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Big Decisions

Words of Faith Final

Big Decisions
Words of Faith 8-9-2022
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2022
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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Genesis 46
So Israel set out with all that was his, and when he reached Beersheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father, Isaac.
[2] And God spoke to Israel in a vision at night and said, "Jacob! Jacob!"
"Here I am," he replied.
[3] "I am God, the God of your father," he said. "Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there. [4] I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again. And Joseph's own hand will close your eyes."
[5] Then Jacob left Beersheba, and Israel's sons took their father Jacob and their children and their wives in the carts that Pharaoh had sent to transport him. [6] They also took with them their livestock and the possessions they had acquired in Canaan, and Jacob and all his offspring went to Egypt. [7] He took with him to Egypt his sons and grandsons and his daughters and granddaughters--all his offspring.

How do you decide to uproot your entire family and move hundreds of miles? How do you make any decision that will greatly impact your family for years to come? This was exactly what Israel (Jacob) faced. He was quite old, and his family was very large. But there seemed to be no other alternative. They had to escape the famine in Canaan.
Weighing into this decision may have been that, years earlier, Jacob's grandfather, Abram, had made a similar journey. The Lord had explicitly forbidden Abram from going to Egypt, but he did so anyway. At that time, trusting God meant staying in a famine-stricken land. Now it seemed trusting God meant fleeing the famine. How could Jacob know this was the right thing to do?
It is interesting to observe the process that Jacob went through. 1) He started the journey by faith. 2) He worshipped the Lord on the way. 3) He gained a confirming word.
First, Jacob set out with his family of 66 and headed in the direction of Egypt but first, they had to make a stop. About 60 miles down the road was Beersheba. This was the hometown where Jacob had been raised and where he had such conflict with Esau. In Beersheba, Jacob drew near to God, offering sacrifices to the Lord. It was then that God reassured Jacob concerning the move to Egypt with a vision. "Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there. I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again. And Joseph's own hand will close your eyes." This vision, which comforted the patriarch, would also encourage the nation of Israel when Moses urged them to leave the land of Egypt and return to Canaan to receive God's promises. Jacob could now set out with the sure blessing of God on this journey.
Life can sometimes be confusing for us! There are job offers, business ventures, family changes, and relocations that we must decide about. A decision that was wrong at one time may be the leading of God later. How do we proceed when all signs point to a particular action, but we are simply not sure? Jacob may give us a pretty good idea.
1) First, start the journey. Take some action in the direction we believe that God is leading. Concrete action as a step of faith can be very helpful in discerning God's will. Send out some resumes. Pay for some headshots. Fill out the application. Go to the interview. Take the GRE. Make some appointments. Put the house on the market. Take an investigative trip. In short, do something.
2) Second, worship the Lord. Sometimes people draw away from the Lord when making big decisions! We can get a particular idea in our head and then become afraid that God will change it! So we move ahead with a significant life change, accept a job or make a purchase and then obligate God to work it out. This can be a recipe for misery or even disaster. I can't tell you how many tales of woe I have heard over the years from people who charged ahead without drawing near to God! Jacob drew near to the Lord and made sacrifices. Somehow making an offering to God in such a time can be a powerful action.
3) Third, listen for a confirming word. Of course, it would be great if we could call God on a toll-free number for "confirmation?" God does speak, but the confirmation in our life may not be nearly so dramatic. We may find confirmation in a "still small voice" or in the peace that God gives. We may find the answer as we commune with God in His Word. The confirmation may be through the advice of a trusted friend or leader. The confirmation may be in simply seeing the favor of the Lord in the circumstances. There may be an unusual turn of events that some would call "coincidence," but, of course, we know better.
You may not be facing a huge decision today, but there is a good chance you will. Or that you know someone who is.

Father, I give thanks that You are in charge of my life. I rejoice to know that I am not making decisions alone. Guide my steps and direct my paths. In Jesus' name.

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2022
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2022 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.