Walking into the large, formidable building for the first time, I was sure this was where I belonged. My entire life had been leading up to this moment. I spent months studying for the LSAT and years before that studying to earn the best grades to get into the right school so that my real life could begin. Now, it was all happening. I was finally in law school.
The first semester was a whirlwind that ended with me at the top of the class. Everything was going well in school, in my personal life, and seemingly in my walk with God, yet I felt something was missing. I spent the next few months in frustration, begging for God to help me understand why I felt so out of place when everything seemed so perfect. Sitting in my room alone one day, I asked myself, Did I ever pray about going to law school? It had always felt like such an obvious choice in my life. I would make a good living and help those in need. Did I really have to get God's permission for a decision that made so much sense?
Life is full of decisions. Some are small, like choosing your breakfast; others are really big, like picking your career or if and when you will have more kids. Most of us believe that God cares deeply about certain things, like who you marry and which church you attend. But does God care about other decisions that don't seem as important? Law school felt like something God didn't need to be a part of because it wasn't a part of my spiritual life. God was in control on Sundays and early in the morning when I read my Bible, but then the rest of the week felt like mine to control.
The truth is that God cares deeply about every choice we make in our lives, from the route we take to the grocery store to the way we serve our church and families. God cares about everything because He is in control of everything. He "rules the nations" and "is before all things and by him all things hold together" (Psalm 22:28, Colossians 1:17). The prophet Jeremiah reminds us "that a person's way of life is not his own; no one who walks determines his own steps" (Jeremiah 10:23). There is no part of our lives that God does not deeply care about and no part of this world that God does not have access to and direction over.
Even when we submit to God's authority over our lives, making decisions can feel overwhelming and we often don't know where to even start. Some decisions are easier than others, especially when there's a clear direction from the Bible. But what about when there's not? How do you choose whether or not to stay at home with your kids? How do you know when to say "yes" to an opportunity and when to say "no"? How do you know when to prioritize your own needs and when to take on the burdens of others?
1.) Remember Who is in charge
From the first words of the Bible, we see Who that is.
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." – Genesis 1:1
We were created by God and born into a world made by His hands. He knows and controls all that happens in our lives. Too often, we make decisions as if we are in control. Instead, we must start making decisions by reminding ourselves that God is the One in control. We must allow God to direct our decisions rather than take up the reins ourselves. Before you make a choice, take a moment to pray and ask God to guide you in which way to go–even if that means going in a different direction than you had planned.
2). Second, we should ask for His guidance because He knows what we need.
"Give us each day our daily bread." – Luke 11:3
Asking God for our daily bread means asking God to fulfill our needs every single day. Returning to God for the things we need daily reminds us that He is in control and that all good things come from Him. We know that God gives good gifts because He offered us the perfect gift in His Son, Jesus. Jesus gave up His life for us so we could be free from sin and death. That is a God we can trust with our decisions. As we make small decisions each day and big decisions season to season, asking for God's wisdom reminds us that He is in control and of our need for Him.
After months of prayer, I had a sense that God was asking me to leave law school and trust that He had something greater planned. I decided to let God control my decisions, and I left two weeks later. Since then, God has provided so many amazing opportunities for me that would not have been possible had I stayed where I was, trying to control my own destiny. The God of the universe loves you and wants good things for your life. Ask Him to help you make decisions. And then keep asking. Remember, God is in control and wants to guide your steps each day.