Life can be quite confusing at times. How do you choose between two great options? How do you know if the choice you are making is the right one, the best one for you and your family? How do you know if you are in the middle of God’s will and plan for your life? In this series, Pastor G will give us lots of Biblical wisdom for how to best navigate through all of life’s decisions, problems, detours, opportunities and dead ends on the road ahead. This week, he shares three of his principles for wisely navigating the future, God’s way.
There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. ~ Proverbs 16:25
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following Your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.But I believe that the desire to please You does in fact please You and I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing. And I know that if I do this, You will lead me by the right road although I may know nothing about it.Therefore will I trust You always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death, I will not fear, for You are ever with me and You will never leave me to face my perils alone. ~ Thomas Merton
I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. ~ John 14:6
THREE PRINCIPLES OF NAVIGATION
PRINCIPLE 1: Our first priority in life must always be to develop an increasingly intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.
Behold, now is “the acceptable time,” behold, now is “the day of salvation.” ~ 2 Corinthians 6:2b
PRINCIPLE # 2: When you aren’t sure, make the choice that you truly believe in your heart would be most pleasing to God.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. ~ Hebrews 11:1
And without faith it is impossible to please God… ~ Hebrews 11:6a
PRINCIPLE 3: Trust God’s design of you. Trust your calling.
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. – Romans 12:3-8
ALOHA GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
READ: Proverbs 16:1-9 and Proverbs 16:25
1) Pastor Greg quoted verse 25 from this chapter of Proverbs but there are several other verses in this chapter that say something similar. Compare verses 1-3 with verse 25. How are “the plans of the heart” and “the answer of the tongue” different? In verse two, does the phrase “in his sight” mean his ways are not necessarily as clean as he has convinced himself they are? What is the phrase “but the Lord weighs the motives” implying? Is it possible that we can fool ourselves into believing we are doing the right thing when, in fact, we are not.
2) Read verse 7. Have you found this to be true in your life? When everything is right between you and the Lord you also find yourself at peace with your enemies?
3) What is the point in verse 8? Can you restate it in your own words?
4) What about verse 9? How does this work? How can a man plan his way and yet have the Lord direct his steps? Can you give an example from your life where this happened?
READ: The First Section of Thomas Merton’s Prayer on the preceding pages.
1) Can you relate to what Merton is describing at all? Have you ever experienced this in your own life?
2) What does he mean when he says “I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end.” Why can’t he see or know these things?
3) How about the next statement he makes, “Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following Your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.” Can you restate that in your own words? How is it possible for someone to “know themselves?” Do you feel like you know yourself? Have you ever felt like Merton in that you believed you were doing God’s will but you also acknowledged that you could have been totally wrong in that assumption? What should you do when you become aware of that?
READ: 2 Corinthians 6:1-2
1) What does Paul mean that now is “the acceptable time and now is “the day of salvation?” He wrote these words almost 2,000 years ago. Does that mean the time before that and our time now are NOT acceptable times, that before and after when Paul wrote these words were and are NOT the day of salvation or does this passage mean something else?
1) Pastor Greg shared three principles for how to better make sure you make the right decisions on the road ahead. Did any of them resonate with you strongly? If so, why?
2) Do you disagree with any of the principles he shared? If so, which one(s) and why?