There are some people who have a choice to make, they see all of the options laid out before them, they are able to calculate the highs and lows of each choice, and they make a decision and move forward with confidence.
That is not typically the case for most people I meet, including myself on occasion. More often than not you hear people wish for sky writing on what to do, a sign, that doors will close, or even a fleece that will help them have a clear decision.
My take on decision making when it comes to “God’s Will” may be a little looser than others. I don’t think God has written a script that it is our job to figure out. I don’t feel like it is our job to pick the next right choice on God’s little “Chose Your Own Adventure” novel. If we pick the wrong one we will step off a cliff and that is the end. That is not how He works. I also don’t believe it is a recipe of adding 5 parts prayer, and 3 parts fasting, and 2 mentor insights and you will be guaranteed a perfect life. I believe that a Godly decisions come from three areas that will either guide you forward or maybe hold you back or even shut the door to your choices. I also don’t think that making the right choice always means that it is going to be easy or make us happy. It will bring ultimate joy because we are living to please God first, but that doesn’t mean it will always feel right. My friend and former pastor/boss, Brad Bell, gave me this guide and then I made it into a good looking handout.
1. Look Up: Our lives need to be about prayer and God’s word. We need to be spending the time knowing the character of God. If we understand that we are called to be good stewards with our money and not a lover of it, then it may not matter if we buy a Honda or a Toyota. Both are good cars, and if we can afford it then we should get it. The make and model is more preference. What I do know is that God is not a fan of debt, so if you can’t afford the car then it doesn’t really matter what kind of a safety rating the car has. Debt makes you a slave. So spend time praying and reading God’s word about what it says in the areas of your choices you need to make.
2. Look In: At the point that you place your faith in Christ, you are dwelt with the Holy Spirit. It is why we are now called the Temple. It is where God’s Spirit dwells. We are holders of God’s Spirit so that it can guide, comfort, convict, lead, and all around be with us at all times. In that, after time is spent in the Bible and prayer I typically find that I have a sense of what is to be done. Not always, but I believe that the Holy Spirit takes our willingness to seek God and guides that. Usually for me, the problem is that I do not allow the Holy Spirit the time or space to truly do His work. It may be that there is some change in our hearts that needs to take place. When I was deciding where to go for college I did not want to stay at home. The typical 18 year old goes away to college. That is just what you do. Well, for me I had no money, no job, no prospects outside of the home. After spending time praying about it, I knew the answer was to grow up a little more and figure out my major. I just didn’t really want that to be the answer.
3. Look Out: There are people and circumstances in your life that will confirm and resist your decisions that you need to make. This is a good check and balance to the other steps you have taken. Find people in your life that you trust. That also seem to make Godly decisions. These are the types of people who will help you to see the other sides of our choices that you may not have been able to see since you are so close to it.