Life has hard choices. We are not always prepared for them, in fact, we usually are not prepared. Significant events can take place so fast that we hardly have time to respond with well thought out plans. Sometimes we just react. Other times we have to ponder, weigh the facts, control our emotions, think clearly, take a break, pull away for a while to gage our response.
Critical thinking is good, but sometimes there is a spiritual dynamic to it. Sometimes the leading of the Holy Spirit will take us in a direction that we do not want to go. Sometimes the leading of the Spirit is in contradiction with critical thinking. Not all rational decisions are rational. Reason may lead us in places we do not want to go or the results of our well thought out plans produce a result unseen and tragic. The Holy Spirit however, has inside knowledge. He knows the mind of Christ, He has the foresight of the Father, He sees the end from the beginning.
I have had on several occasions leadings of the Holy Spirit that ran contrary to reason, logic, and decorum. Yet, after struggling with the leading, I will yield. It is not that I do not want to obey, but careful weighing and asking for confirmation of some sort is not wrong. Confirmations can be just the incessant prompting of the Holy Spirit as the pressure increases with urgency. Other times, confirmations can come through circumstances or a word spoken by another.
Hard choices make us pray, think, ponder, wrestle with God. We test, complain, explain to God our reservations and how this does not fit our plans. And really why do we have to face this choice?
His ways are higher than ours. His reasons are inscrutable. Learning to surrender and obey is one of the Christian life’s greatest lessons and challenges. I do not know why I have been thrown into this difficult place. Oh yes, some are the consequences of bad choices made out of my own determination, but some I did not sign up for. They are not the result of my bad choices. Some come about because of my good choices. Good choices do not always produce a smooth road. Sometimes, maybe many times, they produce conflict when morality and character run juxtaposition with popularity and crowd mentality. Persecutions are based in this type of hard choice.
Yet, the high road, the right road may cause us sadness, separation, second guessing because of the results, possible isolation, but it is still the right choice. The Bible record is full of people making right choices, hard choices and suffering consequences that were wrong. Many of the New Testament writers acknowledge this result. They tell us to rejoice and be glad. Consider it an honor to suffer for Christ’s sake. (Personally, this is hard and a lesson I am still working on.) I have had several prophetic words that have exhorted me to rejoice and be exceeding glad. Hard choices, hard places, still working on the rejoice part.