There are two very distinct principles in life that I like to call the “When in Doubt" rules.
The first rule is the "When in doubt Do it, Press Ahead” principle!
When you have something that you know you are supposed to do, or are actually getting signals from the Holy Spirit to do, you need to do it.
Maybe you need to witness to someone and lead them to salvation, it could be that you need to pray for someone’s healing, or discuss some important issue with them, or maybe the Lord is actually giving you a word for them. There are many scenarios we could look at be it in life, or in ministry, but the rule will be the same no matter which one it would be.
What is going to happen to you is that you are going to get that leading, that inner gut feeling, the still small voice, prompting or whatever it is, and what you need to do is to respond. Realize this as well, that as soon as you find yourself in that position, you will also begin to get resistance and a move to stop you.
Your mind is going to try to get you not to do it, giving you all kinds of reasons, excuses, etc, and it will usually be out of fear or doubt. The devil is also going to work on you to not do the very things you need to do, and he will work immediately on your mind to get you to give in, give up and then walk away.
The truth for witnessing, etc, is that if you hesitate to any length of time you will choose to chicken out and not do it. The devil will get what he wanted, your flesh will get what it wanted and the person who needed the Lord, or whatever, will not get what they needed. The answer to it is that you must ignore all of that and press ahead, immediately if possible, so that you do not back down. Don't think about it, just do it and it will work.
The point is that in these situations it is always "When in doubt Do it, Press Ahead” time. In these times it is always right to press ahead and not give in, not to back down or listen to anything of opposition.
Whether it is something very important, or even when it is something simple, as when the devil (usually demons) bother you, press against you with thoughts that keep coming at you or temptations that just don’t quit, whatever it might be, it is time to press forward in faith against them in a defensive mode to do what it will take to succeed in putting that to an end.
When you are going forward in God in ministry, you need to remember that you are going forward with Him, not alone, He is always with you. He has promised that He will never leave or forsake you, and the Holy Spirit is right there with you all the time leading the way, so you have nothing to fear or worry about. So when you are going to do something, and doubt, fear, the devil or spirits try to stop you, it is time to press forward, and do not be deterred. Move immediately to do what you are supposed to and complete the task. Hesitation will usually disarm you!
If it is time to witness, speak to someone, preach, teach or whatever it might be, move forward, because as soon as you do, you will get the release and will find that all goes well, with little, to no resistance as you have already won that battle.
If you find yourself in a real spiritual demonic press, or battle, no matter how large or small it is, respond in kind with action; use your armor and your weapons.
Pick up you bible and start reading - out loud if you have to
Speak God's Word, let the word of God in you, which has great power, hit its mark !
Pray in the spirit - out loud if needed
Turn up the praise music
Get into worship
Plead the blood covering over you
If you need to, do it, they cannot stand any of it and they will leave. That last one may sound strange, even to some Christians, but don't let that doubt detour you. It is the blood sacrifice that Jesus gave for you, and it was given for all of your life and in all situations, you can run to Him, and to His blood covering as a shield, anytime you have need. Satan hates it as it is what defeated him; he especially hates it when you understand the truth of that and stand strong in faith.
Remember that in God, and all things that pertain to what He would want you to do, the principle always applies.
But now there is the other side of the coin if you will the other of the two most important rules to life.
In your life, in the whole of your life, the everyday natural outworking of your days, you have continuous choices and many decisions to make that affect every part of your life. And it is in this one area, which is really the most important area that most Christians fail, either because they just do not realize it, or because they prefer what they want to what is best.
In your everyday life the rule is, “When in doubt, Don’t.”
When you need to make a decision about anything, especially to make important decisions, and then of course the biggest decisions of your life, you need to move very slowly, don’t be in a hurry, and make sure you are making the right decision.
Too much of the time even the people of God make decisions that are the wrong ones, and end up changing their lives not for the good, but to their detriment.
We as people, and especially people in our modern speed driven world, not only want what we want, but we want it now, and, we are so sure that we are supposed to have it, that we do whatever it takes to get it. And even if we know it is probably not what we should do or have, we ignore that to have it anyway, so that we can make sure we get what we want. The consequences, well, we’ll deal with them later!
In any situation, whatever examples you could pick, a job, a new ministry, a relationship or even a marriage, they can be used to make the point we need.
In all that we do, we must pay the price to KNOW if it is the will of God for us.
And the knowing is the key. Let’s say a man has heard, or even better yet been offered a new job in another state. He likes the idea, has always wanted to be in that field, thinks it would be a good choice and he is very excited about it. Or, he just thinks he should choose it because it pays a lot more money and that would be good for him and his family.
He tells his wife about it, but she is not keen on the idea and really doesn’t want him to take it. He has to sell their home to do it, uproot his family and relocate. But, he is set on doing it anyway as it seems right or the best thing to do and so he presses forward. He sells his home, moves his family and starts this new job, but quickly finds that it isn’t the move he thought it would be, the job is not what he thought it was and it doesn’t pay all of what they promised either.
