Have you ever had difficulty with making a wise decision; wanting to do what is right while wanting to limit any negative repercussions? With no natural ability to peer into the future we pray; we solicit the opinions of others we respect; we make lists to measure positive and negative; and we research. All of these are good. Scripture would also direct us to do these things and we know that Scripture is the highest authority in the life of a believer because it is the living Word of God given to humanity.
What weighting do we apply to these decision tools? Who are the people or things that influence our choices? Why do we place so much credence on the opinions of others? Why do we seek comfort for a particular reasoning? Is it because we are not confident in own reasoning or are we looking for permission to do/not do something? What value do we place in the wisdom of the person, system, or tool that we use to enquire of or base decisions on? What do you believe about the Word of God; is it infallible, or inerrant, or both?
- Infallible Means Trustworthy – When referring to Scripture, the term infallible is means reliable and trustworthy. It refers to something that is without any type of defect and therefore those who trust its teachings will never be lead astray.
- Inerrancy Means There Are No Errors – Inerrancy contends that the Bible does not have any errors, fact, or any statements that are contradictory. Inerrancy deals with details of Scripture and not just the concepts.
God Given Value System
Our LORD gave us the Church (our heaven-bound family) to help one another.
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ … that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men… but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head–Christ– from whom the whole body, joined and knit together … by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. …that you should no longer walk … in the futility of … mind… because of the blindness of their heart; – Ephesians 4:11-18 NKJV.
Note: these gifts within humans were given by our LORD so that the Church could: (1) fulfill the great commission and (2) live lives worthy of our LORD. Jesus also found comfort from being with His disciples and invited a few to pray with Him on the night of His betrayal (Luke 22:39-46).
Having established that it is good to get counsel from other believers because it is edifying, comforting and serves to teach and confirm what we know is true (Psalms 1:1-2; Proverbs 11:14), now consider the weight applied to the same. Asking a fellow believer should: (1) result in the believer pointing to Scripture, and/or (2)involve the application of Scripture to a situation. Sometimes the complexity of a situation warrants discussion to help flesh out actions and decisions. Love allows the discussion and refrains from forcing another to hold the same convictions (Colossians 2:16-18; Colossians 3:16-17). If we lovingly point to Scripture, we have fulfilled our role and must allow the Holy Spirit to work in the person’s heart to bring them to the time when they are able to receive it. There are also times when the LORD may require different things from different people for His own reasons. The Holy Spirit’s watering of seed/Scripture is also proof that we should not engage other human beings as our primary and weightiest deciding factors. The source of our knowledge and wisdom is our LORD’s Word.
- For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. … “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts.” … For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. – Hebrews 4:2, 7, 12-13 NKJV
If we can trust Him for eternal salvation, we can certainly trust His guidance on the more minor things of this temporal life, and we want the accounting of our lives and decisions to reflect belief.
Are All Decisions Important?
Meditate on who Jesus Christ is. Scripture says Jesus Christ is the Word of God. Jesus Christ is the expressed thoughts of God in bodily form.
- In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. … And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. – John 1:1, 14 NKJV
- That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— – 1 John 1:1 NKJV
- For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. – 1 John 5:7 NKJV
If you have would like to know how to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, please visit https://desiringfruitfulness.ca and scroll down section that explains THE WAY to Reconciliation with God.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. – John 3:16-18 NKJV
There are those who trust God for salvation and wonder how anyone can know God’s will on any particular situation that is not specifically prescribed within the Bible. Others may have difficulty believing that God cares about the intricacies of the smaller decisions we make. Scripture indicates that God cares about every step we take. He permits us the freedom to make mistakes (Psalms 37:23-24, 31; Psalms 121:8; Proverbs 16:9) although He would prefer us to choose correctly because it is less painful for us. The boundaries of our lives are set by the LORD (Acts 17:26; Psalms 16:5-6), and in His wisdom and goodness, some have broader or narrower ones. Here are 4 Scripture passages that tell us to base our decisions on God’s Word.
- In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil. – Proverbs 3:6-7 NKJV.
- The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple. … Direct my steps by Your word, And let no iniquity have dominion over me. – Psalm 119:130, 133 NKJV
- Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; – Philippians 4:6 NKJV
- If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. – James 1:5 NKJV
He has expressed His thoughts through His Word pertaining to everything we need through the Scripture. If we have difficulty understanding, His Word has promised that He would give us wisdom if we ask Him.
- “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue. – 2 Peter 1:2-3 NKJV
- And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. – Romans 12:2 NKJV
- Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. – Psalm 119:105 NKJV
- Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NKJV
And while waiting for God’s timing on what is promised in Scripture and the whispered impressions on your heart (which can never contradict Scripture), He has given us His indwelling Spirit and the body of Christ.
