Summary: In Part 2 decision making in the arena of marriage is considered; important factors are:- " What Does the Bible say?", fasting, prayer and the art of waiting.
In Part 1 of this subject some important criteria to consider in making the right choices in the Spirit were touched upon. Once again for review they were:-
1. Search the Scriptures
2. Don’t be impatient
3. Persist in prayer
5. Wait for peace.
As illustrations of Holy Spirit Decision Analysis I would like to consider here examples from the marriage arena.
The Unequal Yoke - Will It Work?
Years ago I received a tract entitled, " The Unequal Yoke - Will It Work? (1). " The key scripture associated with this tract is:-
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? ( 2 Corinthians 6: 14 )
The Christian woman who wrote the tract confessed that she married an unsaved man. She said she didn’t wait long enough to get the Lord’s will in the matter. Even the pastor of her church, who was a well known conference speaker, encouraged her to go through with the marriage.
After she was married her spouse brought his unsaved, drinking friends into the home and caused her a lot of grief. Over 25 years later she stated we are still married but the husband is not yet saved.
In this tract the woman relates her bitter experience when she chose her own way and ignored God’s Word. She said, " I expected he would walk with me in the ways of the Lord ... but I watched my husband going deeper in sinful living. "
Not mentioned in the tract is the fact that a yoke is a wooden bar or frame that joins two animals, such as oxen together. Once they are joined, they cannot go in separate directions, but must work side by side.
God warned Israel through Moses that if they failed to obey His commandments that they would be in bondage to their enemies. Deut. 28: 47, 48.
And the man came into the house: and he ungirded his camels, and gave straw and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet, and the men’s feet that were with him.
And there was set meat before him to eat: but he said, I will not eat, until I have told mine errand... (Genesis 24:32-33)
Here we see the first example of fasting and prayer in Scripture. In biblical interpretation the "Principle of First Occurrence" suggests that the first occurrence of a concept in Scripture sets the tone for how that concept is to be viewed elsewhere in Scripture. If true, then this first occurrence of fasting suggests that fasting is a means of seeking God, His guidance and His confirmations concerning His will. The servant prayed and fasted for guidance, and God answered.
Are you in need of God’s guidance as you make difficult decisions?
Are you facing a difficult situation? Why not spend some time fasting and praying for God’s wisdom and for His guidance.
Some years ago I heard a 2-tape series on marriage decision making and what I remember is that there was an impartation of faith from the speaker. In other words the preacher was practising what was being preached and was recommending that both parties fast for 10 days if a couple were contemplating marriage.
I believe in my heart such major decisions have to be based on the WORD, coupled with fasting and prayer.
Do Not Be Like The Horse
I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.
Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.
Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about.
Psalm 32: 8 - 10
A horse is too fast and a mule is too slow!
To the horse you have to say WO!
And to the mule you have to say GO!
Finally, F. B. Meyer (2) says, " It is all-important that the children of God’s people should marry only in the Lord. See 1 Cor. 7:39. Those who live in fellowship with him may confidently count on his help in this. Every marriage should be a matter for profound concern and much prayer, both for the parents of each, as well as for those that are to be wed. What wonder that so many marriages turn out to be a disappointment and a curse when they are entered upon so lightly and thoughtlessly! "
1.Shields, Sara P., " The Unequal Yoke - Will It Work? ", Evangelical Tract Distributors, P. 0. Box 146, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T5J 2G9
2.Meyer, F.B., " Devotional Commentary" , Tyndale House, Note On Genesis 24.