Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Decision making and good discernment

Then  Satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel. So David said to Joab and the commanders of the army, “Go, number Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, and bring me a report, that I may know their number.” 1 Chronicles 21:1-2

Human behavior is complicated. The forces that finally move a person to make a decision are not always evident to the person or to others. Passing the buck, avoiding responsibility or saying, "The devil made me do it," are not helpful in understanding human behavior.

When Satan incited David to take a census it brought judgment upon the whole nation. Nevertheless, David was responsible for giving the order to number the troops. His elders were also guilty because they went along with it.

David ordered a census that Scripture forbids. So the Lord sent a plague on Israel, and seventy thousand men of Israel fell dead. And God sent an angel to destroy Jerusalem.

What’s wrong with taking a census? Why such a heavy price for just taking a count on the size of the army?
Here’s why. David had been successful before because he knew that the king is not saved by a mighty army: a warrior is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a false hope for victory; nor does it deliver anyone by its great strength (See Psalm 33:16-17). David shifted his hope in his army instead of trusting in God.

Satan knew he could not sit down face-to-face with David and get him to serve anything other than the Lord his God. So the Devil subtly worked at shifting David’s confidence off the resources of God’s power and onto his own resources. This is often the fountain head of trouble.

The devil did not make David do it. David gave in to that subtle feeling that comes upon us when we feel strong, rich or invincible; that can't-do-anything-wrong mentality often leads us away from child like faith and humble submission to brash, impulsive thoughts and actions. 

Do we make the same mistake? Do we place more confidence in ourselves, our money, our talents, or even what people say about us, than the resources of almighty God and what God says about us?

Paul says away with depending on self. For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh (Phil. 3:3).

What honors the Lord is brokenness: a growing recognition of the need for total dependence on God. Broken people tend to say, "Lord, what would YOU want? 

What dishonors the Lord is placing faith in ourselves. Self driven people often say, "Here's what I want!"

We make decisions every day; some big and some small. Before the Lord, it is not the size of the decision that matters but how the decision is made.

What other factors do you consider when making decisions?