I was recently reminded of some of the best advice I was ever given. It came when I was facing a difficult decision and was uncertain which direction to take. Now you have to know that in the past (and sometimes even now) I have been guilty of being a bit impulsive. “Let’s get this figured out and dealt with so we can move ahead.” Just the opposite of those who, when facing a decision, are frozen and can’t make a choice. Sound a bit familiar? I think we all have probably been on both sides of that one. But it got me to thinking again as I tried to figure out which direction to take.
As I was seeking an answer and getting upset that it wasn’t coming, the Lord took me up on the roof with Peter…
Acts 10:17-21 Now while Peter was inwardly perplexed as to what the vision that he had seen might mean, behold, the men who were sent by Cornelius, having made inquiry for Simon’s house, stood at the gate and called out to ask whether Simon who was called Peter was lodging there. And while Peter was pondering the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Behold, three men are looking for you. Rise and go down and accompany them without hesitation, for I have sent them.” ESV
Faced with a vision that he didn’t understand, the Word tells us that he was “inwardly perplexed.” The KJV said that “Peter doubted himself.” In fact, it was so perplexing that the Lord had to show it to him three times. In reading that in the past I have always read right through verse 20… “Behold, three men are looking for you. Rise and go down and accompany them without hesitation, for I have sent them.”
What the Holy Spirit challenged me with the other day is that when I am facing a crossroad in life that will affect my life for some time, I often forget that He is always involved. He will always enable me to make the right decision “if” I will wait on Him. That takes me back to that advice I was given… “If you don’t know what to do, don’t do it.” Just wait and the “perplexity” (self-doubt) will be resolved. Yeah, I know, easier said than done.
But the Holy Spirit gave me a good picture to remember (He is so faithful to do that for me).
Sometimes when we turn on the tap to get a glass of water it comes out with a lot of air and appears cloudy. But if we will set it down and wait a bit it will always clear up. And so will waiting often clarify the issues we are dealing with. Sometimes, however, the “setting down” part is hard to do. On the other hand when I don’t wait, many of the mistakes I have made over time are the result of my impatience.
So, Peter waited on the rooftop and pondered the vision he had been given. Then there was a pounding on the door and the Holy Spirit confirmed what he was to do. But notice that he didn’t have the full answer. He had to trust the direction that he was given… Rise and go down and accompany them without hesitation, for I have sent them.” Peter still had to walk out the command in faith.
It’s the same for us. How many times have we come to that place where we know that we know what we are to do but we don’t have all the information? It all comes to walking by faith, doesn’t it!