We all face decisions every single day. What will I eat for breakfast. Should I read a book? What book should I read? Should I go to college?
A lot of times we can wonder if we are making the right decisions. As Christians we are concerned about what God thinks of our decisions and we want to do His will. Younger people in particular are often curious about what God wants them to do. Older folks wonder these things too. Does God want more from me?
Is life a choose your own adventure novel? Often when we think of God’s will we think about “is this the way God would have me go?”
What the Bible Says about God’s Will
We can sort of divide God’s will into a number of categories.
- Isaiah 46:9-10 – I am God and there is none like me. God is going to have His way in the world. His will, will be accomplished. It’s not just the big things in life, but He sees the little details of life as well. Matthew 10 talks about God seeing the sparrow.
- 1 John 2, Matthew 7:21 – The will of desire. This is what God wants from us, He wants us to follow His will for our lives. It isn’t something He forces us into, but He desires for us to do His will.
- The will of direction. What decision should I make today, in this situation. Sometimes we seem to focus on this way of looking at God’s will more than any of the others.
In the New Testament we probably see a bit less of asking God for direction in a particular situation. The disciples needed a replacement for Judas, they prayed and then chose a replacement. In Acts 6 the widows were being neglected, the apostles made a proposal that seemed good to everyone so they appointed deacons.
Should we expect visions when we are making decisions? Should we cast lots when we have a decision to make?
Sometimes we don’t want to own the responsibility of the outcomes of our decisions, or we are scared to make a decision and we want to have the “fall back” of “God told me to.”
Sometimes we don’t trust God enough to lead us into the future, instead we wish He would show us a vision of the entire future as a-posed to wandering, with God, into the future.
Philippians 3:12-16 – Often when we focus on what we do know and what we do understand the “answer” will become obvious. We often want to do big things for God, if only He would make His will clear to us. Are we focusing on what we do know about God’s will, or are we focusing on what we don’t know about God’s will?
James 4:13-17 – Life is short, perhaps much shorter than we realize, so don’t procrastinate when it comes to doing the good that you know you should be doing. To put the good that you know you should be doing off… is sin.
1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 – These are things that are specifically a part of God’s will for us. We can be confidant in doing these things when we are trying to live the will of God out.
So How do we Make Wise Decisions?
Often we hear Christians talking about “open doors.” This isn’t working out so the door isn’t opened, or the door was open so I walked through it. This can be dangerous if we use it to justify poor choices. Jonah found an opened door on the ship to Tarshish…
Fleeces at times are used to manipulate God, asking for a miraculous sign. Luke 4 – do not put the Lord your God to the test. Can God use fleeces, absolutely, but we need to be careful that we aren’t using a fleece to force God’s hand.
We know that God can direct us to scriptures that speak to needs in our life, but we shouldn’t put more stock into a verse when we randomly open our Bible than we do in careful, daily scripture reading and study. Random Bible verses are random, God can use scriptures to speak to us, but we need to be careful to not place extra weight on a randomly selected verse.
Proverbs 2:1-5 – The way of wisdom.
- Bible reading – Store up my commands within you. Spending regular time in God’s word is the foundation that we need to make good, wise decisions.
- Listening to sound advice. This is why we have a church, we are to walk with each other and keep each other from being deceived. Get sound advice from those who know and care about you.
- Call out for insight. Ask God to reveal His will to you. Even if God doesn’t show us exactly what to do we can ask for pure motives, not pride, not selfishness, not fear.
The result is found in verse 5, you’ll understand the fear of God.
Wisdom isn’t having a solutions manual so that we know the answers. It is more like knowing our teacher well enough to know how He would solve our problem. Jesus is our teacher.
Whether you are a young person who is trying to find your place in life, or perhaps you’re struggling to find fulfillment in your spot… focus more on putting into action the percentage of God’s will for our life that we do know rather than the part that we don’t know. God will help us with the rest.
Matthew 6:33, Romans 8:28 – We need to trust God for the future. That doesn’t mean that everything will work out nicely and be easy. Following God and making wise decisions doesn’t guarantee an easy life, but God promises that He is good and there will be a reward for us in eternity.