3 Keys to making great decisions – Monday, 12 February
“The Lord is my shepherd… He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
Psalm 23:1a, 3b (ESV)
Your decisions determine your destiny. Your life is made up of a series of decisions; some smaller and seemingly insignificant decisions and others larger and weightier ones, but they all carry some significance in building your life and shaping your future. We all have to make decisions at some point, and we will never fully know what the outcome of those decisions will be. For the most part, we seek to make the best decision based on the facts and by weighing up the pros and cons, and then we make a decision hoping for the best. While that is not wrong, there is a better way to make decisions.
“O Lord, I know that the path of [life of] a man is not in himself; It is not within [the limited ability of] man [even one at his best] to choose and direct his steps [in life].”
Jeremiah 10:23 (AMP)
Do you need some direction in your life? Are there some challenging situations where you need to make some difficult decisions? The Lord, your Shepherd, wants to lead you in the right direction. When we rely on our own wisdom and seek to make decisions independent of God we limit ourselves and our success. God knows the beginning from the end, and He knows what the best paths are for us. If you want to make great decisions and set yourself up for success, then you need to consult God and follow His leading.
You may have two job opportunities that you need to choose between. According to natural wisdom you should go with the opportunity with better remuneration and benefits. But it’s possible that God may lead you to take the job which pays less because He knows the other company is going to close down, or maybe He knows that it won’t truly be a good opportunity for you. Maybe you’re looking to hire someone to work for you? The natural choice for the job (someone whose CV is outstanding) may not be the best option. God might lead you to choose someone less qualified because they will be more faithful, more teachable and a better fit long-term. I’m not saying that the best options are less qualified people or lesser paying jobs; I am saying that when we follow the Lord’s leading we will make better decisions and those decisions may not always be the obvious choices.
“…He leads me on right paths to show that He is good.”
Psalm 23:3b (ERV)
God is a good and loving Father who wants good things for you (Jeremiah 29:11; Matthew 7:11; James 1:17). He can lead you far better than you can lead yourself! When we humble ourselves and seek His guidance in prayer, and then make decisions according to the wisdom He leads us in, it will always work out for our benefit. He wants to lead you on the right paths to show you that He is good; to show you how much He loves you. No good father will lead his child to destruction or suffering. God is the perfect Father; you can trust His heart for you and you can confidently follow His leading knowing that He is leading you on the paths that are best for you.
If you’re about to make some decisions, let me offer you some practical advice from God’s Word:
Key #1: Give quality time and attention to seeking God
“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”
Jeremiah 29:13 (ESV)
If you really desire to know God’s will and get His wisdom for the decisions that you need to make, then you can’t seek out His guidance half-heartedly. This means that you need to give quality time and attention to seeking God. As you spend time praying and studying the Word your heart will open (be sensitive) to hearing what God is saying to you. And don’t make your time with God all about getting answers. Scripture says that we should seek Him – so seek Him, not the right answer.
Key #2: Follow the peace
“…Let the peace of Christ [the inner calm of one who walks daily with Him] be the controlling factor in your hearts [deciding and settling questions that arise]…”
Colossians 3:15 (AMP)
As you seek God, you will find that you have more peace about something or less peace about something. I’m not saying you won’t have butterflies or be a bit nervous about making a decision, but as you focus on God you will have a deep-rooted peace in your heart. When we trust God and His Word this peace becomes more and more apparent in our lives.
The ESV Bible says “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.” Scripture encourages us to allow Christ’s peace in us to control our hearts (where we make our decisions) and let this peace rule, or be like an umpire who makes the final call on matters.
We would do well to take heed unto the peace or lack thereof. I have had opportunities that seem so irresistible because they seem so good, but I had absolutely no peace in my heart. When I followed the peace and declined opportunities I was glad I did. But then when I took the opportunities and ignored the peace, I did regret it. A while back I had the opportunity to be on the radio once a week as a presenter and it would have increased my opportunities to minister the Gospel on air. It was a great opportunity, but I had no peace about it. After some prayer, I decided not to accept the opportunity and then I realized the reasons why it would not have worked: I was taking on too much and between the late nights and travelling, it would have weighed heavily on my health. We can do all things through Christ, but that doesn’t mean that we should do all things.
“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.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)
Key #3: The right thing to do is always the right thing to do.
It’s always the right time to do the right thing. You don’t have to pray about whether to go to church or whether to give. Some things, like which job you should take or which specific church you should go to, isn’t expressly directed in the Bible (even though the Bible does give us guidelines about choosing jobs and choosing churches) and it needs to be prayed about. Other things, the Bible is clear about, and you can safely and with confidence just do what the Bible says. Knowing the Word and what it says about living life and doing relationships will simplify your life – you won’t have to agonise or pray for 3 hours about what to do, you will know! It’s also very important to remember that the “peace of God” or the leading of the Holy Spirit will never, ever contradict the Word of God.
God can lead you better than you can lead yourself. His guidance will always be good and will always benefit us the best. When you seek Him with all your heart and you know His Word, you will become sensitive to hear what He is saying to you, and a deep-rooted peace will direct you.
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