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Wisdom – how to make Godly decisions 知恵-どのように神の御心にそった決断をするか

I expect most people here will have some big decisions to make this year. Study decisions, vocational decisions, financial decisions, relationship decisions, lifestyle decisions, moral decisions, ethical decisions and so on.
Understanding that many have big decisions to make, it might seem odd to ask the following question:
Why do we need wisdom? なぜ知恵が必要なのでしょうか?
Because at the end of the day we are all a bunch of idiots
Because there are so many laws in the Bible it can be hard for us to know which ones to follow
Because we can’t trust other people to make our decisions for us
Because we have been given a lot of freedom

We need wisdom because we have been given a lot of freedom.

God has given us tremendous freedom to make decisions about how we live our lives.

If we had no freedom and everything was decided for us, then we wouldn’t need wisdom. Many people characterise the Christian faith as a set of rules or specific regulations that determine most of our lives. I think that is a huge misnomer. God gives us tremendous freedom. Sometimes he gives very specific directions but a lot of the time, he lets us make the choices.

Look at what Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians 10:23
The Believer’s Freedom
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive.
So, we’re free to eat and drink and work and live in any number of ways but not all those ways are beneficial or constructive, so that’s why we need godly wisdom. We need wisdom to make decisions that are beneficial to us, as well as edifying to others and pleasing to God.

My Freedom 私の自由
Let me share with you my own experience of this. I remember praying as a young married man with a baby son and asking God whether we should live in Japan or Australia. And I laboured over this in prayer. Japan or Australia? I got a real shock when God spoke into my heart and said, “You decide.” I said “Surely not, Lord! I’m a sinful man! You tell me where to live and I’ll obey.” God said to me again, “No, you can decide. However, whichever of the two countries you choose, you must serve me with all your heart”.
神が私の心の中で “あなたが決めなさい”と話しかけて下さった時、本当にショックを受けました。私は“主よ、無理です!私は罪深い人間です!あなたが私に住む所を言ってくださいそして私は従いますから。”と言いました。

And this takes us to the heart of the matter of seeking God’s guidance when making decisions.
God is much more interested in our character than our career.
He is much more interested in our relationships than our roles.
He is much more interested in our souls than our suburbs.

That’s not to say the latter are unimportant. It just means that God is much more concerned with the things that have eternal consequences than he is with the temporal.

So when it comes to issues of character and relationships (including marriage, friendship and business) and spiritual health, God has a lot to say. He has given some very clear guidelines which we would be very foolish to disregard.
Remember, “Don’t be deceived. God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” Galatians 6:7  
Our decisions have consequences! 

And a really important thing about freedom relating to character and relationships and our souls is this (and I want you to remember it as you live out your life in the world):
What appears to be freedom to the world is actually the ultimate bondage and what appears to be bondage to the world is actually the ultimate freedom.

When it comes to more temporal matters, however, we have been given a lot of freedom. The temporal matters are still important – Jesus spoke a lot about money and work and food and places – so how do we make godly, beneficial, Spirit-led decisions in these matters?
世俗的な問題もまた大切ですーイエスはお金や仕事や食糧や居場所についてたくさん述べられました。ー 私達はどのようにこれらの問題を神の御心に沿えるようにまた益になるように、精神が導かれる決断をするのでしょうか。

Fear God 神を畏れる
You might be thinking, this is a rather spiritual but otherwise useless piece of advice when it comes to decision making in practical matters. But you would be wrong! It’s a common mistake for people to start building the house before they’ve set the foundation when it comes to making wise decisions. Unconfessed sin, including pride, unforgiveness, and anger can blind us from making wise decisions even if we try to ‘tick the boxes’ and follow the right steps.

Many times the Bible teaches us that
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom. (Proverbs 9:10)
主を恐れることは知恵のもとである 箴言9:10
The fear of man is not the beginning of all wisdom. 人を恐ることは知恵のもとではありません。
We’re not to prioritise pleasing people or worry about upsetting people with their decisions. I’ve met people who married their spouse because they feared upsetting them if they called off the wedding.
The fear of missed opportunity is not the beginning of wisdom.
We’re not to worry about what could be or might be or would be.
The fear of failure is not the beginning of all wisdom.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom. 主を恐れることは知恵のもとである

That’s where it starts. Asking ourselves “What would a holy and righteous God think of this? When I stand before Him and have to give an account of this decision, how will I fare?
2. Don’t Skimp on Quiet Times – Know the Word 

Despite decades of practice in assembling furniture that comes in kits, I still have trouble. I put it all together, and then realise that the pieces don’t quite fit or there are important pieces left over. At that point, flustered and bothered, I go to the instruction manual and see what it was that I was supposed to do. Then I have to pull everything apart and re-do it.

