North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose by Matt Dobson

A man was on trial for armed robbery. The jury heard the testimony and had to make a decision. When the jury came back with the verdict, the foreman stood, cleared his throat, and stated, “We have come to a decision your Honor. We find the defendant …Not Guilty.” The defendant leaps to his feet. “Awesome!” he shouts. “Does that mean the police will stop looking for the money?” Did the jury make the right decision? You make the call!
Decisions…we have to make them every day; many times throughout the day. Sometimes we decide immediately. And some days we find we should have waited. Then there’s the second-guessing. It’s not always the case we get to change our minds and do something over. Lessons learned can help make life decisions easier. I’ve often said, the greatest thing about mistakes is the lessons we learn from them.
It all comes down to choosing right from wrong. And when it affects you, then somefolks make decisions totally upon what’s “in it for them”. I believe everyone has a conscious, some choose to listen and obey, while others try to ignore it. Call it what you may: conscious, sixth-sense, or spirit. It’s a natural part of being human. Let’s take it a step further. God has placed inside of us; something in order to hear His voice. We all have it. It’s sensitivity toward what’s right and wrong. It’s not a matter of intelligence; it’s a moral barometer or moral code. We have an “alert system” that goes off inside of us when we act wrong, mean, or cruel toward another person. Even when you don’t do something for someone when you know you should have, the alarm goes off. People can acquire the habit of suppressing this alarm system by ignoring the call to respond. In fact, people can turn it off to where they don’t hear it anymore. The Bible says, God gives us over to this kind of thinking if we really desire to ignore the alarm: “Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, He gave them over to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done” (Romans 1:28). This is why some people are able to commit horrendous and vile crimes against others. Even some career criminals can still be affected by the alarm. Why do people try to “break and enter” at night under the cloak of darkness? Because deep down inside they know it’s wrong and they don’t want to get caught.
If the absence of trouble resulting from wrong decisions appeals to you, if the satisfaction of feeling good about yourself means something to you, try this: 1) Choose only to do what you know to be right; this brings real happiness and a clear conscious. 2) Pursue the truth and don’t be held back from the blessings from above (Prov. 10:22). One of the surest and safest things you can do is the right thing. Listen to your God-given conscious. I can guarantee you this: The feeling of making the right decision, doing the right thing, gives you a greater feeling about yourself than bending to the laws of pleasure. Remember that.
Some people waltz through life living off their own common sense. Common sense is good, but there’s an enhancement available. Add to common sense, God’s Holy Spirit, and you will have greater insight, better discernment in making decisions, and a sense of wisdom greater than anything you can learn by yourself. You can release God’s help and guidance in making decisions by the simplest process in the world. Ask Him. Jesus said, “Everyone who asks receives. Everyone who seeks finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matt. 7:8). You need a surrendered heart; one that is humble and one that has accepted Jesus as their Savior. When you have accepted God’s gift of eternal life, you can call on Him to help you with any and all decisions in life.
King Solomon was one of the wisest men to have ever lived. God gave him the gift of wisdom because he asked for it. Yet, Solomon knew human nature. He knew even the godliest will encounter problems related to convictions and decisions. What do you do when faced with a major decision? This is when Christian conviction (the Holy Spirit, sixth-sense, conscious) pays off:
1) Do what you know to be right in the sight of God.
2) Pray until you are sure you know what God’s will in a situation is.
3) Follow through with it.
4) Determine to “obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
Do these things and the gracious promise is that God will take care of the consequences when we seek to please Him “first”. God knows your heart. Human effort alone, sooner or later, bungles and leaves a situation worse instead of better. God can work out the perfect solution to every decision. The Bible says, “When the ways of a man (his decisions) are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even those who hate him to be at peace with him” (Prov. 16:7). If you find a person who is happy, genuine, sincere, loving, has a clear conscious, and caring soul, it’s likely you have found a real man or a real woman of God. One of the decisions you need to make this week is what church you and your family are going to attend. Consider it now and follow through. Following the positive ways of God are much easier with a church family praying for you.
• This weekly column is written by Matt Dobson. A graduate of Florida State University, Univ. of West Florida, and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, he is Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Jay, Florida and a 1LT Chaplain in the U.S. Army Reserves. Matt can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts concerning faith, belief, and Christian living. Visit the Living With Purpose website at

Posted by on Mar 10 2013. Filed under Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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