Acts 1:15-17, 20-26
Psalm 113:1-8; John 15:9-17
The Ascension of the Lord or Saint Matthias, Apostle
You, Lord, who know the hearts of all … (Acts 1:24)
Have you ever anguished over an important decision, wanting to follow God but unsure if you’re making the right choice? Decision making can be especially challenging when several doors are open before us, and many of them seem good. How much easier it would be if God would simply text us a message or send us an e-mail telling us exactly what to do!
The disciples were faced with just such a difficult decision regarding which of two well-qualified candidates should fill Judas’ spot as the twelfth member of their group. To our modern minds, drawing lots—the method they decided upon—may seem illogical. Why leave such a crucial matter up to the luck of the draw?
The disciples recognized that the matter transcended their natural wisdom. They didn’t know the mind of God, so they prayed to the One “who knows the hearts of all” (Acts 1:24). Then they gave God room to act. They reasoned that God had already made the choice, and drawing lots would make it clear. Biblical scholar Maureen Duffy explained it this way: “They choose not to choose—or exclude. According to the practice of the time, they cast lots, for an outcome unbiased by human ignorance. Perhaps, in secular language, they leave the decision to chance. In their language of faith, they leave it to God.”
In our own lives, many situations are clear-cut with straightforward decisions. But what about those times when we’re trying to choose between things that seem equally appealing, equally advantageous—or equally risky?
First, ask yourself: “Does my choice conform to God’s law? Will it bring me closer to Christ?” Then, rather than trying to control things yourself, seek the Lord for guidance and some sign of direction or confirmation. Give God a chance to show his hand! Even if you make a wrong decision, he’ll find a way to bring good out of it. All he asks is that you try your best. Take a chance, and leave the rest up to the Lord. Isn’t that a really faith-filled way to act?
“Father, I trust you! Guide me in your truth, and teach me, for you are God my savior’ (Psalm 25:5).”~WAU