When You Don’t Know What to Do

There are many causes of indecision and many opportunities for it. Sometimes we have a hard time making a decision out of lack of knowledge, sometimes thoughtlessness, and sometimes because we don’t like closing doors of opportunity or fear the ramifications of one choice over another. We make thousands of decisions a day, several of which have a lasting impact on us and those around us.

Every once in a while in life, we are faced with a decision where we don’t know what to do because all options but the most damaging, destructive or distasteful seem closed to us. At such times, we can be frozen by indecision, resigning ourselves to whatever fate awaits us. What should we do when we don’t know what to do?

King Jehoshaphat and Judah are faced with such a situation in chapter 20. Three nations have gathered against them with a great army. Should they submit themselves? Present terms for peace? Send their armies out and hope for the best?

Jehoshaphat recalls the command of the Lord that at such times they should stand before the Temple and cry out to the Lord that He might hear and save. If one does not believe God hears or is able to save, this is but a last ditch effort, as it is with many who offer “Hail Mary” prayers when every other option has been exhausted. But that is not what Jehoshaphat does here. It is his first resort to seek God when he did not know what to do, not his last effort. He provides us a great principle at times like these in v.12.

2Ch 20:12 (ESV) …we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

Our first response at such times is to give in to the reality that our present situation likely is more than we can handle. “God never gives us more than we can handle,” is an often repeated aphorism in Christians circles, but it is simply false. God often gives us more than we can handle. There are many things and forces in our lives that we are powerless against: our health, the economy, evil, etc. We must be ready to come to the end of ourselves at such times and confess to God that we do not know what to do. Desperation and weakness are like eyeglasses for the near-sighted that help us see reality clearly.

Our second response at such times when we see our powerlessness clearly is to look to the one who is all-powerful. “Our eyes are on you.” We look to God for guidance and deliverance at such times. We believe that while God often gives us things that we can’t handle, He never gives us things that He can’t handle, because no such thing exists. No problem you are facing today or will face in a million tomorrows will ever be so great that you cannot place your eyes on Him confident in His ability to save you.

God’s response to His people is of great comfort:

2Ch 20:15,20 (ESV) “Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s…Believe in the LORD your God, and you will be established; believe his prophets, and you will succeed.”

In what area of your life are you plagued with indecision and fear? How might you put your eyes on God and trust that the battle is His and believe in His power over it?