Click below to listen to an audio version of my post on the Candidly Kendra podcast:
Should I marry him?
Should I take that job?
Should I move my family to Costa Rica to do missions for the next five years? …Do I have to?
The most common question I get from others is, “How can I know God’s will?”
Christians who are walking with God and who trust in his good plan for our lives want to choose the right thing. But what if we don’t know what that is? We believe that God knows which next step is part of his good plan – and we think, God, will you please just tell me?
Today I want to share with you the Six Steps To Easily Making the Right Decision.
Wait. Hold on. Scratch that. This isn’t an easy process. Six Steps To
Easily Making the Right Decision.
And actually, I’m not sure about saying we’re making the “right decision,” either. Sometimes I’m not sure that there is only one right way: God, should I do ministry for a year in Mexico or in Spain? Both of those are good things. There is a chance that either one could be “right.” So the question becomes how can get some direction for what God wants?
So I’m going to rephrase that, too. Instead of making a “right” decision, we’ll focus on making a godly decision. And by “godly” I mean a decision drawn out of our relationship with God and dependent on the wisdom given us by the Holy Spirit.
Six Steps To
Easily Making the Right A Godly Decision
So here they are!
Six Steps to Making a Godly Decision:
Before you jump into making this hard decision, spend some time with God in prayer.
First of all, confess your sins to him. You don’t want your unwillingness to surrender your sinful desires to cloud your judgment.
Secondly, ask God to give you his wisdom by his Holy Spirit as you make this difficult decision. Tell him that you want to set your will aside and to follow his will. Ask him for ears to hear his will and for peace to know it confidently.
Finally, using the Psalms as a guide, spend some time praising God for his character. Praise him for his goodness, his wisdom, his power, his sovereignty. The beauty of this step is that it will give you peace to trust him as you face a difficult decision.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!”
Psalm 139:23-24 ESV
2. The Bible
Next, study God’s word to see if it gives any clarity in your decision.
There are many topics that the Bible doesn’t discuss specifically such as “Should I go do missions work in Spain or in Mexico?” or “Should I take this job?” But there are some things that are plain from Scripture: Should I marry him if he is not a Christian and I am? Is it okay if I have a sexual relationship with my boyfriend if I really love him? Should I take this job as a getaway driver for bank robbers?
If the Bible doesn’t make your decision clear, move on to the next step.
3. Godly Counsel
Please don’t underestimate the importance of this step! I can’t tell you how many times a young person has come to me out of the blue, announcing something extreme like “I’m dropping out of college and going to Nashville to launch my musical career!” I ask, “Did you talk to anyone about this? Did you seek wise counsel?” Please get some perspective from others as you make difficult decisions. They may have eyes to see something that you are trying to ignore.
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
but a wise man listens to advice.”
This counsel should be GODLY, WISE and UNBIASED.
- GODLY – Talk to someone who is a Christian, a man or woman of God’s Word.
- WISE – Talk to someone who is wise. (For example, not your 6 year-old brother.)
- UNBIASED – Don’t just ask the friend that you know will say what you want to hear. It may be difficult to find unbiased counsel, but at the very least, try to find someone to represent each side. (For example, for the Spain/Mexico dilemma you could talk to someone who has spent time doing ministry in Spain, and another person who has spent time doing ministry in Mexico to get a balanced perspective.)
If all the godly counsel points you in the same direction, that is a strong consideration. But if there are mixed answers, file them away mentally and continue on to the next step.
This step carries less weight than the previous three steps, but it is still an important consideration.
Some circumstances will completely block your path. If you planned to leave for missions this summer, you need to acknowledge that COVID-19 will likely make that impossible. That may mean that you misunderstood this call to international missions completely or that God wants you to wait.
Other circumstances will give weight to your decision one way or another. For example, if you discovered that the city you were considering in Mexico has an extremely high crime rate, it would be wise to take that into consideration.
“But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, because we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us.”
1 Thessalonians 2:17-18 ESV
If circumstances have made your decision clear, then you have your answer. Maybe the opportunity will return some day in the future.
Otherwise, continue on to the next step.
You might be tempted to skip this one, but don’t! After you have prayed and considered the objective factors of the Bible, Godly Counsel, and Circumstances, then it is time to consider your Feelings. After all, the Holy Spirit speaks into our heart and mind.
Pray for protection from sin, and then ask yourself how you feel about this decision.
“Lead us not into temptation.”
Matthew 6:13 ESV
Have you been praying about going to Mexico or Spain to do missions but you just don’t want to go to Mexico? Every time you imagine being in Mexico you feel dread? Then pray again, telling God that you believe you might be leaning toward the Spain option. Ask him to keep wrong influences from you and to guide you in your next step.
6. Make Your Decision… Or Wait
The moment of truth! After you have prayed and considered the clear directions in the Word of God, counsel from godly, wise, unbiased people, circumstances, and your feelings, it is time to leap!
This may be scary, but this is the hope that we have in our good, loving, and powerful God. He knows the path we should take. He loves us. He wants what’s best for us. That being said, if we have earnestly sought his will; if we have set aside our sins the best we could and have leaned into his redemption; if we have resisted our biases, and yet honestly considered our feelings, then I don’t think God will let us walk astray and then laugh maniacally and say, I sure fooled her into making the wrong choice!
No, we make the wrong choices when we refuse to submit to God’s Word and his will. We make the wrong choice when we pursue our own selfish gain. But when we earnestly seek God and his will, he will direct our steps. He will help us find his will.
“In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”
Proverbs 3:6 NKJV
Sometimes, even after walking through that whole six-step process, you just can’t find peace with any decision. If you find yourself in that position it might be wisest to stay where you are and wait for God’s leading in his perfect timing. He is good. He will show you the way you should go when it’s time to go.
Avoid These 3 Commonly Believed Myths About Seeking God’s Will
Myth #1: The hardest thing is the right thing.
Don’t fall into the mistaken belief that somehow you must prove your allegiance to God by doing the hardest thing for him. Remember that he wants to use your strengths and passions in his kingdom, and ask yourself how you can follow your God-given passions for his glory.
Myth #2: My desires and interests are selfish. I should do what I don’t want to do.
Similar to Myth #1, people often think that it shows a greater submission to God to deny their interests and desires. Don’t forget that it was God who knitted you together and gave you certain good works to do for him, based on how he made you and based on the interests he’s given you. Lean into who God made you to be as you pursue his plan for your life.
Myth #3: The biggest thing must be God’s will because it shows more faith.
God might call you to do something big for him. Or he might call you to live for him in the suburbs, being a light for his kingdom among your neighbors and serving the city where you live as a hard working and honest grocery store clerk.
Where’s the excitement in that? Where’s the romance in that? (Actually, I bet the grocery store clerks could share some stories.)
God may call you to follow him on a great adventure, scaling volcanic cliffs and fighting bears with your bare hands. If you crave a life like that, follow the Six Steps to Making A Godly Decision and go for it!
The rest of us will give you prayer support and financial support and we’ll be here to partner with you for the Gospel in our city one day when you return.