“For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.” 1 Corinthians 14:33
Have you ever had a major life decision staring you in the face? A while ago my husband and I found ourselves in the midst of one. We weren’t sure what we were supposed to do. We had some ideas, based primarily on physical things, not a call from God.
We made a decision with a “let’s see what happens” attitude. After a few weeks of that, I felt really confused. Here we were, trying to make a better life for our family, yet I didn’t really hear God speaking clearly to me. At all. And the more I thought about it, the more confused I felt. I knew I needed to continue to pray about it, but as a Type A personality (I know some of you are out there) I found myself often thinking the situation through. First mistake. That made me more confused.
Then I realized I needed to work on trying to reason less, and pray more. I remember one day I approached my husband and said, “you know, I really don’t feel led to continue on this track.” He replied to me that he really didn’t either. What did this mean?
Soon after our conversation, my husband told me he believed we were called to do the opposite of what we decided to do. The problem was, I had that sense as well, but I didn’t really want to.
Each time I prayed about it I felt confused. I felt like God had big plans for us and everywhere I turned we seemed to be running into sermons and messages related to our plans. Someone he was talking to who he had just met that night encouraged him with basically, why not? Some of these messages we were getting we realized might not necessarily have meant making these big changes but smaller ones. The problem was we were both so confused we didn’t know what action to take.
Now I should note, that just a couple of months before, my husband felt God tell him to just wait, and be patient. But it’s hard to wait and be still when the world is telling you to move. The confusion began to strain our marriage, and we would engage in endless discussions that only went around and around the same questions. What is the right decision?
Finally, I recognized this for what it was. Maybe I knew it all along and tried to put it in the back corner of my mind because it was different from what I wanted. But it was the enemy, settling a spirit of confusion upon us. Often it is his way of keeping us from doing what God has called us to do, and ultimately advancing His kingdom here on earth. Or, to put it another way, God has a special purpose for each one of us here. You and I are here on earth at this particular moment in time for some reason. If you are a Christian, you have a special work that God wants to use you for. But if the devil puts confusion into our minds, we find ourselves spinning in circles as we wear a rut in the same exact spot instead of stepping out and moving forward.
When I finally stepped back and let my husband make the decision, I felt a great peace. An amazing peace. You see, I knew that if he was being led to do this, then I needed to be obedient to that and follow him. Regardless of what God wants me to do here, the first step was to do what I know God wants me to do now. And His Word, the Bible, says that God recognized man should not be alone. “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” (Genesis 2:18) My first job? Be a help to my husband. Ok, not too difficult until he wants to do something that maybe I don’t want to do. Then how do I help or support him?
Interestingly, I noticed that the verses which explain the true battle here, the battle not between husband and wife or siblings, but the battle in the spiritual realm, that often that takes place in our thoughts or our minds, I noticed that the verse comes immediately following the verses that encourage husbands, wives, children, parents, servants, and masters. “Let the wife see that she respects her husband.” (Eph 5:33) Wow. So, this is pretty much telling me that there will be times when I need to respect my husband, and follow his lead, even when I’m confused about the decision and don’t know if it will work. AND that it may be hard for me, but I need to recognize who the real enemy is. It’s the devil, trying to bring confusion into our family so that we are divided and unable to complete God’s great work for us.
Now I still don’t know if there is one particular reason why God showed us that decision for that time. But I do know that since we’ve (well, hubby), made the decision, I have had peace, and a content that God will work all things for our good, because we didn’t allow confusion to divide us anymore and because I did the one thing I knew how to do, support my husband.
Does It Matter What We Think? In this instance, the enemy was pushing me to “think” too much. To reason too much. Sometimes we can still meditate on things that we think are for good but really God is saying, “stop thinking so much and start talking to Me. I will show you what to do.” Twice in the book of Proverbs is says, “there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” (14:12 and 16:25) I’m not saying we would’ve died if we made that decision. But I can assure you that if we allowed confusion to take over our minds, and we acted before leaning on the Lord’s leading, the way might’ve been a bit more rocky.