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Summary: Learning to make godly and sound decisions in light of the consequences that could potentially occur.

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THE STORY HAS BEEN TOLD ABOUT FORMER PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN WHO ONCE HAD AN AUNT WHO TOOK HIM TO A COBBLER FOR A PAIR OF NEW SHOES.

THE COBBLER ASKED THE YOUNG REAGAN, "DO YOU WANT SQUARE TOES OR ROUND TOES?" UNABLE TO DECIDE, REAGAN DIDN’T ANSWER, SO THE COBBLER GAVE HIM A FEW DAYS.

SEVERAL DAYS LATER THE COBBLER SAW REAGAN ON THE STREET AND ASKED HIM AGAIN WHAT KIND OF TOES HE WANTED ON HIS SHOES. REAGAN STILL COULDN’T DECIDE, SO THE SHOEMAKER REPLIED, "WELL, COME BY IN A COUPLE OF DAYS. YOUR SHOES WILL BE READY." WHEN THE FUTURE PRESIDENT DID SO, HE FOUND ONE SQUARE-TOED AND ONE ROUND-TOED SHOE!

"THIS WILL TEACH YOU TO NEVER LET PEOPLE MAKE DECISIONS FOR YOU," THE COBBLER SAID TO HIS INDECISIVE CUSTOMER. "I LEARNED RIGHT THEN AND THERE," REAGAN SAID LATER, "IF YOU DON’T MAKE YOUR OWN DECISIONS, SOMEONE ELSE WILL."

HAVE YOU EVER STRUGGLED WITH MAKING DECISIONS? DECISIONS THAT WERE NOT ONLY SIMPLE SUCH AS “WHAT SHOULD I FIX FOR SUPPER?,” BUT EVEN HARDER DECISIONS LIKE THE ONES THAT AFFECT YOUR LIFE, MINISTRY, CAREER OR FUTURE?

IT IS AMAZING HOW MANY SOURCES THE AVERAGE PERSON WILL CONSULT WHEN FACED WITH MAKING A DECISION. THEY SEARCH THE HOROSCOPES, CONSULT WITH A TRUSTED FRIEND, OR EVEN SEEK OUT PROFESSIONAL COUNSELING.

FOR THE CHRISTIAN IT IS A WHOLE DIFFERENT STORY. YES, WE HAVE THE PRIVILEGE OF CONSULTING WITH A TRUSTED FRIEND AND WE CAN EVEN GO TO OUR CHAPLAINS FOR SOME BIBLICAL ADVICE.

BUT THE ONE DIFFERENCE WE HAVE OVER THE WAYS OF THE WORLD IN MAKING OUR DECISIONS INVOLVES THE AREA OF ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THOSE DECISIONS MADE.

WHEN FACED WITH MAKING A DECISION WE MUST FIRST ASK THE QUESTION "WHAT WOULD THE LORD WANT TO ACCOMPLISH THROUGH THIS DECISION I AM ABOUT TO MAKE?"

JEHOSHAPHAT MODELED THAT CONCEPT IN 2 CHRONICLES 18:3-5, WHEN AHAB, THE KING OF ISRAEL, ASKED JEHOSHAPHAT TO JOIN HIM IN GOING TO WAR AGAINST RAMOTH GILEAD.

IN RESPONSE, JEHOSHAPHAT SAID IN VERSES 3-4, “I AM AS YOU ARE, AND MY PEOPLE AS YOUR PEOPLE; WE WILL JOIN YOU IN THE WAR. BUT …FIRST SEEK THE COUNSEL OF THE LORD." AS A RESULT, 400 PROPHETS GATHERED SEEKING AFTER GOD. THEY RECEIVED HIS DIVINE ANSWER HELPING THEM TO MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION.

WE, TOO, MUST TAKE THIS CONCEPT INTO OUR DECISION-MAKING PROCESS SO THAT OUR FIRST “INSTINCT” IS TO SEEK THE LORD GOD AND HIS WILL FOR US.

WE CANNOT AFFORD TO GET THIS TURNED AROUND IN THE WRONG DIRECTION. WE SOMETIMES GET IMPATIENT OR HASTY AND START THE PROCESS OF DECISION-MAKING BY ASKING “WHAT DO I THINK IS BEST FOR ME?

INSTEAD, WE NEED TO CONCEIVE THE THOUGHT-PROCESS OF "WHAT WOULD THE LORD WANT TO ACCOMPLISH THROUGH THE DECISION I NEED TO MAKE?"

WHEN WE ARE FACED WITH A DECISION, NO MATTER HOW GREAT OR SMALL, WE NEED TO SEEK THE LORD’S HELP. WE CAN BE ASSURED THAT THE LORD WANTS US TO ASK HIM TO BE ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN OUR DECISION MAKING. THIS IS WHAT MAKES PROVERBS 15:22, SO POWERFUL, AS THE WRITER PROCLAIMS, “WITHOUT GOOD ADVICE EVERYTHING GOES WRONG -- IT TAKES CAREFUL PLANNING FOR THINGS TO GO RIGHT.”

WE NEED TO INVITE THE LORD AND HIS “DIVINE ADVICE” TO ENTER INTO OUR DECISION MAKING BECAUSE IF THERE IS ONE THING I HAVE LEARNED IS THIS: CONSEQUENCES ARE ALWAYS FOLLOWING CLOSE BEHIND EVERY ONE OF MY BAD DECISIONS.


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