Psalm 5 is a prayer to the LORD asking for help during a time of duress for David. He understood what the will of the LORD was (to allow the LORD to avenge him rather than fighting his own battle) and he appealed to the LORD in prayer. A full review of Psalm 5 is provided in the below “GO Deeper” section for those who wish to examine it more closely. In reviewing Verse 7’s cross reference, we should be impacted by the weight/significance of the Word of God:
- But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy; In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple. – Psalm 5:7 NKJV
- I will worship toward Your holy temple, And praise Your name For Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word above all Your name. In the day when I cried out, You answered me, And made me bold with strength in my soul. – Psalm 138:2-3
Have you considered that our LORD has a soul? Refer to Scripture in the “Go Deeper” section that is available for “Download”.
Keeping the above Psalm 138 scripture in mind, ponder this next Scripture :
- Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. …. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. …. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. – Revelation 19:11-16 NKJV
Jesus Christ’s title is the Word of God and Scriptures says He has magnified His Word above all His name. The first part of Psalm 138:2-3 speaks about what we frequently praise God for. This is all excellent because everything about God is excellent! And to think above all of that is in His name, He has magnified His Word. WOW!
We praise Him for His Name which has authority (the self-existing eternal Saviour and God) and describes His character. We praise Him for His acts towards humanity (tender loving mercies, grace and loving kindness). We praise Him for His truth (which is steadfast, it’s dependable, it’s power to change the heart of man).
If He values His Word above His Name, how dare we not value His Word as the weightiest consideration? Jesus Christ is the expressed Word of God in bodily form. If it pleased the Father for the fullness of the Godhead to dwell in Christ (Colossians 1:19) and He as preserved His Word (Matthew 5:18) to guide us with love for thousands of years, why should any believer feel it is acceptable to exclude His Word from decision making? Are we afraid that our wills do not align with God’s will (including timing)? Are we afraid God doesn’t have the same priorities – or perhaps we think He is so transcendent that He isn’t concerned about our requests?
I sometimes wonder whether the world around us has encroached on our hearts. The world’s priorities and attitudes confront us fiercely and rapidly increase in intensity. Over time the world can subtly influence us – making what was once clear, blurry or complicated. But if we stay true to investing time in the Word to seek His face for our lives in all things, we will naturally know what to do for it will flow out of us as springs of living water. Then things of this world will grow strangely dim since our treasure will be found in Him.
Going Deeper into Psalm 5:
The main theme of Psalm 5 can be stated as Guidance is in the Name of the LORD. The over arching theme is that God is the ruler who governs: (1) life, (2) salvation, and (3) defence/protection). Refer to prior Names and Titles of our triune LORD for details. There are so many more meanings in His name that would make a good study.
David authored this Psalm as a song of prayer full of groaning about his circumstances and of absolute expectation from faithful God. He had a clear understanding that God has the sovereign authority and rulership over every aspect of his life; and, he understood God’s nature is righteous and faithful to those who seek his face. (David used אֱלֹהִים ʼĕlôhîym, el-o-heem’; plural form of supreme God in verse 2). In this short Psalm, it is implicit that David as a king recognized that the will of a king is executed as he declares it. (Psalm 5 is provided at the end of this section along with cross references for your download).
Crucial Points: Understanding God’s Sovereignty and Humanities’ Free Will
- God’s will for all human beings is as He declared in His Word which includes all that He permits in order to accomplish what He has declared.
- The commanded will of God is where humanity exercises either their bondage to the sin nature; or, their freedom from it through obedience and submission to God’s will. In verse 6, David also recognized that there are commandments of God that people disobey.
- To digest these concepts, consider God’s eternal plan for humanity (the sovereign will of God) occurs as He declared/ordained it. For humanity this is His plan of the ages/dispensations for reconciling everything back to Him/His will. Scripture outlines this plan starting in Genesis and culminating in Revelation. His eternal declared plan includes His commanded/moral will which permits a human being to disobey it/sin. The permission to disobey is necessary to accomplish His plan and permit choice. A perfect example of this is the crucifixion of Jesus Christ which required evil injustice to kill an innocent perfect man so that atonement (appeasement of the righteous wrath of God) for sin could be made. As a result, God is righteous in providing resurrection from the dead to live eternally with Him for those who accept His plan of salvation. God used the evil or some humans to accomplish His plan of salvation. Because God has given His commanded/moral will and has revealed Himself in creation, He is righteous in saving some people while judging evil. People innately know there is a Creator/God (even if they choose to deny it – Romans 1:18-25) and the moral law was given so that all would understand what sin was (Romans 7:7).
