There was no denying what God thought was best.
Reference: “Even after this, Jeroboam did not change his evil ways, but once more appointed priests for the high places from all sorts of people. Anyone who wanted to become a priest he consecrated for the high places.” 1 Kings 13:33 NIV
Explore: What do you do when it’s a beautiful sunny day?
Because of the surroundings many people would make the most of the sunshine and spend the day outside. You would wear shorter, thinner clothing and if you went to a cafe you may even choose to sit outside rather than inside.
What do you do when it’s a cold, rainy day?
Most people would limit the amount of time they had to spend outside. You would rug up and think more about a hot chocolate in front of the TV than a walk in the park.
Our surroundings impact the decisions we make.
If I’m on the streets of a foreign country I will carefully hide all my precious possessions. However, if I’m back in the small country town of Australia that I grew up in, I won’t even lock up the car overnight.
Every day we need to make choices and our current situation will feed into what we decide.
Application: This is why it’s so important for us to intentionally put ourselves before God every day. When we are conscious of God in our surroundings then we start to make Godly decisions. If we go through the week without considering Him then how are we supposed to make decisions aligned to His purpose.
If we want to make Godly decisions we need to surround ourselves with Him – through prayer, reading the Bible, talking to other followers, attending church. Then when it comes time to making a decision we are already in the right setting to discern what God would want us to do.
There’s no point getting dressed before you know what the weather will be. And there’s no point making a decision before you understand the heart of God.
King Jeroboam was making some really poor choices. He had built altars that were for other gods and continued to appoint priests to them.
If he wasn’t sure if he was making the right choice or not, God made it very clear! He sent a man of God to tell him to stop, He shrivelled up his hand and then made it well again.
There was no denying what God thought was best. But in the end Jeroboam continued to go against God.
I read this story and shake my head at the foolish king, but I’m also challenged by my own decision making.
How often do I choose to say negative things about another person? How often am I selfish with my time and my money? How often do I walk past those who are in need?
If you asked me point blank what decision God would have me make, I would know that it was to love and give and help. But every day I would make decisions that don’t align with God’s desires.
Thankfully, we serve a loving, gracious God, who is willing to bring us back to Himself even when we make poor choices. But let’s be proactive with how we surround ourselves with God on a regular basis so that when it comes time to making decisions, we don’t have to wonder what God would choose.
Prayer: Lord, forgive me when I choose my own selfish path rather than following You. May I continue to dwell in Your presence so that my decision making naturally aligns with Your ways. Amen.
How can you surround yourself more with God?
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.