Summary: Life is always tempting us with doors number 1, 2, or 3. It takes wisdom, prayer, planning, preparation, and pusuing godly counsel to make the right choice.
This morning we are going to play a game that became very popular in the seventies and continues today. It’s called “Let’s Make A Deal.” Do you remember it? People would dress up in the most silliest of costumes in hopes of being selected to play in the game. If you were chosen, then you would be awarded a prize. But there always was an opportunity for you to swap your prize for an unseen prize that could be better or worse than the one you possessed. Most people swapped and actually missed the better things.
So let’s play “Let’s Make a Deal.” I have in my hand an envelope. If you have an ink pen and want to trade for this envelope, then come on up to the front. (Participant comes forward. In the envelope is a check for $100 made out to the church). Now I will give you an opportunity to keep this envelope or trade it for what’s in the larger envelope or what’s in the strong box. (The larger envelope holds a CD. The strong box is filled with fake money. If they choose the smaller envelope, they get to drop the check in the offering box since it is already made out to the church. If they swap, they get either a CD or a handful of fake money.) Thank you for playing “Let’s Make A Deal”.
It seems that we approach life’s decisions that way at times. The average turnover rate for employees in the workplace is 39.6%. In the Leisure and Hospitality industry, that rate is 74.6%. The world asks us “Do you want to keep the job you have or trade it in on the job behind door number 1?”
Every year a church loses 25% of its congregation. In addition, 60% of the young people leave church completely. The world asks, “Do you want to stay at he church you are attending or trade in for the church behind door number 1 or choose door number 2 and leave completely?”
The divorce rate is at 50% on first marriages. The world asks “Do you want to stay in the marriage you are in or trade it for the marriage behind door number 1 which averages a divorce rate of 67% or go for door number 2, a third marriage, with an average divorce rate of 74%?”
The average span of time that people are keeping their cars is 5 years. 43% of Americans will move this year. We live in a world of constant decision-making. How do we make the right decisions?
Let me share four steps to making wise decisions.
1) Pray for his will to be done.
Proverbs 3:6 “Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.”
There are two aspects to seeking God’s will. One is submission to his will. And God’s will is very clear in the Bible. We are not to be like the world. The things that the world pursues should not be our pursuits. The world pursues materiliasm, gratification, and pleasure among other things. We are to pursue love for God and each other.
We are to be holy. That means set apart for God’s use, different. We are to be a living sacrifice offered to him. We are to be his flavoring so his word would be tasty.
We are to be thankful on all occasions. We are not to be downtrodden and defeated. God’s word says in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.” We are not crushed, driven to despair, abandoned by God, or destroyed. For these things alone we should be thankful.
We are to live honorable lives. I did a little research on epitaphs written on people’s tombstones. Here are four of the best.
William Hahn Jr - “I told you I was sick”
Talk show host Merv Grifin - “I will not be right back after this message”
Mel Blanc, voice for cartoon characters including Porky Pig - “That’s all folks”
And my personal favorite, Rodney Dangerfield - “There goes the neighborhood”
Have you ever wondered what might be written on your tomstone if the people you encountered daily were to be able to choose the wording? Would it be flattering or demeaning? It depends on whether we have lived honorable lives. And to live honorable lives we must submit to his will and be set apart and different from the world around us.
When we submit to his will then the second point factors in. God will lead us on a straight path. It’s not God’s desire that we wander aimlessly through life, trying to find the right path like Israel did in the wilderness. Remember the fact that they wandered around because they were not dong the will of God.