Summary: When you have a decision to make, utilize the supernatural resources you have at your disposal as a child of God. Utilize your spiritual assets of the Word of God and prayer.
A 32-year-old man was just appointed president of the bank he worked for. He never dreamed of being president, and certainly not at such a young age, so he was a bit intimidated. He sought the advice of his gray-haired predecessor: “Sir, what has been the secret of your success?”
The old man responded, “Two words: right decisions.”
“That’s really helpful, and I appreciate it,” the young man replied. But he was hoping for a bit more help than that, so he ventured on. “Can you be more specific?” he asked. “How do I make right decisions?”
The wise, old man simply responded – “One word: experience.”
Well, that thoroughly frustrated the young executive. “That’s just the point of my being here,” he said. “I don’t have the kind of experience I need. How do I get it?”
The old man smiled. “Two words,” he said: “wrong decisions.” (Ted W. Engstrom and Edward R. Dayton, editors, “Murphy’s Law,” Christian Leadership Letter, February, 1981, p.1; www.PreachingToday.com)
We learn a lot through our mistakes, don’t we? We learn a lot through wrong decisions, but it doesn’t have to be that way especially for the child of God.
We, as believers in Christ, have supernatural resources. We have spiritual assets that can help us make the right decisions no matter what our experience has been. All we have to do is utilize those assets, and God will lead us down the right path. You say, Phil…
What are those supernatural resources? What are those spiritual assets that will help me make the right decisions in life. Well, if you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to Acts 1, Acts 1, where the first church is faced with its very first decision. They cannot draw on years of experience, so they draw on the supernatural resources they have available to them. Look at it.
Acts 1:15-26 In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said, “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.” (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) “For it is written in the Book of Psalms, “ ‘May his camp become desolate, and let there be no one to dwell in it’; and “ ‘Let another take his office.’ So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles. (ESV)
The first decision of the first church was a leadership decision, and it was a very important decision since leadership can make or break an organization, especially one that’s just getting started.
So how did the first church make that decision? From what spiritual resources did they draw to make the right decision? Well, did you notice, the first words out of Peter’s mouth were, “Brothers (vs.16), the Scripture had to be fulfilled.” And then he goes on to quote a couple of verses in the Psalms. Verse 20: “For it is written in the book of Psalms, ‘May his camp become desolate, and let there be no one to dwell in it.’” That’s Psalm 69:25. “And, ‘Let another take his office.’” That’s Psalm 109:8.
Now, when you at these psalms, you see that they are talking about the enemies of Israel’s king. There is actually no direct reference to Judas at all. So how does Peter make the jump from the enemies of Israel’s king to Judas? It’s very simple. Judas was an enemy of Israel’s Primary King, Jesus. And as an enemy of Israel’s Primary King, Judas had to be treated the way Scripture says all enemies of Israel’s kings need to be treated.
Peter draws a principle from scripture, which applies across the board – in his own day, as well as in David’s day, 1,000 years earlier, when the Psalm was written. The principle he found in Scripture is this: the King’s enemy must be replaced.