From the Rev. Bobby Liddle.
Decisions, decisions, decisions! Some easy to make – blue or green socks? Some not so easy to make – Which school? Should we marry? Rent or buy? This month we need to make two significant decisions – who to vote for and how to fulfil our congregational vision?
How to make decisions is always the question. What criterion to use? How to weigh up competing options? In the older testament times using the ephod (breastplate) and casting lots were sometimes used. Gideon put out a fleece to see what way God will lead. None of these were recommended as God always wanted His people to seek His mind and will.
Since newer testament times God has poured out His Holy Spirit into the hearts of His people so that we might know the mind of God. Sometimes He gives very clear and specific guidance. The Holy Spirit did that for Ann and I when God called us into Christian ministry in 1984. But most often God expects us to use our brains and conscience, both of which He has given us, and both of which He expects should be shaped, moulded, guided and directed by His Word and Spirit. How we think about the world and the concerns of our consciences should be directed by Scripture and not just by the contemporary culture in which we live.
The scriptures are often more concerned about the conditions in which guidance is given than the guidance itself. The attitude of the heart towards God and surrender of the will to God are all important. If my desire is for God and to see His will done on earth as it is in heaven and I earnestly seek that in prayer and not just my own ideas and notions, then I prepare the ground in which God can plant His guidance. What are the things that concern God in the political arena and in His church?
The closer our minds and consciences come to these answers from Scripture the clearer our guidance will be. We will grow increasingly to ‘know HIM’, to in knowing Him better we will know better what pleases Him, what would build His Kingdom, what concerns in society He would want us to address. And, in turn, know how to make our decisions and what way to vote. The writer of Deuteronomy was able to assure the people of God of the same things.
‘But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.’ Dt. 4v29
And so let us follow the direction of the Chronicler, ‘Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the Lord your God.’ 1 Chron. 22v19
Yours in His name,