Who Is Making the Choice? (Acts 1:21 - 26)

When my daughter was little, I often held up my fingers, pointer and tall finger in a V and asked her to touch one to make a choice. Little did she know that the choice was mine, but that was just to trick her into believing that she gets what she touches.

We live in an age that prides itself in freedom of choice. Amidst the choices we make every day many decisions require much thought, consideration and even turmoil. No matter what the decision-making process, along with the freedom of choice comes responsibility and faith.

How does our relationship with Jesus Christ come to bear on our decisions? How are decisions made as His body of believers in His church, under His Lordship?

Today’s passage talks about the disciples’ concern for finding someone to serve as an apostle in Judas Iscariot’s place

The disciples gathered for prayer felt compelled by the Holy Spirit through God’s written Word to fill the vacancy in order to complete their mission. The “qualification” of this person for which they were looking was a man who accompanied them during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among them, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when He was taken up from them in His ascension. He would become . . . a witness to Christ’s resurrection. (verses 21-22)

According to verse 23 of our passage they put forward two men with the qualification of being with Jesus: Joseph called Barsabbas, . . . and Matthias. Even though their method of casting lots may seem unusual to us, God was the One doing the choosing.

It is reflected in their prayer recorded in verses 24-25 Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs”.

Notice their “method” of determining God’s choice began first and foremost with prayer! They prayed for God’s guidance and revelation in their “decision making process” and confessed His Lordship over their lives.

How many times in the midst of our decision- making processes do we intentionally stop and pray for God’s guidance, recognizing that He is Lord? God cares about every area of our lives and desires us to seek Him and His Will in all of it.

Ephesians 2:10 says that we are God’s workmanship, (notice with Whom the “qualifications” rest—not with us but with God!) We are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

We notice the disciples tried to leave their “fleshly preferences” out of God’s revelation by casting lots. By casting lots they were following an age-old practice used in the Old Testament Church. However, throughout this process they recognized the Lordship of Jesus Who is ultimately in control of all things as expressed in Proverbs 16:33 The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.

No matter what method is used to make a decision, for which God’s Word does not give specifics of His Will, we place it before the LORD in prayer and make the decision simply trusting it is God’s will for us to move in that direction. While working together  in that decision we submit to God’s revealed Word from 1 Corinthians 1:10… “by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment”.

All the decisions we make about our lives ought to be framed within these; our lives are not our own to do with as we please. We are called to love God by loving our neighbor. We know we live our lives under the canopy of God’s forgiving love. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. In Romans 8:28 we read, “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God…” God is at work in the midst of our decisions.

 

Suggested prayer: Loving Father, Nothing I do or say catches you by surprise. You know what is in my heart. Father, give me divine strength to accept and to follow your lead, whatever it maybe. May every decision I make be pleasing to you and fall within Your will. In Jesus’ name, I believe and pray.  Amen.

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