He has now entered the most miserable time of his life, as he finds himself where he is not supposed to be, out of the will of God and he is stuck there. He cannot just undo the move, return to his home, and to his old job where he was in the center of God’s will and happy. Now he is out of the will of God and has to live in the consequences of that mistake until the Lord can move many mountains to rescue him.
So, all of our choices must be made carefully, with a series of conformations that lead us in the ways we should go!
One of the most important areas of life is relationships. This is a fact of life, and they are right and good as that is how God has designed life to work, but, the right relationships must be chosen, confirmed, and blessed by God and that is the key.
When a man or a woman wants to find someone and get married, they tend to go looking; they tend to decide not only that they should have someone, but the sooner the better. Frankly, people today cannot seem to even conceive of not having someone in their lives at all times, and so they move forward and so often choose poorly.
The reasons each one of them want the relationship are actually somewhat different too, which should be a matter of great concern but is almost never looked at for direction.
So, they find someone they like, and then bam, "This is it, I can tell, I am sure of it", and so the relationship begins or the wedding bells are on ASAP.
Well, whether or not it is that kind of important decision, or any other decision, it doesn’t matter, there are three things that must come into play for it to even be considered to be God and they are all paramount!
The choice to do it in the first place, and the person we are considering in this scenario, must line up with the Word of God. The Word says that it is not good for a man to be alone, and that is true, but it also says that choosing the wrong woman can make a man’s life miserable and ruin it, and that reality is just as true for a woman.
If the desiring person is a Christian, than we know that he or she must be a Christian, that is plain, but do you know how many Christians marry unbelievers? The number would be staggering!
The reality is that so many just choose to ignore that part, to disregard it, or to blatantly stand in rebellion against that truth. They deceive themselves with a thousand reasons, all the time telling themselves that it is ok, and sometimes even that it is the will of God in order to get what they want or assume they should do.
The question is rarely asked of what kind of a person this is that they are planning to marry, are they really a committed Christian for instance, and have they even known them long enough to know that, have they seen them in the pressing times of life to see what they are really made of and do they know and understand their past?
People tend to put their best faces on, and they work to make a good first impression, especially when they are after something, but who are they really? If you are going live the rest of your life with someone, you had better know who they really are first.
The Word of God is there to mirror behavior and what you see in that mirror matters. Character, integrity, honesty and all the other important things in life matter. The lack of them matters too, as that lack will be there long after the wedding is over, and, they will be there in full force when there is no more show to put on.
People don’t change easily, or quickly, so do not make the mistake that most women make in believing “He will change, I will help him and then life will be great.” It doesn’t work that way!
The sad truth is that so many Christians are not willing to follow the rule that says when in doubt, DON’T!
That choice must also align with what the Holy Spirit is saying. The witness of the Spirit is so important, that if you do not seek it, hear it, and yield to it, you again deceive yourselves and will suffer the consequences.
He will make it clear to you if you will hear Him and He will lead you by His peace. He does not push you to do things, He does not hurry you along so that it happens fast, quick get it done, and He does not do things contrary to the way He says they should be done.
The witness of the Spirit will be reconfirmed by the Spirit in the things He is telling you, and He will do it according to the Word. You will get a real sense of the settled will of God and especially when everything lines up consistently.
That same choice must also align to the conformation of the circumstances. God is going to confirm His will for your life, in each and every move and circumstance. He will show you, and He will do it through people as well. He will use important people in your life who will or will not bear witness to that choice, and you must hear them.
If in the case of the man who wanted the new job, had he heard his wife it would have never happened.
When you want or need to make a decision, especially an important one that is going to change your whole life, you must be willing and committed to making sure, without doubt or question, that it is in fact God’s will.
1. If as you proceed forward, you have issues that do not line up with God’s word, or with His known will for your life, then stop, go no further, abandon the issue.
2. If you do not bear witness in the Spirit and do not have the true peace of God with it, stop, do not proceed.
3. If you have circumstances and situations that do not confirm what you want, and also people who would bring good direction to you that do not agree with your choice, stop, proceed no further.
* If you have one or more of the things in order but not all of them, it doesn’t matter, as it is not God’s will for you, or at least not for now.
Be willing to stop and wait for His perfect will, especially in matters of great importance, or you may end up paying a very heavy price for your impatience.
Watch for the signs, circumstances, and conformations or the lack of them. Watch for the red lights and heed them. Remember as well, God is not in a hurry about anything in life, He is always on time, but He never runs ahead or lags behind. Get His will for your life and life will go well!
Even with the best intentions, and with right hearts people can move on presumption and get seriously hurt, so pay the price to make sure that you are really acting accordingly.
Now, let’s go beyond the element of the natural man and interject the spiritual realm. The devil and the others work hard to get you into these situations you are not supposed to be in. They work to get people to make wrong choices, get into wrong relationships and especially Christians, which is the icing on the cake to them.
When the enemy can get Christians to choose wrong and mess up their lives, or thwart God’s will for their life, Satan has now crippled their assignment and they will not be fruitful, or not be as fruitful as they could and would have been. And you have to understand, that is one of the most important things to him.
