Making the Right Choice

Making the Right Choice
Key Verse
Ephesians 5:15-17(NKJV)
15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
Life is filled with opportunities, invitations, desires, and temptations, in each of these the question will arise “Is there anything wrong with what I am doing or about to do?
There is a great assumption that if it isn’t wrong, then it must be alright. For many if they haven’t heard a sermon, or there aren’t any verses directly related to it, if other Christians are doing it, then many will believe what they are doing is a right thing.
We then move to to an arena of ‘ “how close can I get to sin, without actually sinning!”
Life certainly has black and white areas, but there is a lot of gray. What do we do with the gray areas, how far can you go, where is the line drawn, what about the complexity of our lives today versus the bible days?
We are living life on the line….
Living life on the line and trying to consistently recommit our lives to Christ each Sunday is compared to an alcoholic standing at the bar, at the same time swearing he will never drink again.
We have to move away from the edge or the line and quit going as far as we possibly can.
Stop asking the question is this wrong for me, and start asking is this wise for me?
Paul encouraged the believers to be careful and instructed them to not be foolish.
  1. Walk Carefully 
Paul encouraged the believers in Ephesus to examine life through a lens, it’s a lens of wisdom.
God wants us to learn how to anticipate trouble, not go blindly into it.
Careful gives us an idea that we are to scope out the situation, think ahead of the domino effect that this decision will lead to if we make it.
Get an idea of what is to come before it’s to late.
We should walk carefully because the environment that we are walking in is a dangerous one.
Dangerous environments require extraordinary precautions.
(firefighters, policeman, military all dangerous careers, look at the equipment they put on to face the danger)
Paul further stated “don’t be foolish”
Don’t lose sight of the dangers and the nature of the world you are walking in , what happening around, don’t lose sight, don’t be foolish.
The world and what is has to offer isn’t designed to help you, it’s designed to hurt you.
Paul said the days are evil, walk carefully, don’t be foolish.
We are all one decision away from a disastrous situation. We must ask ourselves in everything, is this wise for me?
Many are naive to what is happening, but a lot of us have scars to help remind us that there are dangers lurking around every corner.
The enemy has snares, traps, and temptations for us around every corner. Walk Carefully.
2.) Understand the Will of the Lord.
Ephesians 5:17
Paul commands us to “understand the will of the Lord”.
Paul is telling us to “face up to what you know in your heart is the will of the Lord”
You know the right thing to do, it’s in your heart, you know what is true!
As long as you are honest with yourself, then you’ll know the wise decision to make.
If you’re aren’t honest with yourself then wisdom will avoid you.
Proverbs 28:26 –
26 He who trusts in his own heart is a fool,
But whoever walks wisely will be delivered.
 The New King James Version. (1982). (Pr 28:26). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
God gives a promise to protect those that walk wisely.
If you want the protection of the Lord you must walk wisely.
There are consequences to making unwise choices.
 Lot made a choice as to where to live, and as a result he experienced the following:
      1) War and kidnapping – Gen 14
      2) Oppression and torment by the ungodly citizens of Sodom 2 Peter 2:7-8
      3) Loss of all his possessions, death of his wife, and incest with
         his daughters – Gen 19
    David chose to commit adultery with Bathsheba, and as a consequence he suffered:
      1) The death of his infant son – 2Sa 12
      2) A daughter molested by her half-brother – 2Sa 13
      3) That son killed by her vengeful brother – 2Sa 13
      4) A rebellion led by that son, who shamed him publicly, and whose
         death brought even more grief to David – 2Sa 15-18
Choices have consequences.. Make the wise choice and live under the protection of the Lord.
3.) 3 types of people (who will you be)
Fool, Scoffer, Wise
Fool – knows what to do but doesn’t do it –
7 A proverb in the mouth of a fool
is as useless as a paralyzed leg.
 Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation(Pr 26:7). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
Scoffer is like the fool,  he knows what to do, but takes it a step further by criticizing the wise.
24 A proud andhaughty man—“Scoffer” ishis name;
He acts with arrogant pride.
 The New King James Version. (1982). (Pr 21:24). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Wise
20 There isdesirable treasure,
And oil in the dwelling of the wise,
But a foolish man squanders it.
 The New King James Version. (1982). (Pr 21:20). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
5 A wise man isstrong,
Yes, a man of knowledge increases strength;
 The New King James Version. (1982). (Pr 24:5). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
5 A wise manwill hear and increase learning,
And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel,
 The New King James Version. (1982). (Pr 1:5). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

10 Biblical Principles For Making Wise Decisions

Proverbs 2:6

For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth comes knowledge and understanding.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

1 Corinthians 10:31

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

2 Corinthians 6:14

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

Proverbs 22:7

The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

Questions to Ask
1. What does the Bible have to say about this decision?
2. Who can help me better understand what God’s Word says about this decision?
3. Make sure you are not the only one who holds to your interpretation.

