Making a spiritual decision is great. Keeping it is better. Make decisions that don’t fail using these three tips.
As I write this, I am in the chapel before an evening service of New England Baptist Teen Camp. God has been working mightily. Friendships of a lifetime have begun. Happy memories have been made. Powerful sermons have been heard. The altar has been full after every message as tender hearts surrender to God. Several people have been born again. Hundreds of life-changing choices have been made.
I am thankful to God for every decision made this week. Imagine the wave of change that would take place if every decision took root and bore the fruit of righteousness!
However, as an experienced youth worker, I am saddened to know that many of the decisions will not stick. I’m not being cynical. I believe that the decisions were from God. I heard God’s power in the messages. I felt the same Holy Spirit conviction. I saw the tears of repentance.
Nevertheless, the statistics are undeniable. Many decisions will not last past 60 days. Some people will fall into the old sins before they walk in the door to their home.
How can this be? How can God move so powerfully, on a heart with no lasting fruit?
Many youth workers would agree that the failure is in the follow through. We can get so focused on helping people make godly decisions that we don’t teach them how to manage the decision for lasting success.
The guest preacher at camp this year made a statement that helped me consider this dilemma a little deeper.
Make the decision.
Deuteronomy 30:19 “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:”
Every action begins with a decision. In every area of life, you will be presented two options: God’s way or another way. Obedience is choosing God’s way. Disobedience is choosing any other way. Is it really that simple? Yes!
Manifest the decision.
John 3:21 “But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”
Manifest means to render apparent or make known. Let everyone know of your decision. Tell your parents, preacher, friends, and church members. Remind them of your decision often.
Walk the aisle after church and make it public that you are changing this area of your life.
Ask people to pray for you. They will pray, and you will be accountable for your decision. They can hold you to the truth if you begin to slip.
What will your life look like when you have the victory in the area of your decision? Live like that now. Don’t lament your lack of strength. Praise God for His power! When God tells you to rise up and walk, you either get up and go or tell Him all the reasons you can’t. Rise up and walk in the godly decision you made!
Maintain the decision.
Titus 3:14 “And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.”
Decisions require maintenance. If our flesh is prone to an ungodly action, we must pay particular attention to the decision we made to obey the Lord. If our mind is bent to ungodly thinking, we must diligently observe the decision to think Biblically.
Be Accountable To Yourself
Most of us are too hard on others and too soft on ourselves. Be brutally honest with yourself. Hold the standard high and expect excellence. Punish yourself with loss of privileges when you fail.
Place systems in your life that automate your obedience. Live by principle rather than feeling. Evaluate your decision and how you will maintain it for the foreseeable future.
- What time?
- With who?
- What triggers must you avoid?
Be Accountable To Others
Give people in your life permission to hold you accountable. Ask them to check your faithfulness periodically. Allow them to ask any questions they want regarding the area of your decision.
Furthermore, you should have people in your life that you go to when you are struggling. Tell them when you fail. Allow them to reprove, instruct, and encourage you.
Making a godly decision is great! Keeping it is better. Make decisions that don’t fail.
How do you incorporate these elements into your life or ministry?