We are all faced with the task of making decisions in life. Especially at the beginning of the new year. Some of these decisions are life altering decisions, and you want to make sure you are led by God, that you are following His plan. Well, before you make that decision, let’s look at biblical examples of decisions made. Today, we will read about 3 decisions made by the disciples and apostles to learn how we should approach decisions in our lives.
The first example we will look at is the decision of choosing someone to replace Judas. Judas was the disciple who identified Jesus to the soldiers. In Acts 1:15-26 Peter addressed the disciples and reminded them that what happened to Judas is a fulfillment of scripture and Judas needed to be replaced. He went on to suggest two men that worked with them and Jesus. Let’s read Acts 1:21-26,
“Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection. And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.”
When the disciples had the names of the men who walked with them and Jesus, they prayed. They said Lord, you know the hearts of these men, so we put it in your hands. All were in agreement. All prayed and God chose through Matthias' lot being pulled. The key point I want us to take from this example is that the disciples were all on one accord and they all prayed. There was no disagreement of who the options should be. All agreed on the two men. All agreed they must pray and all prayed together.
The second example we will look at is the sending out of apostles. Acts 13:1-4 tells us of 5 prophets and teachers who were worshiping the Lord and fasting. It was during this time that they heard from God about who to send out. They fasted and prayed some more, then laid hands on them for the journey, and finally sent them out. Acts 13:1-4 reads,
“Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.”
These men were not unlearned men. They were not unaware of Jesus and His power. They knew Him. They were prophets and teachers of His word, yet they still did not just haphazardly send men out to preach the gospel. No, they spent time worshiping the Lord, fasting, and praying.
The third and final example of how to make a decision is found in Acts 14. This is when the disciples had to appoint elders of the church. The apostles had been so effective when they were sent out that churches were needed and the churches needed leaders. Acts 14:23 says, “And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.” The disciples didn’t just appoint elders or had elections for elders. They prayed and fasted to know who to appoint and ask the Lord to bless the works of their hands as they went out.
I pray you have recognized the pattern here. The early church has shown us how to make Godly decisions. We are not to make decisions based on our own intellect and experience, but rather on God’s direction. Here are three steps to making a decision with God.
STEP ONE - PRAYER
When we pray we are talking to our creator, God Himself. This is a vital step not just with making decisions, but being a believer. The Bible tells us that we should always pray!
STEP TWO - FASTING
Fasting is so powerful because it helps us to kill our flesh. We are able to humble ourselves through fasting. We don’t want God to have to humble us. So, learn to kill the spirit of pride though fasting. Pastor Dereck Prince has spoken about personal fast times and corporate fast times. The examples I gave were all corporate, because the decisions were corporate decisions that needed to be made and all the people were on one accord. When you are faced with making a personal decision, go into a personal fast. In fact, Pastor Prince says that we should all have a personal fast discipline so that we are sure to stay connected to God and keep ourselves humble to receive from God. We want to make sure we are making decisions rooted in God, not in our emotions.
STEP THREE - WORSHIP
Worship sets the atmosphere. It helps us to reach God easier when we are giving Him all the glory and honor He is due. Worship helps us to keep our hearts and minds pure before God.
I pray you now have tools to help you make decisions in your life. You will have peace about the decisions, because you know you were led by God!
Listen friend! You are a powerhouse armed and ready to make big bold impactful decisions with God! God work what you know! Let me know your thoughts on this post in the comments below.