Summary: Last of five-part series Stuff Jesus Changed. This message, entitled Extreme Makeover, deals with decision-making and finding God’s will.
Stuff Jesus Changed, part 5: Decision-Making
Wildwind Community Church
David K. Flowers
May 6, 2007
Today we conclude our series on Stuff Jesus Changed and I want to talk to you about decision-making. When we talk in the church about decision-making, or about knowing the will of God, don’t we almost always think of it in a “knowing what’s over the horizon” kind of way? Forget the road immediately ahead of me, I want to see what’s way over the horizon. I want to know the future. We’re curious about what’s over the horizon. It offers promise of something new and different, maybe more exciting than where we are now. Besides, the big exciting stuff in life doesn’t happen very often, so it’s usually over the horizon. Marriage, college, having kids, retirement – that’s the stuff we want God to tell us about, so we spend a lot of time trying to see over the horizon. But what about the road ahead of you?
C.S. Lewis said a glimpse of the road immediatey ahead of you is more useful and important than a view of the horizon.
What if your goal was to get from Grand Blanc, MI to San Diego, CA in a vehicle, but there was something on your windshield so that all you could see was the horizon? I mean, you couldn’t actually see the road ahead of you. All you could see was the one spot where the road disappeared over the horizon. How effectively could you make your trip? How long would you last? Your trip would almost immediately end in disaster, wouldn’t it? No chance of getting where you need to go if you can’t see what’s in front of you.
So the road ahead of you is the most important thing, isn’t it? And why is that? Because the horizon is an illusion. I mean, it exists, but you can never reach it, can you? The horizon is just the part of the road that you can’t see because of the curve of the earth, and we all know the earth will continue to curve no matter how far you travel. The only way to get beyond the horizon you currently see is to keep traveling the road immediately in front of you.
This is the image I want to get into your head as we begin our message on knowing God’s will today. Let’s get out of our heads the idea of finding some magical way to be transported over the horizon, and get into our heads the simple idea that if we keep our eyes on the road ahead, we’re sure to get there eventually. There are many Christians who are spending a lot of time wondering about God’s horizon for them and not paying much attention to the road they’re on. Who does God want me to marry? Does God want me to take that job? Does God want Wildwind to hire that staff person? Does God want me to stay home or go back to school? There are many who want to be godly, but fewer who want to become godly. Being godly is a destination point – a place that lies over the horizon. But becoming godly is the road ahead – it’s what lies immediately before us.
Ever tried to drive down the road not by looking out the front window, but by looking out the side window at the lines on the road? Pretty shaky, huh? Why isn’t that a good way to drive? Answer: Because you can’t see where you’re going. The view is too narrow. So if that isn’t a good idea, why not get a broader view by looking to the horizon? Answer: Because again, you can’t see where you’re going. The view is too broad. In order to see where you’re going, you have to look just the right distance down the road. In other words, you have to have a proper perspective. You can’t concern yourself with things 20 miles away, and you can’t get too absorbed with the lines that are whipping by you at 70 mph. Perspective.
What we need, my friends, is an extreme makeover in how we think about God’s will and about decision-making. It’s easy to just lose perspective – to stare at the lines, or to try and gaze over the horizon – but doing either of those things is a way to make sure you don’t get to where you need to go. We have to learn how to look the right distance down the road. Today I want to introduce you to a really cool idea, a different way of knowing God’s will for your life.
Colossians 3:2-3 (MSG)
2 Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.