He is out to stop you from doing what God has called you to, and anything, or anyone that he can get into your path to bring that about is what he is after. And, I am not talking about getting you to sin, that one is the obvious one, I am talking about just getting you off track, getting you to make wrong decisions that will affect your life, and keeping you from doing what you need and are supposed to do.
They, Satan and the others, work all day long to cause all of the upheaval and heartache that people go through. Sure it is our choice in the end, but they are behind so many of those choices, you would actually be amazed!!!
God has a perfect plan for your life; He mapped it out long ago, before you were ever born and long before time began. He knows what He wants for your life as well as from it, and He knows who He wants in it. Embrace that and you will be happy, as it will be the best life you can imagine.
Now let’s take it into ministry – specifically
The three judges:
1. It must line up correctly with the Word of God – It must fit His Will!
2 The leading of the Holy Spirit must be there each step of the way!
3. All of the circumstances must align and be confirmed.
He will give you Godly leaders, family members and true friends that honestly care about you who can speak into your life and help you to know what His will is. And remember, He says that in the mouth of two or three witnesses let every word be established. He gives more than one witness, conformation or word to guide you. It is in the collection of it all that you will have what you need to decide.
He will also use those things to sound alarms and flash warning lights if it is not His will and you are getting off track, or, about to make a wrong choice.
Be patient as some of the things in God take time. He works in us to will and to do His good pleasure, and that all comes as we grow up into Him and mature, He doesn’t make everything happen all at once. Be willing to build your life and ministry brick by brick as He leads, and that way your life will be sound and stable and as it should be.
Go forward in faith to do all that He has called you to do and do not hesitate.
Press forward when the enemy, or your flesh try to stop you and do not be deterred.
But stop and proceed with caution in your regular decision making.
Know the difference as to when the enemy is trying to stop you from going forward, and when the Holy Spirit is doing it.
What would have happened if Paul had presumed, ignored, or deflected the witness of the Holy Spirit when He told him (them) NOT to go into Asia?
Paul was already in the process, in the press to go, but the Holy Spirit stopped him, prevented him. There were circumstances that were happening, the Holy Spirit was talking to him and doing things to block him, and he knew how to look to God’s Word for help. In Paul’s case he yielded to all of it, he yielded to the Lord and to His will.
Now Paul could have said, “Of course it is God’s will, they need the Gospel there,” or, “I am an Apostle, the ice breaker of God, I go into uncharted territory and bring forth the Kingdom of God, and of course I am going to get resistance, I get it everywhere I go, and so this is probably nothing more than that opposition.”
He could have said “But if I don’t go now I may never get another chance.” He could have said many things as we so often do, but the fact is he didn’t, as he knew the leading of God, and of the Holy Spirit in Him, and he was committed to yielding to it even when he didn’t want to. That is how we must be in our ministry as well as our private lives.
Every move, every choice you make about your ministry is important. What you do and where you go needs to be led of the Lord. Too often people go into ministry and press through all the obstacles in their way to make happen what they are positive is God’s will, only to find that they really just pressed to get what they wanted. In the end either because it wasn't His will or because they didn't have His perfect leading they ended up shipwrecked.
Pushing to get what you want will always cause you to be off focus in your directional instruments. You will not be hearing correctly, seeing correctly, or being moved in the right direction because your instruments are being ignored and you have just veered off into the deep or into the shallows and onto the rocks.
Paul and the others paid a great price to make sure that they, as God’s captains, steered not only their own lives correctly, but the ship, (the Church) that they had been entrusted to direct.
There are many things that cause trouble in and for the church, but people who are not living and working according to this second rule can cause much trouble for themselves and for others as they are being directed by their own wants, desires or sometimes much worse.
Important things to remember:
Timing is also very important, sometimes what we want is fine, but the timing is off and we need to wait for His perfect time. That is a key point!
Having a mate is of course fine, but we still must wait for the right one and then the right time. There are many variables for all of it, but the truth is the same in all situations.
What He has called you to, what He has equipped you for; He wants you to be successful at. If you will wait on Him in prayer, search the scriptures and learn His Word, become very sensitive to the Holy Spirit and learn to hear him, if you will not go beyond His leading and trust Him, you will be so glad that you did, as the choices He makes for you will be perfect, and, you will save yourself all the heartaches and hardships that go along with making your own way.
Making a really wrong choice will cost you, it will cost you your peace, your contentment and sometimes the very life that God had planned for you. It can cost you your personal freedom too, and sometimes it can even cost you your very life.
It is very serious business these choices we make and no one else can make them for you. You must decide and be determined that you will make all of your choices according to the Lord and not fight for your own will. Live according to Him; make sure that all the lights are green all along the way. Whenever you hit red ones, stop, wait, and then proceed with caution!
Written by Ellen L. Burgoyne 1/11/09
Edited by Ellen L. Burgoyne 3/9/2011
© Used by permission Only!