Decision – Choose this day whom you will serve. Joshua 24:15
Yesterday, we considered the important part knowledge plays in supporting faith. But knowledge and faith are not the same. There are gaps in our knowledge, and those gaps are filled by thoughts that we believe are true. Belief starts as a thought; usually we have an array of thoughts that might explain the existence of fragments of knowledge. We make a choice between these differing explanatory thoughts, and at some point we decide one thought holds merit over the rest. At that point of decision that thought becomes our belief. For us to have faith, we must put together the pieces of knowledge that we have with the thoughts that best help us connect the pieces. Sometimes we drag our feet in making that decision. That might be wise in some occasions, but sometimes it is just procrastination. We are so fearful about making the wrong decision we wait for more knowledge, some of which will never come until we are dead. But to live life with any type of worldview we have to have faith of one sort or another. To have faith, we must decide. To be people of faith, we must be decisive.
Jesus was decisive. His disciples did not want him to go to Jerusalem, but he chose to do so with such determination the Bible describes him as if his face was set toward Jerusalem like a flint rock. He believed it was the right thing to do. Again, it is hard to compare Jesus’s decisiveness with our own. The Old Testament hero, Joshua, called out the people of Israel over their indecision when he made them decide on the smorgasbord of gods in the land, and told them he knew what his decision would be, the God that had walked with them through the wilderness into the promised land. Not all of the faith decisions we need to make are that integral to our faith, some can be just small daily steps that require a degree of belief, but they still need to be made for us to move forward. We need to repeat Joshua’s line as a mantra ‘decide this day….’ and apply it to many of the faith issues on which we waffle. We dabble in doubt like kids in a puddle delaying going where we are suppose to go; at some point a decision needs to be made.
Here’s an idea to help us become decisive in areas of belief: Have you felt an inkling over the past few days that you are to do an act of kindness, but you were not sure if that was God nudging you or just one of your crazy or guilt ridden ideas? Make a decision. Decide today you are going to do it or you are not going to do the act. If you are going to do it, get it done as soon as possible. If you are not, put it out of your mind (WARNING: if it is from God, I expect he’ll remind you and your decision was probably an act of rebellion and you should probably just do it). That little exercise could lead to being a changed person, one who is more decisive for God.