It’s the same with decision making. Sometimes we try to put our lives together in our own wisdom and it’s not until things don’t quite fit or we see that important things have been left out, that we go back to our instruction manual, the Bible, and see how it was supposed to be. We then have to go through the painful process of pulling our lives apart and putting them back together again the right way.

If only we followed the instruction manual from the beginning! So don’t skimp on quiet times. Don’t skimp on the instruction manual that God has given us.
Don’t tire of studying the word and prayerfully applying it in small daily steps.

Gardens don’t grow overnight. Neither does wisdom.

A mocker seeks wisdom and never finds it, but knowledge comes easily to those with understanding. Proverbs 14:6
Our model here is Jesus who
私たちの模範イエスはこう言われています。 “increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man”. (Luke 2:52)

So, this is the foundational stuff, From here, we get to the more practical, to-the-point matters of wisdom for decision making. If you’ve got the foundational stuff right, you proceed from here. If you haven’t yet got the foundational stuff right, you might want to go back and set those things right, or at least set them in motion, before continuing.

3. Pray 祈る

i. Pray for Indifference. 中立になれるよう祈る

What do I mean by this? The first and most essential dynamic of discernment is the movement toward indifference.
In the context of spiritual discernment, indifference is a positive term signifying that “I am indifferent to anything but God’s will.”
Other ways of putting this are ‘lose the agenda’, ‘take everything off the table’, ‘start with a clean slate’.
The movement toward indifference is the threshold between two kingdoms – the kingdom of human decision making and the spiritual practice of discerning God’s will.
In this waiting room of the soul we are made ready to pray the second prayer:

ii. Pray for wisdom:知恵が与えられるように祈る “If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you” James 1:5

4. Ask the right questions 正しい質問をする

As you pray for and seek God’s wisdom, you will need to ask yourself the right questions. This takes us to the core of the matter in a very practical sense when making decisions and you will need to ask and answer these questions prayerfully and in an unhurried manner. But I want to stress again, even if you ask the right questions, you’re not going to be able to properly answer them unless you’re building on the foundation of the first three points.

Christianity Today poses nine questions that we should ask when faced with big decisions that we need to make:
Christianity Todayでは私達が必要とする大きな決断に直面する時、尋ねるべき9つの質問を提示してます。
i. Direction and calling. How does this choice fit with the overall direction and calling of God on my life?

ii. Consolation and desolation. Which choice brings the deepest sense of life, inner peace and freedom (John 10:10; Philippians 4:7; 2 Corinthians 3:17)?
As I consider moving in this particular direction, is there a growing sense of wholeness, authenticity and congruence with who I am in Christ?

iii. Desire. What is my deepest and most authentic desire relative to the choice I am facing?
What is my response when Jesus asks, “What do you want me to do for you? What is it you seek?”
iv. Scripture. Is there a particular Scripture that God is bringing to mind relative to this choice? What is it saying to me?

v. Life of Christ. Is this choice consistent with what I know about the mind and heart of Christ?

vi. Character growth and development. What is God doing in my character and spiritual growth, and will this choice continue to nurture this growth?

vii. Love. Given the primacy of love and unity in Christ’s teachings, what does love call for in this situation?

viii. Clarify perspective. It’s hard to see the whole field when we are mired in the details. Take a step back to look at the larger patterns of what God is doing in your life. Which choice fits the larger patterns that are already in motion?

ix. Community. How does this choice fit with others’ observations of who I am and what God is doing in my life? Am I willing to open up every facet of this decision to a trusted spiritual friend or director for their wisdom and insight?

To quickly review, in making wise, godly decisions:簡単に確認するために、賢明に、神の御心にそう決断。
Fear God 神を畏れる
Don’t Skimp on Quiet Times – Know the Word 
Pray – for indifference and then for wisdom 祈る-中立となり、知恵をいただくように
Ask the right questions 正しい質問をする

To be sure, this is a very brief look at wise decision making but I hope it at least gives you a firm foundation for making godly decisions in your life, for growing in wisdom and for attaining the mind of Christ.