Becky and I have made a lot of decisions by faith in our marriage and ministry. At times our decisions have had their genesis in our daily devotions, or one of us have been in prayer about a situation, a desire or a dream. When that happens, we pray together for a sense of peace and direction. We also talk about it, a lot, about what we should do, what we expect the results to be, and how we know this is the right decision..
It’s always been exciting to make those decisions by faith. However, sometimes that step of faith has been made with some anxiety as well.
Here’s what I mean. We haven’t always been sure that the decision we made was the right one. We just knew something needed to be done. So after praying about it we simply make the decision based upon God’s Word, with some agreed upon conditions. We keep moving ahead one day at a time.
1 Samuel 14 has a good story about making decisions like this. In the story, Prince Jonathan and his servant won an incredible victory. Israel was occupied by the Philistines and pretty much weaponless (1 Samuel 13:19). The situation is terribly wrong and needed to be rectified. Jonathan makes an incredible faith statement, but with the wisdom of someone who knew better than to presume upon the Lord. “Perhaps the Lord will help us, for nothing can hinder the Lord. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few! … We will cross over and let them see us. If they say to us, ‘Stay where you are or we’ll kill you’ then we will stop and not go up to them. But if they say “Come on up and fight,’ then we will go up. That will be the Lord’s sign that he will help us defeat them.” (1 Samuel 14:6-10)
Jonathan wasn’t sure, but something needed to be done about the enemy who was occupying their nation and stealing from God’s people. His faith was informed by the promises of God. It was not definitely not presumption upon the promises of God.
“In fact, you will chase down your enemies and slaughter them with your swords. Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand! All your enemies will fall beneath your sword.” (Leviticus 26:7–8, NLT)
“The Lord will conquer your enemies when they attack you. They will attack you from one direction, but they will scatter from you in seven!” (Deuteronomy 28:7, NLT)
If the enemy says stay there or he will kill you, we will abandon the plan. But if the enemy says come on up, we will know that God is with us. The miracle that took place was the complete defeat and rout of the Philistines. It happened because Jonathan believed God and His Word. It reminds me of David going up against Goliath in the name of the Lord with a slingshot! How the weakest among us become mighty when we trust in the Lord!
If you have a decision that you need to make that will be successful only if you have faith, I encourage you to remember God has given us “great and precious promises.” (2 Peter 1:4)
Finally, here are a few other lessons we have learned.
- We have learned that to make progress we have to be like the proverbial turtle. The turtle never gets anywhere until he sticks neck out.
- We have learned that we aren’t responsible to meet every need.
- Stay true to our calling.
- Every opportunity is not one that we should take advantage of.
- Every open door, isn’t necessarily a door that God opened for us.
- Sometimes a dream has been the late night tacos that I’ve eaten. (I love spicy tacos!)