2. Do I Have All The Facts?

Proverbs 18:13
He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him.
Proverbs 18:17
The first to plead his case seems right, until another comes and examines him.
Questions to Ask
1. Ask a lot of questions.
2. Don’t fall prey to “wishful thinking” or let your emotions get the best of you.
3. Remember that there are two sides to every story.

3. Is The Pressure of Time Forcing Me to Make a Premature Decision?

Proverbs 19:2
Also it is not good for a person to be without knowledge, and he who makes haste with his feet errs.
Proverbs 21:5
The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.
Questions to Ask
1. Beware of the “once in a lifetime” deal and the lure of instant gratification.
2. Don’t let the fear of missing out drive your decision.
3. When in doubt, leave it out.

4. What Possible Motives Are Driving My Decision?

Proverbs 16:2
All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, but the Lord weighs the motives.
Proverbs 20:9
Who can say, ”I have cleansed my heart, I am pure from my sin”’?
Questions to Ask
1. Acknowledge that you have “blind spots.”
2. Honestly assess your motives, both good and bad.
3. Give others permission to speak in to your life.

5. How Should Past Experiences Inform My Decision?

Proverbs 26:11
Like a dog that returns to its vomit is a fool who repeats his folly.
Proverbs 17:10
A rebuke goes deeper into one who has understanding than a hundred blows into a fool.
Questions to Ask
1. Look for patterns of behavior – “triggers.”
2. Understand how your family background might affect your thinking.
3. Learn from your mistakes!

6. What Is The Collective Counsel of My Community?

Proverbs 11:14
Where there is no guidance the people fall, but in an abundance of counselors there is victory.
Proverbs 18:1
He who separates himself seeks his own desire. He quarrels against all sound wisdom.
Proverbs 18:2
A fool does not delight in understanding, but only in revealing his own mind.
Questions to Ask
1. Avoid having many separate conversations.
2. Recognize the difference between “selling” and “sharing.”
3. Know when to “open the circle.”

7. Have I Honestly Considered the Warning Signs?

Proverbs 10:17
He is on the path of life who heeds instruction, but he who forsakes reproof goes astray.
Proverbs 16:25
There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.
Proverbs 27:6
Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.
Questions to Ask
1. Don’t think you are the “exception” to the rule.
2. Remember that God’s way is the best way.

8. Have I Considered the Possible Outcomes for My Course of Action?

Proverbs 14:1
The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands.
Proverbs 14:15
The naïve believes everything, but the prudent man considers his steps.
Proverbs 27:12
A prudent man sees evil and hides himself, the naïve proceed and pay the penalty.
Questions to Ask
1. Do the “long math.”
2. Assess the potential risks.
3. Have a contingency plan.

9. Could This Decision Jeopardize My Integrity or Hinder My Witness for the Lord?

Proverbs 25:26
Like a trampled spring and a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.
Proverbs 10:9
He who walks in integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will be found out.
Proverbs 20:7
A righteous man who walks in his integrity—how blessed are his sons after him.
Proverbs 22:1
A good name is to be more desired than great riches, favor is better than silver and gold.
Questions to Ask
1. Work toward the “center” rather than flirt with the “edge.”
2. Ask yourself, “Would this pass the ’newspaper‘ test?”
3. Keep short accounts.

10. Is There a Better Option That Would Allow Me to Make a Greater Impact for God’s Kingdom?

Proverbs 11:30
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise wins souls.
Questions to Ask
1. Ask yourself, “What story could God be writing?”
2. Don’t assume that just because something is hard that it is not God’s will.
3. Understand how God has uniquely gifted and resourced you.
Closing: 
Proverbs 1:7
7 The fear of the Lord isthe beginning of knowledge,
But fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 9:10
10 “The fear of the Lord isthe beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One isunderstanding.
 The New King James Version. (1982). (Pr 1:7–9:10). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
ASK GOD FOR WISDOM…
      1. He promises to give wisdom to those who ask in faith – Jm 1:5-8
      2. Asking for wisdom requires diligence – Pr 2:1-9
      — Fill your prayers with requests for wisdom to make wise
         choices!
    ASK OTHERS FOR ADVICE…
      1. There is safety in having many counselors – Pr 11:14
      2. There is wisdom in heeding the counsel of others – Pr 12:15
      3. Two great sources for counsel:
         a. The Bible itself, especially a book like Proverbs
         b. Older, mature Christians
      — Don’t hesitate to ask others what they would do!
   COMMIT YOUR CHOICES TO THE LORD…
      1. Trusting that you have made choices pleasing to Him, put them
         in His hands – Ps 37:5-6, 23-26
      2. Make your choices with the understanding, “if the Lord wills”
         – Jm 4:13-15

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