Tag Archives: decide

It’s All Apart of the Plan

Jonah 1:7 ~ And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah.

When Jonah refused to go to Ninevah to preach the gospel as the Lord had asked a “whale” of a story followed! But the reality of it was, how many people died outside salvation in Ninevah while Noah was rebelling against God? One was too many…

The practice of casting lots was common of the day; every decision was from the Lord and when the lot was properly used, the answer was not a matter of chance but came from God. Because we now have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us the lots are no longer necessary, however the answer is still not a matter of chance.

Proverbs 16:33 says “The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord.” I have to wonder if this is not where the phrase “It just fell into my lap” came from, when in truth nothing just “falls” into your lap without the divine providence of God either directing it there, or allowing it. It is then our task to determine the direction to go.

My lap is often full of decisions. I sometimes fear a boatload of Tarshish immigrants will pass by the shores of Calhoun County and declare “Throw her overboard. The troubles we’re in are her fault! It’s a habit in my life to assume responsibility for something that was not within my control. Yes… it’s crazy, but it’s my lot.

The point I want to make here is this, “No decision is allowed to come into our lives that God’s not a part of. He either allowed it or created it, either of which was designed to send us in His direction for the answer. There are times I wish the practice of casting lots was still an option, a “yes” or “no” answer would be helpful. But what a decision requires, where it be big or small is prayer and lots of it. Reading the Word of God and allowing the Holy Spirit to minister our soul.

Jonah made a mistake, it wasn’t fatal but it had a nasty repercussion. Imagine being in the belly of that great fish for three days! What would be going through your mind? Just kill me already! I’ll bet he did some serious soul searching then. It was all a part of the plan…

Matthew 12:40

For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

God was not caught off guard by Jonah’s rebellion. He expected it. I’m sure God would have much preferred if upon telling Jonah to go to Ninevah, he replied, “I’ll pack by bags and be out the door in the shake of a dog’s tail.” But being that wasn’t his answer and God used that too. He used Jonah’s act of rebellion as an example of God’s ultimate redemption. He said I’ll show you that way back there in 786-746 BC that I knew you’d mess up in 2013 AD, so 2000 years ago, I died on that cross of Calvary, they placed Me in the tomb and in three days I came forth too! But not as whale puke, like Jonah. No, I came forth victorious. Satan thought he won, until I knocked on his door and said I’ve come for the keys of death, hell and the grave. Revelation 1:18

Decisions are rough. We can’t cast lots, and sometimes we’re not nearly as in tune with God as we should be, but isn’t it great to know that God’s got it all worked into the plan. He can use even our mistakes to bring glory to his name. Amen!

How to Keep Your Life in Tune

Yesterday as I sat down to play my fiddle, I heard “ping” and then my “A” string went a little sour, I tightened it and tuned it and a few seconds later, “ping”- it was out even more! As I tuned it again, the “D” string decided it was not getting the attention it desired. “Ping!” again. Are you serious? Then I happened to think about the location of my fiddle, it had been sitting close the gas fire place, which because of the cold temperatures had been kicking on more than usual. The warmth had likely caused the wood to contract and expand allowing my tuning pegs to slip. A little TLC on the “D” string and Old Joe Clark sounded as good as it ever did (insert grin here).

This morning as I awoke and began to ponder the day I began thinking about those slipping pegs. I had moved my fiddle to the other side of the room away from the toasty fire; if only my out of tune life would be so easy to get back into shape. It goes out of tune for the same reason, too close the fire. Troubles and trials seem to travel in groups and one after another I find myself sounding a little sour. It doesn’t take long to hear that “Ping” in life that almost has your string unwound from the peg completely. Something so simple, can push you over the edge.

I’m by no means a seasoned fiddle player, but I knew enough to not get in a panic (although my heart fluttered a little) when I heard the string slip. There was no need to jump to the conclusion that my fiddle playing days were over and I should take up another instrument. That would be the Esau theory of life.

If Esau played the fiddle he would have likely thrown the fiddle away, quit playing music all together. In the story of Esau and Jacob, grandsons to the great Abraham, the friend of God, we find a dose of stupidity for which I can relate. I too have often made decisions in the heat of the moment and then later thought, why on earth did I do that? Esau had been out hunting and was tired and cranky and in a split second decision gave away the blessing of God, the position of authority, his inheritance and privilege as the first born that would have set him up for a sweet life.

Genesis 25:29-32 ~ And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?

Jacob is referred to as the deceiver, but I don’t think that title came from this occasion. He later deceived his blind father with the help of his mother (Genesis 27), but in this story Esau was not deceived he sold his birthright to Jacob without quarrel. For a momentary pleasure of a bowl of soup he gave away the blessings of God that would have set him up for life.

How many times have I in the “ping” of the moment made a life altering decision? Too many to count. A new found friend of mine in social media, Sandi Krakowski said the other day that she uses the 7-7-7 theory of decision making. What difference will this decision make in 7 hours, 7 days, 7 months? If Esau had ask himself that question, he’d have gotten his own bowl of soup. But instead he started his life on bad decisions. He later grieved his parents by marrying into the family of Ishmael, another bad decision.

Are you in the midst of a decision? Think it through and use Sandi’s 7-7-7 theory. I used it this week, it works and could save you some serious heartache down the road.

Don’t throw the fiddle away, it makes beautiful music in the Master’s hand. My hand? not so much…