If you live long enough you will occasionally think about the mistakes you made in life. Maybe it was dating the wrong person when you were younger, or hanging out with a group of friends who led you astray. Selecting the right house or car is often a quandary for some. And, the permanent jobs we accept can often effect and dictate our future circumstances. Decisions, decisions, and more decisions.
One question that resonates in my thinking is, “How can we be more effective in our decision-making?” One of the most difficult things in obeying God’s call upon our lives is to know His will. How can we know His will on the important decisions we make in our lives? Are we actively seeking God’s will and heart in the decisions we are contemplating? Where is His influence in the process?
I don’t know about you, but I want (and need) to be better at embracing God’s wisdom in the decisions I make. The following is an order that I’m attempting to utilize in my evaluation process and decision making:
- I pray for wisdom, knowledge, and clear direction. God is not the author of confusion or frustration. As Scripture reminds us, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matt. 6:33
- Get away from all the distractions and noise that clutters our minds and confuses our thinking. “Go away to a quiet place and rest a while.” Mark 6:31 It is when we are at rest that we can really hear from our Lord.
- Fasting (for those who can do that sort of thing) not only cleanses the body, but allows our system to concentrate its energies on hearing His voice. We are fearfully and wonderfully made by our Creator. If you know Jesus, His spirit is within you. “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many.” 1 Corth. 12:13-14
- Seek godly counsel from people more experienced in the area I’m praying about. God places people in our lives who can help walk us through matters that are confusing, stressful, or complex. Because our family members often see our short-comings best, we need to also evaluate their opinions. God’s word teaches us that, “Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established.” Prov. 15:22
- Reading Scripture and seeking His truth as related to the subject matter will help shape the way you think. His Word can penetrate our stubbornness and opinions. If we let it His word can be that guidepost we are looking for. “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Ps. 119:11
- One of the toughest things to do when seeking to make the right decision is waiting. Frankly, as a directive decision maker I find it difficult to wait upon Him. The “waiting room” is often where God does some of His best work in shaping our souls. “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart.” Ps. 27:14
Nothing is more important than keeping pace with God’s plan for our lives. “God… works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose” (Phil: 2:13). Sometimes God works through us as we engage our minds, open our mouths, move our feet, and use our hands to do what He’s already put into our hearts.
What are some of the most critical decisions coming up in your life? How can you apply this process?
How do you communicate with God on those items of utmost importance?