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Friday, April 21, 2023

Learning to Make Intentional Decisions as I Follow and Pursue God’s Dream for My Life

In James 3:17 I read, “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” (NIV)

When God gives me a dream, I won’t just accidentally fulfill it. I’ll have to be intentional in making several critical decisions that will help grow my faith and move me toward fulfilling the dream God created me to dream.

Here are two decisions that are necessary

First, you need to invest. I have to decide to invest my time, money, reputation, and energy in the things that will advance my pursuit of God’s dream. 

In other words, I need to stop making excuses and take the plunge. This is when I say, “God, I’m not going to procrastinate any longer. I’m going to do what you’ve told me to do.”

Second, I need to let go of security. I can’t move forward in faith while holding on to the past.

A great picture of letting go of security is a trapeze artist. She swings out on one bar—but before she can grab the next bar and swing to the other side, she has to let go of that first bar. The bars are far enough apart that she can’t hold on to both at the same time. At some point she must let go of the security of the first bar. Then, for a split second, she is flying in midair, holding on to neither one.

Maybe you’ve never swung on a trapeze, but have you ever been at the point in your career when you’ve left one job and are looking for another, and there is nothing in between? It feels like you’re a hundred feet in the air with no net below. 

But if I don’t let go of my old life and grab on to the vision God wants for me, then I’ll simply swing back in the old direction—only I won’t swing all the way back. I’ll just swing lower and lower until I finally stop, hanging there with only one way out: down.

Like the trapeze artist, I have to decide to let go of my security in order to take hold of my dream.

When I’m making critical decisions to follow God’s dream, it’s not about making quick decisions. It’s about making the right decisions. Quick decisions are easy—and usually wrong. It takes wisdom and time to make the right decision

For wisdom, James 1:5 reminds me to just ask God, and he’ll generously give his wisdom to anyone who is faithfully sincere in their request. And “the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere” (James 3:17 NIV). 

While God gives me advice and guidelines, he does not force me to do anything. He offers me freewill to decide on how I’ll live my life rather than making the decisions for me? He designed me with a mind to think through and consider my choices and impacts. 

As I follow his dream for my life, God is asking me to use my freewill to make an investment that will help further his Kingdom and bring hope to others I interact with. I just need to be willing to set aside any selfish ambitions and invest in his causes.

Today I need to let go of my reservedness and reach out and have discussions and relationships with others. I’m going to consider this and put forth an effort to do so.