Summary: How to defeat the giant of indecision.
Key verse: Elijah went before the people and said, "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him." But the people said nothing (1 Kings 18:21).
Choice plays a big part in our lives.
For instance, we can get anything we want, from anywhere in the world, whenever we want it.
We don’t just have the local shops with Coles a deli and a newsagent. We can buy anything we want, from any continent in the world over the Net – and probably have it delivered to our doorstep within hours (If we’re prepared to pay the price).
Choice means - We don’t just have TV, we have Foxtel with 100 channels and more.
Choice means - We can choose to travel to almost any part of the world – and all of us here could afford to do it if we really wanted to.
Choice means you enter a Google search online for just about anything – and get a list of half a million sites you can check out!
We can choose our religion, our political leaders and our lifestyle.
Choice plays a big part in our lives – perhaps even bigger than we realise. Peter Drucker is a management and business leadership guru. Once he was asked what, out of the many advances we have made in recent years, what would our generation be remembered for. He said this ....
“The defining feature of our generation is not technology, medicine, invention or discovery. The defining feature of our generation is choice, and we are woefully unprepared for it” (Peter Drucker).
We have greater freedom of choice now than at any other time in history – and if we are to believe Drucker, we are woefully unprepared for it.
Is that how you feel when you’re faced with a decision? Woefully unprepared? Uncertain of what’s right – which way to go?
Well the good news is, you don’t have to limp through life paralysed by uncertainty and indecision. There is help available from the Lord for you to confidently make the right choice every time.
And we see these principles in this account of Elijah on Mt Carmel.
1. CHOOSE GOD
Elijah’s experience on Mount Carmel makes it quite plain that in making any choice, there is really only one choice.
"How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him" (2 Kings 18:21).
If you didn’t get it, let me spell it out for you - - the choice is this – Baal or God? Follow something that’s not God – or follow God. Boiled down to its simplest form, this is the essence of every decision you will ever make.
And as you face a decision there is one simple way to get it right every time – choose God. In other words, get God’s perspective. And how do you choose God – how do you get God’s perspective?
You immerse yourself in the Word of God – the Bible – and you allow it to shape your life.
Illustration: The story of Jessica’s birth.
Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them (Psalm 127:3-5a).
Rick Warren points out in the Purpose Driven Life (p187), that many people get into trouble because they base their choices on unreliable authorities. And he identifies four ...
i) Culture says - “everyone is doing it”.
ii) Tradition says - “We’ve always done it that way”.
iii) Reason says - “It seemed logical at the time”.
iv) Emotion says - “It felt right”.
But each of these human methods are flawed by our sin because of the fall of humanity. So we need a perfect standard that will lead us in the right direction. And only God’s word meets that criteria.
"Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him” (Proverbs 30:5).
And again ....
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness
You see, God’s Word plus culture (everyone is doing it), is not God. And a decision that blends the two is bound to be a bad choice.
God’s word plus tradition (we’ve always done it that way), is not God. God’s Word plus reason (it seemed right) is not God. God’s Word plus emotion (it feels right), is not God. And a decision that blends any combination of these will be a bad choice.
But you can make the right decision every time by choosing God’s Word above all else. Paul said ...