The Valley of Decision
Thousands upon thousands are waiting in the valley of decision.~Joel 3:14 NLT
Should I or should I not? I had entered the valley of decision.
Before one school year, the headmaster sent an email asking which teachers wanted an iPad. Since the school had already given us laptops—and I used this to portray information on the overhead—I didn’t see any need for one and declined the offer.
My wife had owned an iPad for some time, having won one in a raffle. I used it occasionally, but most of my work required a keyboard and a word processing program—two things the iPad made inconvenient. Then one day, I broke down and bought an iPad Mini. I used it mainly to surf the Web—until it locked and became what techies call a “security block.”
Later in the school year, I decided I wanted an iPad. But I decided too late to get one from the school, so I investigated buying one from our cell phone provider. Between the monthly cost and adding it to our data, we would pay an extra thirty dollars on our phone bill. No thanks. We had just paid off our phones.
Then, students began quarantining due to COVID. We needed to record our class sessions when this happened. I needed an iPad after all, and the school ordered some more. I got my iPad, after all, free of charge.
Deciding not to purchase an iPad when I suddenly decided I wanted one might seem like a small decision in the realm of decision-making, but doing so entailed some of the same elements that accompany life’s “big” decisions.
Joel warned God’s people about impending judgment because they had disobeyed God. But he also warned those God used as His instruments of judgment that they, too, would face God’s wrath if they didn’t turn from their evil ways. Millions would stand in the valley of decision and have to decide whether or not they would turn to God.
Since our decisions usually have a domino effect—some more so than others—praying before we make them is always wise. And these prayers need to be more than the microwave variety. Spending concentrated time with God and listening for His still, small voice are essential. Sometimes, God will send signs or speak through others to let us know what we should do.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.~Philippians 4:6 NLT
Further, when making decisions, we should put aside what we want and want what God wants. Pride and selfishness will always hinder us from making wise decisions. Deciding with those motives always brings unwanted consequences, some of which hang around for a while.
God can grow us through the decision-making process if we respond correctly. Since our goal should include always doing what God wants us to do, we should include Him in all our decisions—large and small.
On what basis do you make your decisions?
Father, guide me through every life decision, the big and the small ones. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Copyright 2023: In the Valley of Decision: Martin Wiles: All Rights Reserved