Difficulties & Decisions

Scripture: Genesis 31

Jacob attributed all of his success to God. As we should.

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (ESV)

Rachel and Leah are believing God’s promises to Jacob and ready to trust and follow him.

Don’t speak too quickly or make rash threats or promises

“Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God For God is in heaven and you are on the earth; therefore let your words be few.” Ecclesiastes 5:2

“He who gives an answer before he hears, It is folly and shame to him.” Proverbs 18:13

Decision Making

How did Jacob know it was time to go?

  1. Inner witness of the heart
    • Six years earlier (chap. 30:25) God put desire in Jacob’s heart to return to his own country
  2. Outward circumstances of life
    • Jacob noticed Laban’s sons become jealous. He was no longer welcome
  3. Truth of God’s Word
    • God had promised Jacob he would return to his homeland
    • God reminded him and told him to arise, go out and return to your home (31:13)
  4. Share with others (counsel)
    • Jacob told all of this to Rachel and Leah. They provided good counsel and agreed.

God confirmed Jacob’s decision to follow Him and protected him and his family as they returned to the promised land.

No new direct revelation

God does not provide new revelation today. He does not appear to people. He is no longer sending prophets. We have His completed Word. At the end of the book of Revelation, John warned against taking away or adding anything to this Book, referring to the Scriptures.

God’s Will

In our Study of Colossians, we saw that knowing God’s Will for our lives comes from reading His Word and following Him day by day.

“9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”  Colossians 1:9-10

Knowledge of His Will: God reveals His General Will as we read God’s Word and understand His instructions and commands. The more we know His Word the easier it will be to apply it in everyday life and follow His Specific Will. This is spiritual wisdom.

  1. Inner witness of the heart
    • Has God, through His Holy Spirit in you, placed a burden or desire to do something or to serve somewhere?
  2. Outward circumstances of life
    • Is your job coming to an end? Your life season changing?
  3. Truth of God’s Word
    • Our aim is to please God and glorify Him in everything. Is that true of this new direction?
    • As you read and understand God’s Word, is this new decision within the boundaries of a Christian living
  4. Share with others (counsel)
    • Have you sought counsel from your spouse, your parents, godly friends? Not after your mind is made up, but actually looking for input.

As we read in 1 Peter 5, when you face difficult decisions or go through trials, you are called to resist temptation and stand firm in your faith because God in Christ will restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you.