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RICK WARREN ARTICLE

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God’s Antidote for Indecision

01/20/13

Author: Rick Warren

How can we learn to be decisive?

The Bible says you do four things:

1. Admit I need a guide

2. Ask in faith for direction

3. Listen for God’s response

4. Trust God when I don’t understand

1. I NEED TO ADMIT I NEED A GUIDE

This is tough, especially for men. When we’re lost do we want to stop and ask for directions? No. It is not in the nature of a man to stop and ask for directions. We just don’t do it. So we stumble and get confused. Sheep, by nature, tend to wander, to get off the path. They need a good Shepherd and so do we. We tend to wander.

Isa. 53:6 “Everyone of us have strayed away like sheep! We have left God’s paths to follow our own.”

This is the real problem why you don’t know God’s will. The fact is that most of the time we don’t want to follow God or anybody else whether we’re a Christian or not. We want to go our own way. We don’t want to admit we need direction, a guide.

Sheep have poor vision. They can’t see very far. Instead of saying “He’s as blind as a bat” you could say “He’s as blind as a sheep”. A sheep cannot see very far ahead. That’s why, on a path, they don’t know if that path is going to go off a cliff, lead them into a fire. They need a shepherd, someone to guide them. Likewise, you’re like a sheep. Human beings can’t see the future. They don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, much less next year or ten years from now. You don’t even know what’s going to happen this afternoon. God made you so that you don’t see into the future no matter how much you try. Even with all the gimmicks to predict the future, you don’t really know what’s going to happen.

Why did God do this? So that you would depend on Him. So He could be your guide.

The problem is because sheep don’t see very well into the future and we don’t either, we tend to stumble. Proverbs 14: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” We’ve all made a decision that at the time seemed right but later on turned out to be wrong. Some paths lead to dead ends. They lead nowhere. That’s why it’s easy to get off track Just like sheep tend to wander and can’t see into the future neither can we and so we stumble. But the first step is to just admit, “God,I need help.”

Some people say God never speaks to them. They probably don’t really want Him to. You probably don’t think you even need a guide.

Psalm 25 “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.” Humble means I admit I need a guide.

2. ASK IN FAITH FOR DIRECTIONS

The Bible says, “Jesus said, `Ask and it shall be given, seek and ye shall find, knock and the door will be opened.'” Ask, seek, knock — ASK. God wants you to learn to ask.

James 1 tells us how to get wisdom, “If you want to know what God really wants you to do, ask him, and he will gladly tell you, for he is always ready to give a bountiful supply of wisdom to all who ask him; but … if you don’t ask in faith, don’t expect the Lord to give you any solid answer.”

God is willing to give wisdom, He’s anxious to give wisdom, He’s waiting to give you wisdom, He wants to direct you in life, but you’ve got to have two things lined up: You’ve got to ask the right person — God. You ask with the right attitude — in faith, expecting an answer. Have you ever asked God for something and didn’t expect to get it? Sure you have. That’s why you didn’t get it. God works in our life according to faith. So many times we say, “God, please guide me!” and we walk away not even waiting for guidance. We just immediately start to work. We say, “God, I want you to give me wisdom, help me make the right decision.” But we don’t really expect Him to do that. We think it all depends on us.

God has promised wisdom. What is wisdom? Wisdom is seeing life from God’s point of view. Wisdom is the ability to make decisions the way God makes decisions. God always bats 1000. He never makes a bad decision. He never makes a mistake. He says if we trust Him and listen to Him, He will guide us. But we must ask in faith.

3. LISTEN FOR GOD’S RESPONSE

Right now, in this room, it’s filled with radio waves and television waves. There are messages going across this room right now. You can’t see them but if you had the proper reception you could tune in and hear it. A radio can pick up the reception. Why? Because it was created by its creator to pick up radio waves. God designed you to hear His voice. There is a receiver in you to get guidance from God. He wouldn’t have made you without it. That’s what makes you a human being. Out of all the creatures God created and put on the earth, only human beings have the ability to tune in to God to hear what He says.

If you don’t hear God then,

a) You have the receptor turned off — you’ve never established a relationship with God.

b) You’re away from it all the time, you’re not listening to it.

c) You’re on the wrong channel — if God’s on channel 13 and you’re on channel 4 you’re not going to pick it up.

God speaks all the time, we’re just not tuned in. Job 33:14 “God does speak — sometimes one way and sometimes another — even though people may not understand it.” Why wouldn’t we understand it? Because we’re not tuned in.

What channels does God use? There are many that He uses to speak to us. The Bible, teachers, impressions, circumstances, pain. He doesn’t always speak the same way. The primary way that God speaks is through the Bible. A lot of the direction you need for life is already right here. God says life is a journey and He’s given us a road map. He’s given us a compass — our conscious inside of us. And He’s given us a guide — His Spirit within us.

If you’re lost, it helps to have a road map and a compass but even more, it helps to have someone who’s been there and who can actually guide you through that desert. The Bible is God’s guide book, a road map, and if you don’t read it you’re going to get lost. It will help you negotiate the mazes and the directions you need in life. You need to read this book everyday. If you don’t, it’s like having the phone off the hook. God can’t get through to you.

You say God never speaks to you. Are you reading the Bible everyday? No. If you’ve never memorized any verses in the book, God can’t bring them to your mind. If you’ve never put anything into your mind, how can He bring it out at the right time? You need to read this book and fill your mind with it so you can know God’s will. God’s will is found in God’s word. Read it systematically.

God speaks through teachers, Godly Bible teachers. Have you ever been in a crowd like at church and you feel the teacher is speaking directly to you? In that moment God is speaking directly to you. He’s speaking through teachers. Am I saying that God speaks through me? Yes, I have no doubt that sometimes God uses words I say to speak to other people. But God does that through every Christian. God speaks through you. If you’ll stay in tune with Him and learn His word, sometimes God will use you to say things to people that He wants to say to them. It’s not something real fancy only reserved for pastors. God speaks through every believer at different times.

There is no way that I could figure out what everybody in a crowd needs and fit it all in one message so that everybody gets their need met. But as I’m preparing each week I say, “God, you know who’s going to be there next Sunday and You know the tough week they’ve been through. I don’t, but You do. You know what they need to hear. Help me to say something You want to say to them.” He uses it. That’s one of the reasons why I never want to miss church. So many of the turning points in my life, major turning points, happened when I was listening to a Bible study or message.

When the doors are open at the church, I want to be there, because I think “What if God has prepared a message for me and I don’t show up?” Even when I’m on vacation, I don’t like to miss church. I’ll try to find a church somewhere around and go there. God uses teachers to speak to me. God may have had the pastor prepare the sermon just for me. God speaks through impressions, inspirations, ideas, hunches.

There are two extremes here. There is the rationalist who says, “God never speaks through impressions.” And then there is the mystic who says, “Every impression is from God.” That’s obviously not true. You may have just had a bad burrito. Acid indigestion. God can give all kinds of impressions but so can gas. And the devil can give impressions. That’s why you need to test it.

God uses circumstances to speak. He uses pain. God whispers to us in our pleasure, but He shouts to us in our pain. God gets your attention when you’re in pain. There are no atheists in fox holes. When your life is on the line, everybody believes in God. Proverbs 20:30 (GN) “Sometimes it takes a painful situation to make us change our ways.”

God is speaking all the time. Do you have your ears on? Are you listening? If you listen, tune in, He will lead you on the right path. If you don’t get in tune with God on a regular daily, moment by moment basis, you’re going to miss God’s path for your life — the right path, the path He made you for. God often moves us in directions we don’t understand.

2 Responses to “RICK WARREN ARTICLE”

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