Text: Deuteronomy 10:12-14
I. Numerous people are convinced through repeated teachings that there is a specific plan that God has for each person’s life
A. You would think that would make life easier. If God has laid out the perfect life for me, then I just have to conform my life to God’s will and follow where He directs.
B. But the opposite is the usual result
1. People are terrified of going against God’s will
2. And at the same time they are told that there isn’t a clear way to determine what God wants them to do
3. Instead, they are told to check things like inner feelings, advise of the godly, looking for opportunities or noting when ways are blocked, and seeking out signs.
4. Typically these supposed guides conflict or not provide a clear message
5. As a result the person is left terrified of making any move for fear of making the wrong move.
C. Instead of comfort, anxiety results
D. So we come to the question: What does God want me to do?
II. God wants us to be righteous
A. Israel was told of God’s requirements - Deuteronomy 10:12-13
1. It isn’t just what we do, but why we do it - Micah 6:6-8
2. God requires obedience - Jeremiah 7:22-23
3. Nothing has changed - I John 5:1-3
B. To accomplish that goal, we are taught by God
1. II Peter 1:2-4 - Instruction to escape the corruption in the world
2. II Timothy 3:16-17 - Teachings to make us complete
C. God does not force us to follow His teachings. He expects us to choose.
1. Joshua challenged Israel - Joshua 24:14-15
2. Elijah asked Israel to choose - I Kings 18:21
3. And Jesus asked his disciples what would be their choice - John 6:67-68
III. Choices are not limited to just matters of right and wrong
A. There are many areas of our life where it isn’t a choice between right and wrong, but between good and better
B. God hasn’t left us adrift here either
C. Find wisdom
1. Proverbs 24:13-14 - Find wisdom to retain hope
2. Proverbs 3:13-18 - A source of happiness
D. Have you ever stopped to think: Why would we need wisdom if our choice are already mapped out?
E. Wisdom is the ability to make good choices
IV. Where is wisdom found?
A. Not from self - Proverbs 26:12; Romans 12:16
B. We need outside direction - Jeremiah 10:23
C. Ask God - James 1:5-8
D. God has taught us wisdom - Psalm 119:97-100
1. God’s law makes us wise - Psalm 19:7
E. What a person needs:
1. Thus the beginning of wisdom is to fear God because then we won’t ignore it - Proverbs 9:10
2. It takes humility to learn - Proverbs 11:2
3. We have to listen even when we are being told we are wrong - Proverbs 15:31
4. You have to want it greatly - Proverbs 8:17
F. The summary of finding wisdom - Proverbs 2:1-15
V. God has given us the ability to make decisions and expects us to use it.
A. He has taught us what makes a good or bad decision through His Word
B. When we make a choice, we must recognize how little is actually in our control - James 4:13-16
C. But we still must make choices, and some will be tough - Philippians 1:21-26
1. Notice that Paul picked the lesser path because he saw the need to remain
2. In other words, we don’t always need to pick the optimal path
D. We don’t always choose the path of least resistance
1. Sometimes choices are made despite having to give up opportunities - II Corinthians 2:12-13
2. Sometimes plans are made despite hindrances and difficulties - Romans 1:13
E. What I choose won’t alter God’s plans - Esther 4:13-14
1. It would be arrogance to think that man could alter God’s plans - Isaiah 46:9-11
2. Unlike man, God has complete control over the future
F. And the promise of God is that when I keep my choices in accordance with the righteousness He has taught me, God will make those choices work out for the best - Romans 8:28