With life, change is inevitable – whether by choice or forced circumstances, we are constantly making decisions. Decisions on whether or not to take a job, move to a new city, marry this person, or to pursue a certain degree program. Decisions, decisions, decisions. And oftentimes, decision making is not so black and white – it can be a decision between two seemingly good options – and it’s hard to tell which to choose.
In the world, making decisions consist of doing whatever makes you happy or following your heart – very cliché terms we’ve all heard before. But what about the Christian cliché – just pray about it and do whatever you feel the Lord is leading you to do. It’s not enough to just pray and do whatever you feel led to do. If your mind is not renewed with the Word of God – what you feel led to do could be an emotional decision and you saying, “God told me to.”
Throwing up a prayer or two and then doing whatever you feel led to do is not wise decision making. It takes so much more than that…
Wise decision making takes prayer.
We do need to pray about it, but it’s how we pray that needs to change. Try not to box God in when you pray. Oftentimes, we pray, “God, is it this? Or is it that? Show me.”
And I’m reminded of younger version of me who did just that. I wanted so badly to graduate college and work for a prestigious accounting firm. I had several offers on the table, but there was this one firm that I really wanted to work for. So on the night after my interview, I prayed and asked God to show me if that firm was for me. And I asked Him to give me a sign – that if the firm gave me an offer, I would know without a shadow of a doubt that was the firm I should work for. And if it didn’t offer – I would go work for my second choice. Needless, to say my first choice offered! And of course, I wasn’t totally sure I should work there, even after that this-or-that prayer I threw up. But I went to work there and survived (barely) for just a year and a half before God changed my plans (you can read more about that story here!)
Poor decision making is boxing God in with what you want to do anyway. I laugh about that story now, but I realize now that was an immature way to make a very important decision.
Never did I ask God, “Is this what you really want me to do?” I only prayed for this or that – the things that I wanted anyway.
Never did I ask God, “What are my motives for working there?” Or else I might have been able to see I was motivated by greed and my selfish desire for achievement.
Never did I ask for the wisdom to make a decision. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
Never did I pray more than once or twice – I wasn’t persistent in my prayers. I went once before the Lord and made a decision.
Prayer is important when making wise decisions, but it’s how we pray that should change. Be careful not to box God in with your wants. Pray for His will to be done – not your own – and be persistent in prayer asking God for wisdom in making a decision.
Wise decision making takes digging into His Word.
Get into the Word regarding the decision you are trying to make. Get answers to questions like: Does this decision I’m about to make line up with the Word of God? What type of woman will I become from making this decision? Is it going to make me more loving, patient, and kind? Or cruel, unbearable, and hateful?
Is it going to lead me down the road of righteousness or down a road of sin?
The Word will provide the wisdom you need to make a decision. “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” (Proverbs 2:6). God will not lead you to a decision that does not line up with His Word.
Wise decision making takes wise counsel.
Seek wise counsel. Our brothers and sisters are there to lovingly guide and correct us. When we have tunnel vision, they can shine a light on the things we cannot see – such as impure motives and desires that do not line up with the Word of God. Seek counsel from those who know you and are not afraid to give you that loving, but hard truth.
And be willing to be open to their advice. It’s not easy hearing the loving, but hard truth when making a decision – we often want to make the decision on our own. But wise counsel is a necessity in making wise decisions.
Wise decision making takes not going back on the decision.
Don’t go back on the decision. Don’t run back to the same vomit He pulled you away from. Don’t run away from the calling He’s given you.
God is not fickle as you and I are. That decision has been revealed to you. You’ve prayed about it, it lines up with His Word, you’ve sought wise counsel – and most of all, that still, small voice of the Holy Spirit has led you to make that decision – now stick with it!
God is not changing His mind about you walking away from that sexual relationship, that painful friendship that hinders you from Him, that job that leads you to greed, or your old way of life. Or He is not changing His mind about leading you into that marriage, that ministry, that specific job – even though it may get hard.
If God were constantly changing His mind, He would be us, not God!
So if you need to make a wise decision – pray, dig into His Word, seek wise counsel. And once He leads you to that wise decision – do it and stick with it!
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