Admit it, you know who you are. If you’re like me, daily, sometimes hourly, you are conversing with the Lord, “Okay Lord, would you like me to make this major life decision, or this one over here?” And then I wait. And wait. Maybe if I look up towards heaven, God will know that I REALLY need an answer on this one. And then it comes back to me: silence. Hmmm. Maybe he’s still thinking about his answer. I continue. “In the meantime, let me ask you this other life-altering, major-decision-requiring question…” “Lord? Yoo hoo?”
“Okay, well if I don’t hear from you, I’m going to go ahead and take the step I think you want me to take, okay, Lord?” And then the next decision comes: “Lord, should I expand the house I’m in, buy a larger
house, or be content with my house just as it is? Lord, should I get this degree or that one? Lord, could you just reveal a little of the future for me?” I know He gives us free will, but don’t you wish sometimes that He could reveal the end result so you know how the story ends up? “Lord, could you show me the GPS for my life, so I can see my current dot on the map, the end result, and whether I need to adjust my route to get there?”
I admit it, I’m a waffler. If only there were a 12-step program for waffling, I would be first in line at the registration table. My problem isn’t that I don’t know how to make a decision, it’s much more spiritual than that. My fears are multiple: I fear the outcome if I make the wrong decision, fear that the decision I make isn’t the decision God would prefer that I make, and sometimes fear that God’s best for me may not be my idea of what’s best for me. Oh, and then there’s the path I choose when I think I’ve heard an answer from God but it’s really just me. We all know what happens to those who take matters into their own hands; interpret a direction they believe is from God and head down the wrong path entirely. How many decisions that are documented in the Bible were made by people who took matters into their own hands because God didn’t give them an immediate answer to his knowledge of their future? Was it Abraham and Hagar (Gen 16)? Or perhaps it was Rebecca and Jacob? Did God have other plans, other means for fulfilling His will for Jacob that did not involve lying and deception? Of course He did.
Sarah and Rebecca both fell victim to the same problem I sometimes encounter. The it-hasn’t-happened-yet-so-God-must-have-changed-His-mind syndrome. That combined with the we-can’t-trust-our-Lord-to-provide-the-means-to-make-it-happen syndrome turned out to be a terrible combination for poor Esau. Sarah, and Rebecca both took matters into their own hands because the outcome that God predicted seemed unreachable by their human hands.
The long and short of it is: waffling isn’t God’s design. Ephesians 4:14 says that when we mature as Christians “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind…” God tells us to make a decision and stand behind it.
“Ahh, but I’ve waffled for so long there’s no hope for me!” Fear not fellow waffler, you CAN get out of the waffling hole you’ve dug for yourself. How? First, evaluate your decisions based on how you think God would have you handle them. While we are created with free will to decide what we should do, ultimately, if we set our minds on God’s will, many of these decisions become unimportant. Buying a larger earthly home takes second fiddle to preparing a mansion in heaven. Doing something God gifts you with is much more logical than NOT using those gifts, even if it takes longer than you’d like to get that process going. If you’re still not sure what God would have you do, don’t be like Sarah, Rebecca, and Jacob. Rather than taking matters into your own hands, just wait. 2 Peter 3:8 says “With the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.” Be patient, and truly wait on the Lord. If it is in His will, He will find a way.
As for my burning passion and the decision I need to make there? The passion’s not going anywhere. God’s word says in Psalm 34 to “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart”… hmmm. Look deeper into that passage. He will give you the desires of your heart. We focus so much on the word “desire” that we miss the word “GIVE”. God doesn’t just give you what you want, I believe He also GIVES you the desire to begin with. In other words: Delight yourself in the Lord and He will impassion you with a desire for something, based on the talents and gifts He has bestowed on you, and then yes, He will enable you to make it happen. God impassioned Sarah and Abraham to have a child. God impassioned Kelly to be a teacher, or Mike to volunteer at the homeless shelter, or Kim to be a nurse, or Diane to be a stay-at-home mom. And God has impassioned YOU to do that thing that you’ve been praying over for months or years as well.
Wait on the Lord. So many of our waffling decisions are really just our own impatience. Give your concerns to God, and then have patience as He works out the details. As for me, as I wait on the Lord and His perfect timing, I’ll continue to lay the foundation so that when God does allow me to do what I was placed here to do, I will be ready.