We are faced with the need to make decisions all the time. Some are profoundly significant. Who should we marry? Where should we live? What career should we choose? Others, less so.
Fortunately, we don’t need to be overwhelmed when faced with the choices that stand before us! The Bible says if any of lack wisdom, we can ask God and he will give it to us (James 1:5). With that encouragement behind us, here are a few things to consider that might help! I would encourage that all of these principles are considered, and not just one or two. That way, we are making decisions based on consistency and wisdom, rather than relying on emotions and feelings.
1) Prayer IS Your Source
The first key to great decision making is always prayer. Have you prayed? How you prayed seriously, expecting to encounter God? You might be surprised at how many people skip this most fundamental part of the Christian walk! What do you feel when you pray? During or after prayer, do you have a sense of God guiding you? If you don’t ‘feel’ anything, that’s OK! But sometimes, God speaks to us when we speak to him! He as always speaking to us. The question is, “Are we listening?” Or are we only venting, demanding, begging, or performing a religious duty?
2) Practice the Word
Are you familiar with the words He has already spoken? Making decision without considering the applicable principles found in scripture is just never a smart plan. What does the Bible have to say about your situation? It’s amazing what a little study or searching can do. Perhaps there are books or sermons you know of that could also help. His Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119:105)! May we never depart from it.
3) Pursue Your Passions
Do you have a personal preference? What do you want? What are you passionate about? The beauty of our son-ship to the Father is that He delights in our passions. Christ in us, the hope of glory, purifies our hearts and aligns our desires with His. God does not need you to perform for Him. He delights in you! He delights in working with you. An infinite God, expressed through finite beings, means your truest passions are a unique reflection of His heart. It’s okay to enjoy life with God. If He directs you down a road you don’t prefer, obey! But if not, it’s okay to enjoy God and enjoy life!
4) Apply Godly Counsel
God places people in our lives who can help us in our decision making. Have you spoken to anyone for their perspective or opinion? Are you seeking counsel from wise, Godly individuals? Are you looking for insight from those who have gone before you? Do you ask honest, forthright people for advice, or do you prefer yes-men? There is a difference between asking for wisdom, and asking to hear what we want to hear!
5) Perfect Your Peace
Do you have a sense of peace about making your decision? The Father keeps our hearts in perfect peace when our minds are fixed on Him (Isaiah 24:3). Are you at peace with the potential aftermath? Equally, do you feel okay about NOT knowing what could happen? Faith is the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). You know your truly at peace when the unknown ceases to phase you. It doesn’t have to make sense. The peace of God transcends understanding (Philippians 4:7).
6) Push Through Open Doors?
What happens when you ‘push through open doors?’ Taking steps in a certain direction to test the water can sometimes help us in making our minds up. Some doors (ie opportunities) will open up, some doors will close. What opportunities are in front of you? Keep in mind that sometimes, God opens doors He doesn’t want us to go through. An open door doesn’t mean its right and a closed door doesn’t mean its wrong! But this is a useful tip when we are, perhaps, having difficulty ascertaining the “perfect will of God.”
If you’re at peace in your spirit and staying sensitive to Holy Spirit, it’s actually okay to simply walk down a road until it ends or step through the open doors in front of you. Unless God has specifically placed you in a season of waiting (confirmed by those around you), it’s never beneficial to stagnate in a place of indecision. If you’re hesitating at a door, ask yourself, “Why?” In most cases, it’s probably fear, anxiety, or immaturity, rather than wisdom. Remember: it’s much easier to redirect a moving vehicle than a parked car. Move forward!
In summary, when making decisions, a wise man prays, applies the Word, considers the passions of his heart, seeks Godly counsel, follows the peace in his spirit, and walks through the doors God opens before Him.
What are some keys God has shown you in your personal life to help make wise decisions?