Thursday, December 5, 2013

Decision Making and God's Will

We have all faced those decisions where the "right" answer is not always a clear answer. How do we make decisions that are pleasing to God when Scripture doesn't specifically tell us what to do? When we are faced with options, how do we know that we are making the right choice? Here is some helpful advice to point you in a God-honoring direction. 

1. Where Do I Fit In?
The Bible is clear that our life is a small chapter that fits into a much grandeur story that God is telling. So while God is most certainly concerned with every detail of our life, His bigger concern is how the small details of our life fit into the larger story that He is writing. God's ultimate plan is to save mankind for the glory of Christ! In all the choices we make, we would be wise to weigh our decisions based on what will bring the ultimate glory to Christ. Is there an option or choice that we are given that will help us better align our lives with the gospel story? Is there a decision we are faced with that we can answer in such a way that allows our story to fit in better with the overall story of God's plan? Whether you are choosing a college, a house, a job or a spouse, one should ask which choice will ultimately fit you in better with God's plan for all of life?

2. What Is My Mindset?
While God does not always list for us the right choices to make in His Word, He does very clearly describe the type of mindset He wants us to have in making those tough choices we are faced with. Ultimately, God desires our sanctification, or our journey towards holiness, to be front and center when we are weighing out choices in front of us. In making decisions, are we motivated from a desire to see ourselves and others grow spiritually? Is there a choice before us that will push ourselves and others closer to Christ? God desires our sanctification. Are we desiring the same thing when making decisions?

God also desires that we remain content with His goodness rather than lusting in our selfish passions. Are we allowing God to be glorified in us by remaining content in Him or do we allow our passions, cravings and own desires to motivate our decision making?  Ultimately we are called to place others before ourselves. We are called to serve others rather than using others for our own gain. Are their options laid before us that would lead to greater opportunities to serve others?

3. What Are My Safeguards?
If we admit that a proper motivation is needed when making decisions that are honoring to God, how can we make sure our motives stay pure? It is easy to become blinded to our selfishness. What can we do to make sure we are making decisions that allow us to fit into God's overarching plan of saving mankind as we seek to serve others?

First, we must make sure that our desires are being shaped by the wisdom of God's Word and the leading of His Spirit, rather than the deceiving nature of today's culture. We need a renewed mind to choose the best things in life. Are we allowing our minds to be shaped properly so that we choose rightly? Are we allowing our minds to be saturated by His Word so that we are faithfully walking in the Spirit each day?

Second, we must protect ourselves from our own pride and ignorance by seeking the wisdom of others. God is good about placing wiser individuals in our paths to help guide us through the tough decisions in life. Are you faithfully seeking out others than can offer insight into the choices you are faced with? The book of Proverbs has much to say in the area of wisdom. One thing is clear, the individual who leans on the counsel of others will always be more steady than the one who trusts in his own knowledge. 

In Conclusion...
Be confident in making decisions that are being shaped by an inward desire to see God's plan of saving His people accomplished. When we desire the things that God desires, we are well on our way to being exactly where He wants us to be, doing exactly what He wants us to be doing. 

For additional insight and reading:
Ps. 1:1-2, Prov. 2:1-11, 3:5-6, 11:14, 13:20, 19:20, 24:6, Rom. 12:1-2, Eph. 5:15-21, Col. 3:16, I Thess. 4:1-8, 5:12-18, I Tim. 2:3-6, James 1:5-8, I Peter 2:13-15, 4:1-11, 19, I John 2:15-17