In Acts chapter 1, Luke presents a situation in which Jesus has ascended, Judas is dead, and what was once a group of twelve apostles are eleven frazzled men without a leader to follow. With the twelfth position open and needing to be filled, the apostles had a huge task ahead of them. Luke’s account of the apostles handling this task should cause Christians to evaluate how difficult tasks are handled today. There are three observations in this account which become three lessons for present Christians.
#1 They Were Together
The people whom this decision would immediately impact were all involved in decision making process. There is no indication that there was bickering or arguing between the apostles, rather they were all in one accord. Christians today also make tough decisions that impact on more that just themselves. When a major decision is to be made, the people that are going to be immediately impacted by the decision should be involved (to some degree) in the decision making. This does not mean that you should give your child the final say, but I do believe that it goes a very long way to at least get their input and show that you care about them. The group of people involved should learn to not bicker or lash out in anger, but learn to hear one another to come to an agreement.
#2 They Were Devoted To Prayer
This word ‘devoted’ means “busy oneself with.” The apostles and the people accompanying them were busy praying. How often do Christians say that they are too busy to pray? On the other hand, how often do Christians say that they are too busy praying? These questions should cause us to do some serious evaluation of our prayer life.
#3 They Let God Make The Final Decision
The apostles prayed that God would show them who He had chosen. Their prayer proved that their trust was in Him. Imagine if the apostles would not have sought out God through prayer, and not trusted the decision He made through the casting of the lots; the apostles could have chosen the wrong guy. The way that God reveals His decisions is not through the casting of lots, but through Scripture. Imagine a world not seeking out God through prayer and not trusting the decisions He made for mankind through Scripture. That image may look a lot like the world we live in today.
The world we live in does not trust in God to make decisions. The world today is not devoted to prayer, or ‘in one accord’ like the apostles were. Men today ‘cast lots’ on massive decisions and do not trust in God to make the call.
But you, you can be different. Not only can you be different, but I believe God expects you to be different and he expects me to be different. I know some important decisions will be made in the following weeks. Whether you are a government official, a manager, an elder or preacher, a mom or a dad, I encourage you to follow the example that the apostles did as they made a big decision.