Thursday, November 12, 2015

Reading Your Circumstances

Every day, we make an average of 35,000 decisions.  That’s kind of a terrifying thought, isn’t it?  There have been some really bad decisions made over the years.  Once the executives at the Kodak company had to make a decision about a new product one of their engineers had invented: a digital camera.  They were afraid if they marketed this camera, it would hurt their business, selling camera film.  Kodak filed for bankruptcy in 2011.  In 1965, producers at Decca Records rejected a new rock band because they believed guitar music was on its way out.  We know those guys today as the Beatles.  In 1976, 20th Century Fox had signed a young director to make a science fiction movie that none of them thought would make money.  The filmmaker asked if he could have all merchandising rights.  They said he could, if he took a pay cut.  He agreed.  His name was George Lucas, and he has earned an estimated $7 billion from all those Star Wars action figures, video games, and Halloween costumes.  History is filled with stories of bad decisions, like the Trojans opening the gates to that big wooden horse, or Napoleon deciding to invade Russia, or the builders of the Titanic deciding “who needs lifeboats?”

We’re in a series now called Decision-Making 101.  We’ve talked about how God wants to teach us to be people of wisdom.  Wisdom is what the Bible calls the art of making good decisions.  We’ve said that wisdom comes as we walk with God and focus our lives on becoming the people He created us to be, and on helping others know Him.  And we’ve said that God still speaks today, primarily in four ways: The Bible, prayer, circumstances, and through His people, the Church.  This Sunday, we’re going to look at that third way God speaks.  How do we read our circumstances?  Sometimes Christians talk about looking for “an open door” from God.  But how do we know if an open door is one God opened?  Before my wife and I were a couple, she had more than one sincere, devout young Christian man say that God had told him that she was meant to be his wife.  Was that God opening a door, or just those boys’ hormones?  (You probably know my answer to that one.) What about when you have to choose between two options that seem morally equivalent: Like taking a job that pays more, but would require you to drive further than your current job?  What about when all your options seem bad?  How do we know what God is saying to us in our circumstances?  I hope you decide to come this Sunday!

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