Jim Chafee - Valley of Indecision

Matthew 27:57, "When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple." Verse 59, "And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth."

Mark 15:43, "Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus." Luke 23:50, "And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just." John 19:38, "And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus."

Some struggle for a long time in the valley of hesitation; we call it also the valley of indecision. Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathaea were a long time in that valley. He was a practical man; he knew he would die, and he made preparation for his own burial. He made a tomb, and it was ready. He had made numerous decisions in life when it was necessary.

Joseph was a wealthy man, and a member of the Sanhedrin. It was the great council where all the renowned, honoured, and political leaders met in Jerusalem; and they were very opposed to Jesus. He saw Jesus and how they dealt with Him, and it touched his heart. When he listened to Jesus, he felt drawn. If Joseph was to confess openly that he believed in Jesus, it would have been very difficult for him. It is very possible they might put him out of the Sanhedrin. He was struggling with this.

It is a costly decision to follow Jesus, and it is costly for everyone. Joseph's heart and mind was in a turmoil. He must have seen some of the cruelty with which the high priest treated Jesus, with a deep hatred and despising Jesus. It must have been very troubling for him to witness that. He saw them putting an innocent man on the cross to die. Joseph saw how He suffered. So unfair. So unreasonable. He saw the Lord died, and in all of this the excellent spirit Jesus had.

Joseph of Arimathaea made a decision. He could bear no longer to stay and wait in the valley of indecision, the valley of hesitation. He made a clear decision that all that has happened wasn't right. He was finished with the Sanhedrin, with the religious people and their unrighteousness, cruelty. He could bear no more the terrible strife that was in his heart while he was still in the valley of indecision. He made a decision, and took a stand for Jesus. He made it clear to all the world and the Lord where he stood. He wanted to have a part with the Lord. He wrapped the body in linen, and put it in his own tomb.

There comes a time that we cannot remain where we have been until now. Joseph came to the place where he must do something; there must be a change. That is the time that we make clear who we are, what we are, where we stand, and where were going. We begin to journey with the Lord in the direction of heaven and home.

I Kings 18:21, "Elijah came unto all the people, and said, 'How long halt ye between two opinions? If the LORD be God, follow him but if Baal, then follow him.' And the people answered him not a word."

They were in the valley of indecision, whose walls seem too steep. They were unable to climb out. It is a dreadful place to be. Many have died there, and they will remain there for eternity. The only decision many will make is to remain in the valley of indecision. It is a decision in itself, and it is a very, very poor decision. Decisions have consequences. Decisions that are made today will determine our tomorrows, and the rest of the future.

Making this decision is like getting into a boat, and being unsure if they want to be in or out. They keep one foot in the boat, and one foot on the shore. That is their decision lithe boat starts to move, they will see it was a poor decision. They will wish they were either in the boat or on the shore. Now they find themselves in the water. While we are in the valley of indecision, we go nowhere. What appeared to be wise was in reality actually very foolish.

There is nothing to be gained by staying in the valley of indecision. There is no future. You're not going anywhere. A man told us one time of a decision he has made. It turned out to be a poor decision. He said his heart told him to do it. We have to be careful, because Jeremiah 17 says the heart is deceitful; it is desperately wicked. Our heart could take us in a wrong direction. The heart is like a compass; it shows a certain way, and it is influenced by things that are nearby. We have to be careful.

Decision is like a knife. It is in your hands, and it is for you to decide what to cut off, and what will be allowed to remain. We use this knife of decision to cut off things that could hinder us from getting closer to God, things that come between us and the Lord, things that separate us from the Lord. These cuts may cause wounds, but the Lord will heal them. But there is no healing for the wounds if we use the knife of decision to cut things off that could bring us closer to the Lord. The hurt and pain will go on and on.

In Mark 11, it says the colt was found at the place where two ways meet. The gospel finds us in the valley of indecision, where two ways meet. A man who sets traps for animals told us he would always put it where two ways meet. The animals will always hesitate when they come to the place where they have to make a decision. Be careful, there are traps in the valley of hesitation. If we get caught in these traps, it will be very, very difficult to get free.

It is okay to hesitate, to take time to make a decision. We should be careful, but we also don't want to remain in the valley of indecision.