was giving up everything: all the prestige of the royal family.

I would have like to seen Egypt and what it was like during that time. We can surmise, but we don’t know really. We know from the story of his life that he wasn’t ultimately, but it would seem like to the secular world wouldn’t it. What else can we learn.

The things that count greatly in this world are of little concern to the Lord.

There are many verses in the bible talking about the acquisition of goods and position. Here is one of a broad number that I found.
Mark 10:23–27 NKJV
23 Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, “Who then can be saved?” 27 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”
Not much question about Jesus thought about the subject is there. It’s just stuff. It will become a mill stone around our necks. God is concerned about our characters. How we represent ourselves.

Ultimately we all have to settle the question of our identity.

So who am I? Who are you? People spend a lot of time trying to figure that out. The answer the world gives is, your are you unique. Your are your own individual. You belong to yourself. Your aren’t beholding to anyone but yourself. The motto: if it feels good and it pleases you, do it. Are they happy? Yah, for a time they are, but that self manufactured world eventually breaks down. They may not haven any major troubles in there lives, but there is no fulfillment. More and more I a lost and hungry look in people’s eyes when I connect with them in the ED.
1 Corinthians 6:19–20 NKJV
19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Who are we? Maybe we should say who’s are we. If we believe the Bible there’s only one answer. We are God’s. If that’s the answer, our identity should reflect who? I know a redundant question. Moses reflect the character of his personal friend. We should too.

3. Like Moses, we must choose self-denial over pleasure. (v.25)

Hebrews 11:25 KJV 1900
25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
Does that statement sound wrong?
Pleasure is a good thing isn’t it? An ice cold glass of water on a hot day, a nice crisp juicy apple, a fresh hot slice of bread - not to long out of the oven. All pleasurable experiences right?
Uh, left something out didn’t I. It says the pleasures of sin. Guess what. Sin is fun. It’s true. otherwise people (we) wouldn’t sin would they? Satan knows just where to get us. For each one of us it’s different. We all know what they are too if we’re honest with ourselves. But the verse also says for a season. You know why, because the fun only lasts for a little while. Satan never tells us the price we pay or will pay for that season of fun either, because it’s no fun at all!
The other problem with sin. It’s usually the easiest choice and it’s usually the path of least resistance. It’s so fun and so easy to do that we’re hooked before we know what happened. How much trouble it would save us in our lives if our mindset was already in place to just say no.
We must choose like Moses did to place ourselves where we can be the most help to God’s people. God’s people aren’t just the people in church either.

Like Moses, we must choose heavenly rewards over earthly riches. (v.26)

Hebrews 11:26 NKJV
26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.
In Pharaoh’s Moses would have had everything a man of his time could have wanted. The opulence of the pyramids and the documentation that has been found of the time probably even make us wonder at riches to be had then. Moses’s name could have been recorded in there history and have a tomb of his own.
Instead this man chose to be buried in a unmarked grave on a mountain in the desert. Which choice was better? I know another redundant question. but think about the decisions he made for his life.
He chose to listen to God’s choice for his life. He was the leader of a people that hated him most of the time of his leadership, then mourned for him 30 days. He was human and made human mistakes. He was apart of miracles unimaginable and stood in the present of God and had personal discussions with Him. God called him my servant and presided over his funeral and personally buried him.
It’s a new year. We will all make decisions this year. New ones and follow ups on previous ones. That’s part of this life, decisions. The question is, on to what path will our decisions take us. We all want a fulfilled life. The quality of our lives is determined by the quality of our decisions. A good fulfilled life is still possible in this sin saddened world. The only pitfall the choices, the decisions are up to us.
Matthew 6:33 KJV 1900
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Decisions. Do they ever come hard to you? Are you like the man who had to fill out a job application. As he went down filling out the questions, one question said, “Do you have trouble making decisions?” The man replied, “Well, yes and no.”
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