Have you ever made a wrong decision in your life? Man oh man, I sure have! When that happens, it’s easy to beat ourselves up over it, or even worse, to be afraid of making any more decisions. That’s what I call being “decision challenged.”
If you’re trying to decide something today but all you can remember is when you blew it the time(s) before, I have some good news: God wants to help you and get you back on track! And He knows just how to do it.
There was a time in my life when I was afraid of making the wrong decision. I was trying to decide about moving back to Tulsa, Oklahoma. The year was 2000, and I had been pastoring our church in Boise, Idaho, for about four years since my first husband (the founding pastor) had died. I felt like the Lord was leading me to turn the church over to my associate pastor and move back to Tulsa. But I was scared.
This was a huge decision to make all on my own. Taking over the church four years before had sort of just happened to me because my husband had died. It was kind of an automatic thing. I didn’t exactly choose it; I just took it on.
But this—choosing to uproot my teenage sons, turn over my church, sell my house and move halfway across the country—was my decision alone. I got lots of advice from mentors and close friends, and I prayed about it a great deal, but in the end, I was the one who had to decide. I felt the terrible pressure of that decision. (Read: “Who You Should Get Advice From“).
‘What If I Miss It?’
At one point, I just became paralyzed. I was so scared of “missing it,” of making a mistake and getting out of God’s will. What if moving away was the wrong choice? It wasn’t just my life that would be affected, but also the lives of my children, my congregation, my extended family and who knows how many other people? (Read: “Too Many Voices in My Head”).
One night, while I was agonizing over whether or not to pull the trigger on this whole move, I felt like the Lord said to me, “Karen, even if you were missing it by moving to Tulsa, I’m big enough to get you back on track.”
Wow! That set me free! It made me realize that if I just kept my heart right, seeking His will and not being rebellious or prideful, God would know where I was the whole time. And if I was in the wrong place, He was big enough to rectify the situation.
I knew then that God is just looking for willing and obedient hearts, and the rest is up to Him. If you miss it, God still knows the way back and just how to get you there. You’re never outside His tender loving care of you. Read Psalm 139:7-10, and you’ll see.
Trust me, if you wander off track, your heavenly Father wants to come after you and bring you back. If your heart’s cry is, “Father, I just want to hear and do your will,” know that He’s standing by to help. He can do anything with a heart like that. It’s when you set yourself against Him that you’re in trouble. Otherwise, He’s available to rescue you and get you back on track. I love that about Him.
We’ve all “missed it” at one time or another. There have been times when I thought I’d heard from God, taken steps in a particular direction and then found out the direction I was taking was wrong. So what? God was big enough to get me back on track! He just wants us to be willing to listen and step out in faith, holding fast to Him.
Karen Jensen Salisbury has been in ministry over 30 years. Formerly a lead pastor, then an instructor at Rhema Bible College, she is currently an itinerant minister and author of several books. Connect with her on her website, karenjensen.org, on Facebook, Instagramor Twitter.