If there’s one thing nearly all Christians struggle with, it’s how to make Godly decisions. There are so many things influencing us, and it can be near impossible to separate the world’s way from God’s way.
You look at your options. You pray about it.
You weigh pros and cons. Then you pray some more.
You consider every detail you can think of, then you pray again.
But does the clarity ever come? Are you ever really sure of what you decide?
It can be agonizing to make a decision. Not only are you faced with the consequences of your decision, we have an extra layer of awareness in our desire to make the godly decision. And that’s where we stumble. Almost anyone can look at a natural choice and decide which one is best.
Should I take the promotion? It’s more work, and more responsibility, but the pay increase is well worth it and we can finally buy that bigger house we want.
Do we move to that new city? The schools are amazing, the neighborhoods are the safest in the state, and everything is within a 15 minute drive. Easy decision.
But what about God’s will? How do we discern that?
Though we don’t like to admit it, the way we make decisions is almost always selfish. We are thinking about how we will benefit. Shorter commute, better pay, etc. The central motivation in what we choose almost always comes down to how it helps us.
And that, my friends, is what we call worldly wisdom. It doesn’t require faith to choose the better paying job. And there is no spiritual guidance in moving to a better and safer city. We do it because it’s good for us.
There is a subtlety to worldly wisdom that we often don’t notice. It’s not in the decision itself, but rather what is driving the decision. We have been told that as long as we seek Godly counsel and pray about the decision, we can be assured that we are making the right choice. But that’s just not true. It takes recognizing when a situation calls for wisdom and when it calls for faith.
The things God calls you to do will always require faith. The immediate benefit won’t always be obvious. And sometimes it will look like a really bad idea. But when God speaks, He is always leading you to increase. But He requires faithfulness and a heart that desires to serve Him to get you there.
When we make these decisions based on the knowledge we have about a situation, we are getting things our own way. It;s not God giving it, it’s you earning and achieving it. And you can tell by how much of your time it takes to maintain it. If you get the bigger house and the nicer car because of your new promotion, but you had to leave a good church, and you have no time to serve God, you know it wasn’t God.
When we weigh the decisions we are making against what we can see, we are starting off on the wrong foot. Since we claim to be Christians, our lives should reflect what the Bible says about us. And one of the main things that distinguishes us as believers in Jesus is our faith. But is faith even a part of our decision making process when we weigh an opportunity based on how it will benefit us?
To say that a decision is right or wrong based on how much it benefits us is totally backward, and contrary to the teaching of the Bible.
In other words, it’s all about the motive.
There comes a point when our faith in God to provide must become stronger than what we can predict based on what we know.
The direction God gives will only work the way it is supposed to when we walk by faith through the leading of the spirit, rather than being led by what we think will work or whether or not a decision is profitable.
Most Christians struggle to identify it when God speaks to them. And the culture isn’t helping. Everything is instant. Things move so quickly, we hardly have time to process one thing before something else is being shoved in our faces. It will take effort to slow down and be still long enough for God to speak to you.
When most people make a decision, they are led by conventional wisdom. Will this be profitable? Or is this a good business idea? There is little more motivation to act than a personal (usually financial) benefit. Sometimes, there will be a greater good involved, such as helping others (charity). But even that doesn’t indicate that it’s the right choice for you. It’s more important to be led by the Spirit of God than to do what we think will help others. Helping people is good, but just because you are helping someone, doesn’t mean God is pleased.
Obedience to God must come first in everything we do. And when making decisions, it’s the only thing that matters. What you think doesn’t matter. Your opinion doesn’t matter. What other people say doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you are being obedient to God’s leading for you.
All of this leads us back to faith. In order to follow the leading of the Spirit, we will have to use faith. It’s the way God designed it. And it’s been this way since the beginning.
When God told Noah to build the ark, Noah had to have faith that what God said was true, and act accordingly. Nothing around him indicated that a flood was coming. TO Noah’s mind, it probably made no sense. But he looked beyond what he could see and saw through the eyes of faith that since God said it, it was so. Obedience saved Noah and his family from a flood that killed the entire human population.
If we say we are believers, then shouldn’t our main motivation be to honor God by getting his direction in a situation? Instead, we have a whole world full of Christians that don’t know Him. They think wisdom is enough, and it is very important to be wise concerning things we are getting involved in. But our wisdom must be from God, that is, the wisdom to seek His direction in everything.
We aren’t told to use wisdom in everything, but instead to have faith in God. Many times, He will lead us to do things that make no sense to our minds. And that’s where the need to have real faith arises. If we can’t see how something is going to work, and we can’t use wisdom to see how it’s going to work, then we reason that it is a bad decision.
Look at Abraham. God told him to get away from his family and go where He leads. He didn’t tell him where he was going. He told him that after he did the first step. This gives us the picture of faith. It trusts always in God, especially when we can’t see how something will work. Some of the decisions we make will seem contrary to what we think is right. But God will never lead you wrong, and He always has the best in mind for you. Faith in His way will pay off, every time.
This is the acid test of our faith. To see if you will trust God when he is the only one that could do what you are believing for. Anyone can trust God that something will work out when they can see how it’s going to happen. But that’s not even faith. It takes real faith to trust when you have no idea.
Get out of the world’s way of thinking and work on trusting God in everything you do. Ask Him to show you how to do it. Ask for wisdom to go to Him for guidance in every situation you encounter. Only then will we begin to be doers of the Word and get the results we are looking for.
God wants the Glory for your success, and he won’t get any of it if you get where you are by working hard and making ‘good’ decisions.
Make it so that there could be no other way it could have happened except by your faith in God. Stretch your faith to trust in him when you would normally do your own thing.
Trust Him when you would normally go get advice. Trust Him when it looks impossible. Trust Him when everyone says there is no way. Make your goal to give God the glory for your every success.
Acknowledge him in all your ways, and he will direct your paths.
Be sure to do everything God has told you. Only then will you be prosperous and have good success.