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Coping with Cognitive Chaos

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Will the decision you're about to make please God? Robert Noland offers three ways to determine your decision.

Decisions. Making decisions. Evaluating choices. These are some of the constant stresses and issues we deal with as men—especially the ones with deadlines or major expectations. And often, just the sheer volume of decisions is overwhelming.

Will we take a decision too lightly, make it hastily without enough info, and then regret it for years? Or stress, worry and lose sleep for a week, struggling over a crossroads? Point A or B, the lady or the tiger, champion or chump, success or failure? It’s one of our toughest jobs as men, especially when our family and others’ lives are riding on what we do.

Here are some thoughts and questions to hopefully help you as well as lighten the load at your next crisis. Or your current one.

1. Has God already given you the answer?

Is it an issue written in His Word and which His will is already laid out for you? There are literally thousands of commands, precepts, and principles on how to live. Knowing God’s Word can also bring many of our answers to life. I teach this principle constantly: God will never compromise His Word for you, but He will always customize His Word for you. You can’t ever be the exception to His rule, but He will show you exactly how each verse fits your life and how it applies—to you.

Has He taught you a lesson in the past, or even disciplined you, and your current situation is similar to that? God loves us enough to often work in patterns in our lives, so we can determine when it is He at work. Watch for those patterns and learn Him. He already knows you, so He’s constantly giving you a trail to Him. That can help greatly in finding your way to a decision. Your past and God’s presence can bring His light into your future.

2. Has God already made provision for what you are asking?

I had a friend years ago who asked to meet with me to discuss whether or not he should step out into a new ministry. He wasn’t questioning the call as much as the faith to step out, especially as it related to finances. I heard him out and then asked, “Didn’t a relative leave you a sizable trust fund a few years back?” he said, “Yeah, but we use that for things like a new car or remodeling the kitchen.” I asked, “So, you don’t think God gave you any of that to finance His ministry?” Case closed. It really wasn’t an answer, just a new perspective. Maybe you don’t really need an answer to a problem but a new perspective on the already-provided answer.

3. Why would God not want you to do it?

Isn’t it funny how we so often ask God if we should do something? We assume a position of inactivity until we sense permission for activity. Wonder if God ever gets fired up by the guy who says, “I’m charging the hill, Lord! Stop me if I’m not supposed to!”  I am not advocating being a loose cannon for Jesus and I’m certainly not talking about an issue of sin; I'm just asking if there could be times in your life when God is wanting you to move forward in faith and you just need to give Him authority over your steps. Walking is simply a repeated pattern of the same movement. God is plenty big enough to stop your next step if He wants. But what if you start walking and He yells, “Run, son!” That’s exactly why, too often, we won’t start walking at all.

The very steps we take come from God; otherwise, how would we know where we’re going? —Proverbs 20:24 MSG

We plan the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live it. —Proverbs 16:9

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