In David’s acknowledgement of our LORD’s kingship (v 1 -2), he demonstrated confidence that the LORD would intervene on his behalf regarding the concerns lingering in his mind. David knew God had awareness of his mind’s meditation (whispering/musing/ murmuring). In verse 3, his prayer is uttered out loud and he made his request early in the morning which demonstrates a few things:
- When words are spoken, they are released it requires a certain degree of confidence and intentionality. Speaking is a type of faith because the action expects a reply or reaction and it assumes a level of authority (whether that be spiritual, physical or mental) – (Proverbs 18:21; Revelation 12:11). The opposite of faith/trust is fear and both have equal authority in one’s life. Through the gift of God’s indwelling Spirit, we need not fear (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV). Believers are to choose the authority of faith.
- When we come before the LORD prior to commencing the day’s events, we are placing the LORD as first priority and acknowledging our dependence on Him for everything which demonstrates humility. While the LORD created systems that sustain life, He is sustaining those systems and those who do not recognize this will become futile in their thinking (Romans 1:18-22; Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 1:17). Even our minds that function through our brains/bodies are systems that He sustains. Note: Praying and reading early in the morning does not excuse us from praying throughout the day (giving thanks, asking for help in the moment, praising) because we are told to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). This is not works; it’s lifestyle. Our “diet” (if you like) is a lifestyle of good choices.
- To seek His will concerning all things before commencing daily activities confesses God’s character; acknowledges God’s supremacy over everyone/everything which is worship. His character includes love, mercy, goodness, grace, righteousness, justice, intervening presence over the affairs of the world, etc. When we see Him for who He is, we tend to choose His ways. When we magnify our problems or dilemmas we discount God’s ability.
In Verse 4-6, David makes his petition for God’s vengeance on his foes based on God’s hatred of pride. While God allows humanity to temporarily disobey His commandments, the LORD is the avenger of those who follow Him (Deuteronomy 32:35; Romans 12:19: Hebrews 10:30). The permitted sin culminates in wrath for the unrepentant because God’s hatred of sin is part of His goodness and His righteousness. Sin/evil is in direct opposition of all that is good and right. He will put an end to the evil that hurts His creation and He will bring justice. (the entire book of Revelation)
- When we seek guidance from those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as LORD, we unwittingly are choosing ungodly advice over biblical advice – even if it has the appearance of goodness. (2 Timothy 3:5)
- There is a difference between seeking actionable/directional life advice (on relationships, career, psychology, how to spend/steward finances, etc.,) from the unsaved versus obtaining information from them. Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits” (1 Corinthians 15:33 NKJV). How can two walk together unless they agree? And…. John 15:18-19; James 4:4. Romans 8:7; Galatians 1:10; Amos 3:3; 2 Corinthians 6:14-15
In contrast to the evil doers, in verse 7 David resolved to worship in awe of the LORD understanding that he was permitted to do so because of God’s mercy. His prayer made a shift to a petition for help so that he would be able to walk in the ways of the LORD. In doing so he was admitting that without the LORD’s help he would be unable. He was aware the LORD is the one who can navigate the right way in a fallen world. He had confidence the LORD would show him the way.
- Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, And I shall be innocent of great transgression. – Psalm 19:12-13 NKJV
By verse 9, David returned to a request for judgment of the wicked. Christians are told to love our enemies and to overcome evil with good.
- “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, “that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. – Matthew 5:43-45 NKJV.
Another Psalm of David also affirms that the LORD is good to all of mankind.
- The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and great in mercy. The LORD is good to all, And His tender mercies are over all His works. – Psalm 145:8-9 NKJV
How does this reconcile then? We are to pray for enemies asking for their salvation and bless them knowing that should they remain sinful, their misdeeds will heap further judgment (Romans 12:20) upon themselves from the only Righteous Judge. Asking God to deal with adversaries who persecute or harm you and others is righteous provided we do so from an attitude of love; it is wrong for a believer to retaliate (Romans 12:21). The following represents an example of how one can pray for justice and still pray from a spirit of love:
- Example: Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus and I pray you draw unto repentance those who are antagonistic towards me so that they may serve You. I pray that you heal their hearts that cause them to act unrighteously. Show me how to deal with them correctly. I pray You thwart the works of the enemy and establish Your kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven.
- Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. … Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. – 1 John 3:6-9, 15 NKJV
Loving enemies or those who practice evil does not mean condoning evil. Loving the person means: (1) recognizing that they have also been created in the image of God; (2) doing only good to them; and, (3) praying for them.
