How are you at making decisions? Not the little decisions like what to order at a restaurant (though I know that can be a tough decision, especially when it comes to dessert…I go for chocolate, unless I’m in a peach cobbler mood). Anyway, how are you at making the big decisions like what job to take, when is it time to move, what school to go to, who to marry, what ministry to try, how to participate at church, what steps to take to grow in your faith, how to fulfill God’s unique call for your life, what to do with your free time (do people still have that these days?!?), where to spend the money God has allowed you to have…and the list of big decisions go on. I’m sure you are facing some even today. So how do we make good decisions? Let me suggest three ways.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 17 pray continually;
Philippians 4:6-7 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
As you bring decisions before God, ask Him for wisdom, insight, and understanding. Then listen, converse with God, and consider the thoughts He puts in your head. Now remember that we live in a sinful flesh-suit so the thoughts that come into our mind may not be God speaking. So as 2 Corinthians 10:5 (look it up) says we are to make sure that every thought is obedient to Jesus. As well, 1 John 4:1 (again look it up) says we are to test the spirits, including the thoughts that come into our heads and see whether they are from God.
How we know they are from God is to see if they are inline with the Bible. So the second way to make good decisions is to look to the Bible.
Psalm 119:105 105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
So we are to search the Scriptures to see if God has already said something about our important decisions, or if has He given us some guiding principles to follow. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the world’s order of things or the world’s way of doing things when it seems everyone is lying, cheating, and governing themselves with the standards of the day. We should also be aware to not let fear or what someone else has experienced influence us. As Christ Followers we must let God’s Word be the greatest decision making influence in our lives.
The third way is to seek godly counsel.
Proverbs 11:14 14 For lack of guidance a nation falls, but many advisers make victory sure.
Proverbs 15:22 22 Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.
Proverbs 24:6 6 for waging war you need guidance, and for victory many advisers.
Ask advice from people who really love God, know Him, and show it in their lives. Don’t just listen to those who are passionate or say the right sounding things. Look at the actions in their life. If their character, behavior, and actions are inline with the Bible, then their counsel will most likely be wise. Don’t approach them to simply get affirmation of a decision you already made, but go with an open heart to listen and consider their comments (using the James 4:1 test).
I hope this will help as you face the big decisions of life and I want to encourage those of you who are members of Cypress Church to employ this process as you make some important decisions concerning the church constitution that you will be voting on in June.
Life is full of decisions and God has given us the privilege of choice. So choose well and choose wisely; pray, look to God’s Word, and seek godly counsel.
May the Lord bless you as you choose well.
Grace and Peace,