Acts 27:10 “And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives. 11 Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul. 12 And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to winter; which is an haven of Crete, and lieth toward the south west and north west.”
During World War II, Winston Churchill was faced with a critical decision. With Germany having already overrun France, England knew that they were the next German target. Churchill was concerned that because Germany occupied France, they might use the French Naval fleet against them. Although France was England’s ally, Churchill made the painful decision to preemptively attack the French fleet and destroy them before they could be used by the Germans against them.
All of us, throughout the course of our lives, will be faced with decisions. Some of them may be small day-to-day decisions that do not affect us, other than maybe what we eat for dinner, or what we wear that day. But we will inevitably come face-to-face with many decisions that will determine the course and direction of our lives, either positively or negatively.
The biggest problem in making decisions is typically the factors that we rely upon to determine the decision we are to make. If the factors we depend upon are faulty, then the decision we make will also be faulty. This is what we see in the story in Acts 27.
Paul had appealed to Caesar. He is on a ship continuing his journey to Rome. They are on the outskirts of the beginning of winter and need to make a decision as to where they will spend the winter. Despite the warnings of Paul not to, they decided to leave where they were, the Fair Havens, and try to make the forty miles to Phenice. That was a bad decision. It would end up putting them in a storm and leaving them shipwrecked.
This was a bad decision because it was based on biased desires and faulty information. The accommodations where they were currently stationed were not as good as where they wanted to go. The decision should not have been based on that. It should have been based on what was safest and what was the best way to preserve their life and wellbeing.
The thought I want to leave with you is this: what basis or information do you use to make the key decisions that you are regularly faced with in life? How often are we influenced by outside resources, whether purposely or by proximity? None of us know the future, and all decisions have some degree of uncertainty. But there is one sure way to make the proper decisions every time, and that is by following the unchanging truth of God’s Word.
The closer we get to God, the more we know Him. The more we understand His Word and make it a part of our lives, the easier it will be to see the path or course we should take in any decision. Let’s be careful that we are not influenced by the unbiblical advice of others, and that we don’t follow the emotions, thoughts, or unbiblical desires of our own heart.
As children of God, we need to examine ourselves constantly to make sure our love is still devoted to Him.
Our willingness to humbly take correction and instruction is a pathway for wisdom.