Making great decisions: following your Shepherd
“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.
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