Calming the Decision-Making Chaos

We've been talking about control for the past few weeks here at kristinebrown.net. As we wrap up our series, I'd love to share a sneak peek of a resource we have available, the Walking with Rahab: 5-Day Challenge to Better Decision-Making.

 

Learning to let go of control and becoming a better decision-maker go hand-in-hand. Today I'm sharing DAY ONE of this mini study, which looks at the life of Rahab and what we can learn from her story.

(I will only be sharing DAY ONE here on our weekly devotions page. But at the end of today's post, you'll find information on how to access the rest of the 5-day mini study.)

 

DAY ONE: CALMING THE DECISION-MAKING CHAOS

This morning I took a break in the back yard to enjoy a rare cool breeze on an otherwise humid summer day.

Pretty soon, my 13-year-old dog Teddy trotted toward me with a turtle in his mouth. Teddy loves chasing turtles. It was perfectly safe in that hard shell, but Teddy sure seemed proud of his find. He dropped it at my feet, where I rescued it and released it in a nearby lake.

You know, sometimes Teddy lets go of the turtle immediately, while other times he holds on to it, even with coaxing from me. At those times, I have to find a treat to offer him so he'll give up the prized turtle.

 

I can be a lot like Teddy when it comes to decisions.

 

Sometimes I hold onto a decision far too long. I stress and agonize over it, only to end up even more frustrated and no closer to making that decision. Other times, I don't wait on God. My impatience drives me to make a choice too quickly.

Either way, I rarely feel at peace over the decision once it’s made.

When I allow those feelings of worry and uncertainty to end up in frustration, I drift away from God’s will. I put a barrier between me and the Spirit who longs to guide me through those tough choices.

 

“Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Romans 8:12-13 NKJV

 

Allowing ourselves to be led by the Spirit gives us peace in knowing He is with us when we face difficult decisions.

Allow me to introduce you to a bold woman in Scripture who made a life-changing decision God's way. As we follow her story over the next 5 days, we will learn 5 truths to remember that will help us be better decision-makers too.

 

“And Joshua the son of Nun sent two men secretly from Shittim as spies, saying, ‘Go, view the land, especially Jericho.’ And they went and came into the house of a prostitute whose name was Rahab and lodged there. And it was told to the king of Jericho, ‘Behold, men of Israel have come here tonight to search out the land.’” Joshua 2:1-2 ESV

 

Rahab is described as a prostitute, or harlot (NKJV). However, many theologians believe at this point in Rahab’s life, she had “repented and reformed.” (Matthew Henry Commentary)

Right after the spies came to Rahab’s home, someone went and told the king about it. Talk about nosy neighbors! I’m certain this didn’t surprise Rahab at all. In fact, whoever shared Rahab’s secret probably thought they were doing the right thing by informing the king. But I want us to notice an important detail here.

Verse 4 says, “But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them.”

Rahab didn’t wait before hiding the men in a safe place. She didn't take time to weigh out her options. She didn’t pause to see what would happen, then hurry around in response to the king’s request. No, the minute they arrived, she planned their escape.

 

She acted immediately.

 

So how did she know what to do? Wasn’t she confused? Frantic? It seems like I try and try to be steadfast in the middle of uncertainty, but I just can’t find that boldness like Rahab.

What was it that drove her ability to make decisions with confidence?

 

"Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken." Psalm 55:22 NIV

 

When we release control to God and allow His Spirit to guide us through the decision-making process, we allow God's peace to calm the frustration and confusion.

But when I worry and agonize over a decision, I unknowingly take control away from the Holy Spirit and give it back to myself.

By daily releasing control to God, we are allowing His peace to calm the decision-making chaos in our minds.

And just like Rahab, we can learn to walk in immediate obedience.

Sometimes we will sense the Holy Spirit guiding us to make a decision right away, like Rahab did at that moment. Other times there will be waiting involved. As we go through this 5-day study, we will learn more about how to walk through the process of those decisions with steadfast assurance. But for now, lets begin by holding onto this truth:

 

Today’s Truth Declaration is this:

By daily releasing control to God, we allow His peace to calm the decision-making chaos. (Click here to tweet this.)

 

DAY TWO of the mini study ventures into even more of Rahab's story. Would you like to receive the rest of this free 5-day study?

Click here to have the entire Walking with Rahab challenge delivered to you via email.

At the end of the 5 days, you will also receive the free Scripture-based prayer for better decision-making. (Did I mention it's all free?)

 

Have you already read the study? Then I'd love for you to hop over to our Facebook page here and join the conversation. See you there!

 

Blessings,

Kristine

 

When Chaos Causes Me to Lose Focus

“And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the Lord sees every heart and knows every plan and thought.” 1 Chronicles 28:9 NLT

 

I wrote it in my new 2018 day-planner, the one with all the space for goals, plans, and action steps.

I jotted it down on my desk calendar at work.

I scribbled it next to a little circle on my to-do list notepad.

And I still forgot to bring the ‘thank you’ card to work for my co-worker this week.

Actually, that’s not exactly accurate. When I got home from work on Friday, I found it tucked in the side of my bag. The card did make it to work, I just never took it out of my bag to give it to her. The task didn’t get done. (So much for the satisfaction of drawing a check mark next to the item on my list.)  

As a result, frustration came in like an overpowering wave. Frustration with myself. How could I be so forgetful?

We’ve been in a busier-than-usual season at our house. The list of things that must get done keeps growing, and I find myself putting off everything until the weekend. There’s just one problem with scheduling everything on Saturday.

 

Saturday comes, and I’m too tired to tackle the list.

 

So another week passes, and next Saturday’s list is even longer. And so on. And so on.

In those times, I feel like chaos has taken over. My mind struggles to focus on just one thing, much less a never-ending list of things that ‘have to be done this week’. It’s hard to feel focused when chaos surrounds us, but God gives encouraging direction in David’s instructions to Solomon regarding the building of the temple.

David desired to build a temple to hold the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant. But David wasn’t the man for the job. (To read more about that, visit a post I wrote for Encouragement for Today here.)

When God chose Solomon to complete the job, David shared this with his son as he commissioned him to begin the work God called him to do.

 

“And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the Lord sees every heart and knows every plan and thought.” 1 Chronicles 28:9 NLT
 

As God’s children, we are commissioned and called to worship and serve Him. In this verse, we learn a valuable detail concerning these things. We are to worship and serve with a whole heart and a willing mind.

When I keep a whole heart and a willing mind set on God, the chaos of life will not cause me to lose focus. (Tweet this.)
 

 

Lord, I give you my whole heart and a willing mind. (Tweet this.)
 

David continues on from there with a reminder that God knows our thoughts and plans. And thankfully, His plans for us are better than our own.

Can I admit something to you? This morning when I woke up and turned on my tablet to read my daily Bible reading plan, I noticed something. In the midst of a chaotic week, I’d rushed through my morning routine and hadn’t finished a single day’s reading. Not. Even. One.

So I guess you could say I didn’t offer my whole heart or a willing mind this week. I forged my own plans. I let chaos cause me to lose focus. But David’s inspiring speech to Solomon gives us hope today. Putting God first in our hearts and minds will keep us focused on things that matter.

Chaos post.jpg

 

Speaking of focus, will you excuse me for a moment? I have a thank you card to drop in the mail.

 

Blessings,

Kristine