If it is of God
We make so many decisions in our lives, and often we are left wondering if the choice we made was “of God” or not. How can we know? It is not always clear from the results because God retains sovereign control over all things and may, for his own reasons, produce good things from bad decisions and even challenge us with adversity from good decisions. So, how can we know?
In Acts 5:33-42, the scene with the Apostles before the Jewish council continues. The high priest and many others are livid at the gospel that Peter and the Apostles have once again articulated. They’re offended by the accusatory implications and are threatened by their boldness. And their emotions were leading them along a path to further destruction when a man of wisdom among them, Gamaliel, walked them through a more reasonable approach that brought needed perspective which was ultimately grounded in God’s sovereignty. In this episode and in his counsel, we find a pattern for determining what is “of God” and what is not.
The Book of ActsIf it is of GodPastor Todd DugardJuly 11, 2021Acts 5:33-42—Seven questions to determine whether or not my choices are “of God.”—Q1. Have I let my emotions drive me? (v. 33)Individual decisions are best understood as the interactions between reason and emotion. When we are calm, slow rational thinking guides our decisions. However, strong emotions place a constraint on clear thinking…Certain vulnerable situations tend to trigger impulsive choices.Dr. Shahram Heshmat, Psychology Today—Q2. Have I sought wise counsel? (v. 34-35)Proverbs 1:52 Timothy 3:162 Timothy 4:3—Q3. Have I learned from the past? (v. 36-37)Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.George Santayana1 Corinthians 10:11aEcclesiastes 1:9—Q4. Have I considered all the options? (v. 38-39)—Q5. Have I committed to the decision? (v. 40)—Q6. Have I surrendered to God’s will? (v. 41)Four States of the Christian Life1. I am obedient and blessed (grace or reward)2. I am obedient and suffering (higher purpose)3. I am disobedient and blessed (grace and mercy)4. I am disobedient and suffering (judgment or discipline)—Q7. Have I kept my focus on the gospel mission? (v. 42)