The Quality Decision

by Lester Young

From the Just the GOOD News archives; originally posted June 17, 2013

What keeps you from moving forward – not just with God, but in any situation or area of your life?

Go with me to 1 Kings 18, where the prophet Elijah is in the process of setting up a contest between the the Lord GOD and Baal, a Phoenician idol the Israelites had begun worshiping. In verse 21, he lays it out on the table for them, saying, “How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him.” The Expanded Bible provides a rather insightful translation of this same passage: “Elijah approached the people and said, ‘How long will you not decide between two choices [limp/hobble/waver between two opinions]? If the LORD is the true God, follow him, but if Baal is the true God, follow him!'”

Not making a firm decision prevents you from moving anywhere – and that’s pertaining to any matter. If talking about just the things of God, it’s like trying to step out under His direction with one foot, but keeping your other foot firmly stuck in the ground beneath you. How can you get anywhere?

The phrase ‘two opinions’ in 1 Kings 18:21 can be traced back in the Hebrew dictionary to literally mean ‘divided (in mind)’ – or, as the New Testament puts it, being ‘double-minded’ (James 1:8). And, of course; limping, hobbling and wavering between two choices is the exact opposite of how we’re instructed to be where God’s concerned: “But when you ask [God], be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord” (James 1:6-7 New Living Translation). Why? Because they won’t ‘grab hold and take’ by faith what God’s offering; they’re too busy bouncing from one opinion to the other and back again.

Progressing and moving forward in God’s divine Plan for your life requires – first of all – a quality decision on your part. What do I mean by ‘quality’ decision? It’s simply a decision, a determination, a judgment by you that settles the question at hand – a decision from which there’s no longer any backtracking, turning away from or compromising about. It means the word or direction the Lord has given you is what you go with because you’ve decided to judge Him faithful to His Word, and therefore faithful to you (Hebrews 11:11). As such, it becomes the path you irrevocably determine to take, regardless of what it looks like in the natural or how ridiculous it may seem to your brain. It means that once you’ve chosen it, that’s it! All doubting or questioning, all debate, all second-guessing is over and there will be no more entertaining such disputings; whether they originate from the visual circumstances, from other people, from the devil or your own mind – as far as you’re concerned the matter is closed and a done deal once and for all…forever and ever…Amen.

How do you get to that place of sufficient confidence to make such a ‘no-turning-back, no-compromising’ decision? Well, it’s going to take some time spent in God’s Word and in prayer, listening to what His Spirit is saying to your spirit. If you need wisdom about something (and wisdom – about anything – is the most important commodity you can have in a given situation [Proverbs 4:7]), He’s promised to give it to you freely – and He won’t jump all over you for asking, either (James 1:5). So expect to hear the instruction you need. Be sensitive to and acknowledge any ‘leanings’ in your spirit: that is, you kind of get the sense inside that the ‘wind’ seems to be blowing in a particular direction (John 3:8) – you notice yourself getting the same feeling or impression about a matter more than once, or that it just seems like you should do ‘this’ or ‘that.’ But be sure to closely examine the things you hear inside (1 John 4:1); it’s vital to remember that any instructions or leadings from the Lord will either be written directly in His Word, or at least directly line up with it – He cannot and will not deny Himself, because he and His Word are One and the Same (John 1:1; 2 Timothy 2:13). You’ve been given God’s Spirit to guide you in His good path for you, and He will do His job (Ephesians 2:10; John 16:13). So just take a deep breath, swallow hard…and trust Him.

Don’t worry if you don’t yet understand all the details of what God’s telling you to do. Indeed, don’t be surprised if you don’t get very many details at all in the beginning. God knows what He’s doing. And don’t be alarmed if doubtful thoughts keep bombarding your head – that’s just the devil doing his self-appointed job, trying to keep you from acting on God’s Word (Matthew 7:24-25; James 1:25, 2:17-26).

The fact of the matter is that eventually you’re going to have to make a conscious choice – regardless of what your head (your natural intellect) may be telling you. But that’s alright too, because our head is not where we do our believing. Our heart – our spirit – is where we believe from, and it’s been recreated in the image of God the Father in order to believe His Word (Colossians 1:12-13). Remember Jesus’ words in Mark 11:23: “Verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, ‘Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea’; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.” In other words, there can be doubtful thoughts in your head (again, those are just Satan’s whispers attempting to contradict God’s Word) as long as they’re not in your heart.

When you decide to go ‘all in’ in God’s direction, God goes all in, too. So once you make that decision ‘from which there is no retreat,’ get ready; because God’s about to get involved in the issue with you. And that, my friend, is exactly what you’re after. It makes all the difference.

The Quality Decision: that’s where it begins.

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