In fact, the Word of God tells us that if we have love and the fear of the LORD, we hate sin and avoid it. We do not enable it, condone it, turn a blind eye to it, AND we are still to show love to all people.
- The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate. – Proverbs 8:13 NKJV
- In mercy and truth Atonement is provided for iniquity; And by the fear of the LORD one departs from evil. – Proverbs 16:6 NKJV
- You who love the LORD, hate evil! He preserves the souls of His saints; He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked. – Psalm 97:10 NKJV
- I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not cling to me. – Psalm 101:3 NKJV
- Therefore all Your precepts concerning all things I consider to be right; I hate every false way. – Psalm 119:128 NKJV
- Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. – Romans 12:9 NKJV
- Abstain from every form of evil. – 1 Thessalonians 5:22 NKJV
- Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” – 2 Timothy 2:19 NKJV
The LORD God is the only one Righteous Judge who is all knowing (including the heart of a man). He is the Creator who owns all souls and He knows their ends (whether they will repent). As such He is the only One who is right in hating anyone. The difficult truth is that God has hated people:
- But Esau I have hated, And laid waste his mountains and his heritage For the jackals of the wilderness.” – Malachi 1:3 NKJV; Romans 9:13
- The pride of your heart has deceived you, You who dwell in the clefts of the rock, Whose habitation is high; You who say in your heart, ‘Who will bring me down to the ground?’ – Obadiah 1:3 NKJV
As study of Obadiah, Jeremiah and Genesis 27 and 28 will demonstrate that God foresaw and permitted (1) Esau’s devaluing of the covenant made with Abraham which included the promise of the Messiah (Galatians 3:8), (2) Esau’s disrespect for his father Isaac; and (3) Esau’s grudge for Israel (Jacob) which resulted in the nation of Edom, his descendants’ excitement about the destruction of Israel. The Edomites also increased in pride declaring their ability to live without God. Esau despised his birthright feeling that a bowl of soup was more important than the covenant with God (what God declared) and therefore he despised God. Edom also felt their desires were important and God unnecessary; they were self reliant. This reminds me of the lukewarm Laodicean church that Jesus warned to repent. Revelation 3:14-18 NKJV. Imagine Jesus wanting to vomit out those who believed they were in Him; this is how sickening our independence from our Saviour is to Him.
As David’s prayer ends in Psalm 5:11-12, he returned to worship and included blessings for all believers.
This Psalm is not a model prayer. In fact, Jesus taught us how to pray in Matthew 6:9-13. This Psalm does give us great insight into our God as sovereign and omniscient over: (1) life; (2) salvation (including His commended will); and (3) vengeance against unrighteousness. We remember He is our promise by: (1) His declared oath; and (2) covenant (which is by command to be washed by the blood of the Lamb).
The main message of this blog is that God values His Word (His Son, will, covenant, declaration) above all else as the absolute authority over everything.
Everything we can know about Him, is declared in His Word; He became the Word and dwelt with mankind; He gave Himself the title “the Word of God”. If we want to know the will of God, we must read and value the Word of God which will teach us the fear of the LORD which is to hate sin and love Him.
For areas of life where one might claim the bible does not prescribe details, please consider this:
- The bible contains all the guiding principles needed to live a life worthy of the LORD and in obedience to His will.
- The only way to be able to make wise decisions that are the will of God continually and leave us with peace is to have the Word guide our thoughts. It must therefore be in us.
We are always moving in a direction; even not making a decision is either obedience or disobedience to the Word. Renewing the mind with the Word of God is the only way to innately do the will of God because His Word will naturally flow out of us and we will be fruitful through the Holy Spirit.
- I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. – Romans 12:1-2 NKJV
David had the Torah (Pentateuch – the book of the law – first 5 books) and many Psalms and with this he was able to distinguish the will of God for himself and maintain an active relationship (i.e., that he ought not deal treacherously with enemies; that he needed to hate sin and fear the LORD, and that worship was of paramount importance in daily life). How much more should we understand these principles having received the Holy Spirit as a seal and having access to the entire council of Holy Scripture? We all start somewhere, and praise God, He who authored our salvation will perfect us!
- Therefore, we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. … Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. – Hebrews 12:1-2, 28 NKJV
- Let me sing for my beloved my love song concerning his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill. He dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; and he looked for it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes. … What more was there to do for my vineyard, that I have not done in it? When I looked for it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes? And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will remove its hedge, and it shall be devoured; I will break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down. I will make it a waste; it shall not be pruned or hoed, and briers and thorns shall grow up; I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. – Isaiah 5:1-2, 4-6 ESV