Sometimes I make the wrong decision. This is my broken road of faith.
My faith has not been smooth. My faith has been full of good intentions as I still have made wrong decisions.
I can either be full of regrets or realize that my road is real and not smooth. That every day I am living slightly braver. #saynotoregrets #saynotoshame
Because I am not alone. I’m not the only one trying to make the brave decision but getting it wrong. Let’s take a look at the book of Acts because this happens frequently there.
What? A book in the Bible has wrong decisions in it? The Bible is filled with so many other broken human decisions that it does not surprise me at all to find the same in the mighty Book of Acts.
For many, many people, the book of Acts is their favorite book of the Bible. It is where everything that Jesus was taught was lived out. It is the story of those disciples Jesus left behind with his instructions who went out then into all the world. Acts is full of some of the Bible’s most exciting stories and completes the stories of some of the bumbling men we got to know who walked with Jesus.
We, as a church, often take the stories in the book of Acts and try to find their place in our church today. We want to see Star Trek-like experiences that Philip experienced (Acts 8:26-40). We want to see cities come to know God, key people in those cities turn in repentance (my personal heartbeat). Some youth groups and some churches have even taken the name “Acts 29″ as a way of saying that they are fulfilling the next chapter in that book.
The Book of Acts is full of people who wanted to give all they can for God and witnessed the great growth of the Church–yet made human mistakes in the decisions they had to make.
Because of the hype surrounding this book I have missed this fact.
I have to make spirit-led decisions all of the time. Maybe even more so than most because I am a pastor. Because my decisions may affect eternity. (Your decisions do too if you really think about it.) I have to make some doozy decisions which I do spend a great amount of time praying and pondering about. A great amount. Yet sometimes I have been wrong. Sometimes? It feels like it is more often than that. The doozy decisions always have consequences.
The Book of Acts records plenty of this stuff. They were men who were excited about Jesus but didn’t have a clue as to what they were doing. They just were going along, praying and pondering, and seeing great stuff happen. Yet not every decision they made was “right on.” The Book of Acts records these too.
It only takes the reader to read chapter 1, verse 21, before the first bad decision was made. The disciples chose Matthias to replace Judas as a disciple/apostle. It seems they rushed into a replacement, like twelve was some spiritual number. (Remember that #12 Judas was no longer with them.) If they had waited on the decision, it is likely that Paul would have been chosen. But at the time of this decision, Paul was Saul and was out to kill them. Time needed to happen. God always uses time. Someone should have spoken up and said no to the dice and agreed to wait (Acts 1:21-26). This is the last we hear of Matthias ever again. No where in history. Not in the book of Acts. Not in the Bible. Not in any other apocrypha or historical resource. This is Matthias’ one moment in history–the winner of drawing lots, a shake of a dice, picking a number between 1 and 10.
The apostles made some very great, very huge right decisions. Peter going to visit with Cornelius was a very good one (Acts 10)–and one that Peter struggled with. It took three personal visions for Peter to make the right decision. Which means he made wrong decisions before he made the brave decision.
What about the decision over John Mark (Acts 15:36-41)? I am sure Paul and Barnabus both spent a great deal of time praying about that one. Yet they couldn’t agree. They even argued. Who made the right decision?
Even Paul appealing his case to Rome might not have been the right decision. It says in Acts 26:32 that And Agrippa said to Festus, “He could have been set free if he hadn’t appealed to Caesar.” Did Paul in his zealousness, and maybe a bit of pride in his Roman citizenship, over do it here?
Lots of very good things did happen because of Paul’s zealous decision including Paul going to Rome according to a word God gave to Paul. That night the Lord appeared to Paul and said, “Be encouraged, Paul. Just as you have been a witness to me here in Jerusalem, you must preach the Good News in Rome as well.” Acts 23:11.
Every human decision turned into huge and great things happening. Even with the split of Paul and Barnabus, good things happened. More people heard the good news of Jesus Christ.
Isn’t that just like God? God always redeems something good out of our human decisions. A lot of good came out of these decisions made in Acts, but were all of them “from God” or “led by God?”
May your bravery define you. May you grow from one brave decision to the next brave decision to the next brave decision.
May you make small, deliberate tweaks to your thinking because you choose to give God more credibility than everyone else.
May you not be afraid to make wrong decisions because you are letting bravery define you, you are making these small, deliberate tweaks to your thinking, and you know God will redeem what is left.
God amazingly always does.
My life is one of imperfect progress on this broken road of faith. I am still making progress.