Now that many of us have emerged from the external solitude of COVID-19, some of us may still find that internally, we are still in the desert. For many Christians, this feeling of uncertainty is much like the uncertainty of coming to faith for the first time, when people are said to go through “the Valley of Decision”. While trusting God for the first time is difficult because it is unfamiliar and feels barren, throughout the Christian life, we will inevitably walk through the Valley of decision many times (Matthew 4, Luke 22:44). Each time, we are being invited into an encounter with the Lord (1 Kings 19).
Different Valleys of Decision may have different names. One might be called, “Can I be forgiven?” Some others might be called, “Who is first in my life?”, “Where can I find my approval?” , “What does it mean to live?” or, “Who can be enough?” As we wrestle with God to decide, we rename the places of our wrestling by the evidence of our decision (Genesis 32:30). For example, the Valley of “Who can be enough?” may be renamed, “Only the Lord is enough.”
In the Valley of Decision, we must allow ourselves to be led by the Spirit alone (Matthew 4:1). As we receive God’s invitation to meet him in the Valley of Decision, we encounter him, we are changed, and the way we relate to others will inevitably change.
Therefore, we must not resent others for needing to go to the valley alone, or be angry at others when they are not able to join us there (Mark 1:35-37). Instead, when we see our friends or family going through the Valley of decision, we must change the way we pray. So how might we pray for ourselves or others, as they travel the spiritual wilderness alone? Based on the bible, there are a handful of ways we can pray. If you are the praying kind, I challenge you to spend a few minutes today praying for someone you know who is walking through the Valley of Decision, actively entrusting them to God through prayer.
A Blessing for the Valley of Decision
I bless you to receive the invitation of God to meet him in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1).
Instead of just leaves as your covering (Gen 3:7), and instead of our imperfect humanity (Gen 3:21), I bless you to be strong in the Lord and in his power (Ephesians 6:10).
I bless you to neither be afraid or discouraged, but to know that the Lord goes before you. He will never leave or forsake you (Deuteronomy 3:18). I bless you to not be hurt by the inevitable fragility and scattering of your friends, but to see clearly that the Father is with you (John 16:32).
I bless you to fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12), to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand (Ephesians 6:13).
I bless you to receive the blessing that comes from wrestling with God, and to allow your identity to be changed (Genesis 32:22-32).
As you wrestle, may your ears be blessed because they do hear, and your eyes be blessed, because they do see (Matthew 13:16).
As you encounter the Lord and as you receive a new name, may it redeem the way you relate to others (Genesis 33). May the Holy Spirit continue to guide you into all truth, and reveal more and more to you as you can bear it (John 16:12). May the Holy Spirit reveal to you your inheritance through the depths of the Father’s love for you (Galatians 4:7), and make known to you everything that belongs to the Father (John 16:15). As you make the Lord your refuge, he will certainly rescue you and show you his salvation (Psalm 91:16).