We live in a world of constant change – “The Only Constant in Life Is Change.”- Heraclitus.
“Heraclitus, I believe, says that all things pass and nothing stays, and comparing existing things to the flow of a river, he says you could not step twice into the same river.” – Plato
Consistency? Does this amount to ‘boredom’? IF the consistency was amazement, joy, peace…would it be ‘unbearable’?? In the absence of ‘Time,’ what truly counts?
If and when the source of joy was all-ways present; then what?
We live by faith and not by sight as children of The Creator – adopted into The family of faith. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave God great delight.” The story of the Bible is the story of adoption. We are all adopted into God’s spiritual family as a chosen child of God. Our story has been written; sorry to disappoint you! Nothing happens by chance.
We tend to speak of chance as if it were an entity. Chance refers to something that has no discernible cause, but we cannot say that there is no cause. Chance, being only a concept (statistical probability measurement, perhaps), cannot be a cause of anything. As Proverbs points out: “The lot is cast into the lap, but the decision is wholly from the Lord.” [Proverbs 16:33].
Technically speaking, nothing happens by chance because chance does not exist except as a way of speaking (which often reflects a way of thinking, or a perspective). Some Quantum Physics “popularizers” have tended to elevate “chance” to the status of the “real” due to the uncertainty principle. But, again, simply because we do not discern a cause does not mean one does not exist.
Every effect has a cause (by definition, I think), and everything that is created by God may be thought of as an effect. God, being eternal and self-existent, has no cause. All else depends on Him for existence, and thus exists as “caused” by Him.
The question, though, as to prayer and praying in faith, is an emotionally difficult one. I think the point of praying in faith is that we may reach a place in our walk with Christ that we pray knowing that all thing are possible, but also desiring God’s will be done even if it means that we do not receive what we ask. Since we cannot possibly know in every situation what the will of the Lord is, we must often pray as did Jesus in the garden as he agonized over the passion that lay before him – not my will, but your will be done. That, to me, is praying in faith.
While Jesus undoubtedly knew the will of God, while we most often do not, I think the point is still valid. We are to pray always about everything with thanksgiving. This is impossible if “praying with faith” means always believing that God is going to do what we ask if and when it is God’s will.
There are a myriad of decisions that we will and have made in life. Look back, questions assailed you with wrong decisions or I will say, decisions we have not prayed on. We have The Source of perfection available at every step of the way.
How many times have you been faced with a difficult decision, a variety of choices or several different paths you could take? Did you feel overwhelmed, confused, really wishing you had some guidance from someone or more than just one person? In times like these, we can find some assurance with counselors, trusted friends, family friends and maybe even with our pastor.
But the fact is that all of us are faced with decisions every day. Some of our choices are small: what to wear or eat, when to make that phone call, which program to watch on television or when to go to bed. And yet we find that big decisions will come along sometimes demanding to be resolved one way or another. Business choices, relationships that need attention, making wise choices about marriage and careers — all demand much thought and discernment. We depend on our own experience, the wisdom of others and our reasoning abilities to make those choices.
Those of us who call ourselves disciples of Jesus have resources available through prayer, scripture and the advice of more mature Christians who may have walked that same path. As a pastor of congregational care, I have spent time with many persons want to make the right decisions in their lives. They want to operate their lives within God’s will and be able to tell the difference between his will and their own desires. It is important to them to make wise choices that reflect the heart of God. They do not want to make wrong choices.
I believe that one purpose, maybe the most critical purpose, of Jesus sending his Spirit was to help us in our decision making. From the initial decision to become a believer, to a desire for a holy life, and including the big and small decisions of daily life, I believe the Holy Spirit can be depended upon for guidance in our choices.
In fact, there are numerous examples of the Holy Spirit as guide in both testaments; from the guiding of the people of Israel through prophets, signs, visions, to Jesus and Paul, and certainly in the forming of the early church. “Biblical references like these encourage us to believe that the Spirit’s guidance covers all kinds of decisions,” Hudson writes. “Indeed, in light of this strong Biblical support for God’s guidance, we can boldly affirm this bit of good news: The Holy Spirit wants to guide us in our decision making.”
God gives us the free choice and free will to live our lives the way we desire. That gift of freedom is the greatest gift that he can give. God wants us to choose, because we love him and want to obey him, to make our decisions within the overall blueprint of his will. It is the Holy Spirit who can guide our choices even as we have freedom to make them.
We can allow the Holy Spirit to help us exercise our freedom of choice by using the spiritual practices of the study of scripture, personal prayer and meditation, listening to the counsel of our family of faith both past and present and our own reasoning abilities and experiences. But when all is said and done, each of us must make every decision, whether big or small, for ourselves.
When it comes to important decisions that make eternal differences in our earthly lives, maybe the words of Joshua are relevant to you and me: “So now, revere the Lord. Serve him honestly and faithfully. Put aside the gods that your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates and in Egypt and serve the Lord. But if it seems wrong in your opinion to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Choose the gods whom your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live. But my family and I will serve the Lord” (24:14,15 CEB).
The Holy Spirit of God and Jesus has a place in our decision making. He is our guide, our source of light and the revealer of the way of truth. Let’s trust him with our decisions, big or small!