We are faced with decisions everyday of our lives. Consider how many decisions you had to make this morning alone : What will I spend my day doing? What will I wear today? Will I spend time in God's Word? Will I pray before my day begins? What will I eat for breakfast? What time will I leave my house? How will I conduct myself today?
These are all small choices we make that we may not ever realize we are making. We make minor decisions all day long, most of which, we don't give much thought to because we've realized the necessity for these small decisions of habit to move through life and to walk faithfully as Christians. But occasionally, we have a really big decision that we aren't sure about. Decisions that stop us in our tracks and make us think about what we're doing and if we are really making the right choice. These types of decisions might include: Should I attend this college? Should I accept this new job? Should I marry this person? Should I move to this new place? Should my child go to this school?
The Bible gives us help to think through how we should go about making those decisions. We see vividly our need to search for wisdom and discernment by seeking God in prayer, in His Word, and through His people.
Seek God in Prayer
When first faced with a decision, we should pray and ask God for His help and wisdom. Approaching God in prayer with our decisions reminds us that we don't have to face hard choices on our own. God calls us to seek Him in prayer when we are anxious, indecisive, and fearful. He calls us to prayerfully seek Him in all things (Philippians 4:6). He delights in our asking and takes on our burdens so that we don't have to carry the weight alone. Prayer sets the tone for the beginning thought process of how we will make our decision. Prayer places God at the forefront of our hearts and minds. It makes the choice less about us and more about Him.
Seek God in His Word
In saturating our situation with prayer, we should then approach God's Word, asking ourselves, "What does the Bible say about this?" Sometimes the answer is very black and white. If we are faced with an issue that involves the temptation to sin or requires us to deliberately disobey God, the answer is very clear what God asks of us.
But sometimes the Bible doesn't give as clear of an answer. Let's say you have been working faithfully at your job for five years. Out of the blue, you find out that a friend referred you to another company who is now interested in hiring you. You are faced with the choice to stay at your current job or take the new job. Looking to Scripture, there isn't a passage that says, "Hey, you should take the job." However, we can look to guiding passages to shape our perspective and help us to rightly consider both options.
We are exhorted in Proverbs 3:5-6 to, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. " When approaching God's Word, we find comfort and safety. The right choice is to trust in the Lord and acknowledge His ways over our own. If we seek Him and desire to obey His Word, He will bring fruit in our decision-making. When we hope in His sovereign plan for our lives, we can make choices fully trusting that what He planned to do in our lives, He will do (Psalm 115:3).
Seek God's People
When areas are gray, God doesn't leave us to think for ourselves, but encourages us to seek wisdom from His people, too. "Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety." (Proverbs 11:14) On our own, we can convince ourselves of many things. Even when we've been prayerful and sought out the truth of Scripture, it's helpful and humble to ask for wisdom from others. Sometimes, an affirming word from a faithful believer can give us confidence in moving forward. Other times, you may be given insight that you hadn't considered before. In any case, seeking wisdom from other Christians safeguards us from slipping into sinful decisions or making misguided choices. The beauty of wise counsel is that we get a bigger picture when our own perspectives and experiences are limited or flawed. There are many people who have walked faithfully before us through numerous circumstances, and we are right to glean wisdom from what they've learned. Be encouraged by the access we have to God's wisdom through his Word and by the vessels He has gifted to us as Christians in one another to shine a light on those truths in moments we need them most.
Make a Decision
What often changes most in our decision making isn't necessarily our circumstances but ourselves. Instead of narrowing in on the question of, "Am I Making the Right Decision?", fix your eyes on what God is doing in the midst of your decision making by asking yourself, "Regardless of what choice I make, how will I see more of God in this? How will I be shaped and sanctified in this?" Use every opportunity and possibility in life to be humbled to the point of trusting God fully and walking forward obediently – even when you aren't sure what's next.
Remember as you finalize your decision that God is the same regardless of what choice that you make. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He never changes (James 1:17), and His plans cannot be thwarted (Job 42:2). He is the sovereign ruler over our lives and accomplishes all that He pleases in us (Psalm 135:6). No decision can complicate God's will for our lives (Ephesians 1:11-12). Find comfort in decision making that God is the One who holds your future.