There are a hundred voices that come into our ears every single day. People telling us their opinions, giving us their advice, asking us why, who, where, what, and questioning the decisions that we make. Yesterday I found myself frustrated by these voices, these opinions and questions in regards to the decisions I make for my business. The voice in particular was questioning a decision that I had made because in their mind it was a bad one and they did not think I had thought it through very well. Even though they did not exactly speak those words, the thoughts they were having were clear enough. Their doubt caused me to doubt and I began to question whether or not I had made the right decision. The peace I had about the decision now became a tumultuous mess in my heart. I began to panic a little.
Not only did I doubt my decision but I doubted whether or not I had truly heard the Lord’s guiding voice in the matter. What they did not know, and what they failed to ask me before they began to question me was had I prayed about it? If they had really understood me and if they took the time to actually listen to me when I spoke to them about my business, they would have known that I had prayed about this decision for over a month. I began praying about this particular situation that came up in the business which was causing me stress and making me feel very overwhelmed. I began praying to the Lord about it and asking Him what direction I needed to take. I was asking, seeking and knocking every time the situation would arise, or I began to stress and worry. And because my God is always faithful, He gave me an answer.
I was given the go ahead to make the decision because not only was this going to be a blessing to me by relieving my burdens, but it was also going to bless the other person. It was not only an answer to my prayers, but it was also an answer to the other person’s prayers as well. But, because the person who questioned me does not fully understand how precious this business and my God are to me they doubted me and their doubt became a seed planted in my heart. This seed grew so quickly that this morning I woke up praying and diligently seeking the Lord if I had heard Him correctly the first time.
“You shall be careful therefore to do as your God has commanded you.” Deuteronomy 5:32a
The word careful used in this verse means to observe. It tells us to be thoughtful, not to walk in haste or make quick decisions. It means that we are to be watchful and wait patiently for proper directions. Basically it means that we stop on red until God gives us the green light to go. We don’t race through the yellow, we come to a complete stop and we wait for Him to give us the go ahead. We must be careful on our New Adventure’s to think and to pray before we make decisions that will affect our businesses and our lives. We cannot just dive in head first and think about the consequences later because not only is this our lively hood, but our reputation that is on the line, and most importantly, this is a testimony that we are walking out for the glory of our God. We cannot be hasty or quick in our decision making because every single decision we make will affect someone or something, whether in our business or in our personal lives.
So how do we become careful, how do we make sure that we are going the right way? We pray. Jesus told the disciple that we were to pray in secret, (Matthew 6:6) and that after we have prayed in secret our Father will reward us openly. You are going to have to face the doubters in your life with patience and prayer. They will question your decisions and question your abilities to forge ahead on this path, but you can be confident in all that you do because you prayed. Prayer is a power that not only unlocks the blessings of heaven, but it also unlocks peace in our hearts. We can walk in peace no matter the storms because we have prayed. We can stand up in doubt because we have prayed and God has given us peace in our decisions. Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 that we are to “pray without ceasing.” I must admit that this business, this New Adventure, has improved my prayer life because day after day I am faced with decisions that put me on my knees before my God.
“You shall not turn aside to the right hand or the left.” Deuteronomy 5:32b
God tells us that after we have carefully sought out His direction and His wisdom we are not to turn aside from them. A few minutes after the person questioned my decision, I was cast into doubt. Even though I had prayed, (diligently, I might add) and been given directions and peace about the decision, that little seed of doubt found its way into my heart. No matter what people say, no matter how much they question you or freely give you their opinions, you must stick to the path that God has given you. Do not turn to the right or to the left, stay straight. Stay focused on the commands of God that are before you- ahead of you, no turns, just straight.
The context of the phrase “turn aside” means to depart from God. If you get caught up in the seeds of doubt they will carry you away from the will of God. Stay the course. Do not let other people’s inability to trust God keep you from trusting Him. Their lack of faith in His power is only a testimony of their true hearts, not yours. Stay the course.
“You shall walk in the way the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess.” Deuteronomy 5:33
One day God will put to rest all the doubters who crossed your path. This journey is still ongoing. We are still walking. We are still following after the dream that God placed in our hearts all those many months ago. As long as we stick to the path and do not turn to the right or to the left, God will bring us to the end. And on that day, when we finally come into the land that God has promised us, all those who doubted and questioned you will be silenced, for they will finally see the power, the favor and the glory of God in the journey you just travelled. So, keep on praying. Do not be hasty but pray and seek His will for every decision and “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ.” (Philippians 4:7) Amen.