Well, these notes are from the last gathering of the GOD MEETS REAL LIFE group. We wrapped things up this past Sunday.
The final topic we tossed on the table was the issue of trying to make better decisions. Here we go!
Life is a series of decisions.
And the Christian life brings a whole new perspective of how we make decisions.
Some things are made evident by scripture. Other decisions must be made “between the lines.”
Here are nine helpful (hopefully) tips to help steer ourselves toward better decisions.
- Go to the Word!
Psalm 119:105 says “Your word is a lamp unto my feet.” Meaning God’s Word provides illumination while we attempt to reach our destination.
Human advice is fallible. But God’s word is trustworthy.
Among other topics, the bible talks about relationships, parenting, marriage, finances, and vocation. Some study Bibles actually classify topics or have pre-thought out questions to help get us to the most helpful scriptures.
- Pray for wisdom and insight
James 1:5-7 prompts the believer to ask God for wisdom. How often do we take Him up on His offer?
To land on good decisions, we must tune ourselves into the Spirit’s prompting and direction.
Prayer is key for anyone making a decision, especially decisions that are big or complex.
- Check in with trusted counselors
Proverbs 24:6 says:
For by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory. (ESV)
Think about this: what makes a person a useful counselor? There are plenty of people who are willing to give us advice, but what makes a person trustworthy?
- Be aware of what’s going on around you
Sometimes we can be way to mystical in our spirituality, but other times I wonder if we aren’t giving God room enough to work in a unique way.
Sometimes we can take note of how God is working in a certain situation.
Sometimes God initiates a sign.
Sometimes we may ask God for one.
I must say that when it comes to trying to make a decision, leaning only on finding a sign will likely limit us.
- Pay attention to the opening and closing of doors.
Revelation 3:7-8 describes Jesus as the one who opens and closes doors.
Too often when a door closes we try to kick it back open.
But in many cases, a closed door can lead us to a new door that is much better for us.
Navigating open and closed doors demands patience and discernment.
- Do your research
Luke 14:28 says:
For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? (ESV)
For some people doing the research is writing out all the pros and cons.
For others it comes down to pouring over information in books or on the internet.
One person who didn’t do a lot of research was the Old Testament character Lot.
Lot decided to move his family to Sodom. From afar the area looked great. But as we all know, Lot’s decision to leave in Sodom had major consequences.
- Be timing sensitive
Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us “there is a time for everything.”
God has a plan, but he also has a timing.
Sometimes we rush ahead, other times we move too slow.
Psalm 32:8-9 says:
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
which must be curbed with bit and bridle,
or it will not stay near you. (ESV)
For the horse, the bit and bridle slows him down.
For the mule the bridle is used to pull him along.
God says don’t be like these beasts of burden, but rather listen to God’s good counsel to discover His perfect timing.
- A moving car is easier to steer than a parked one
Proverbs 16:9 offers:
The heart of man plans his way,
but the Lord establishes his steps. (ESV)
It’s good to make plans.
They give us directions, keep us from being diverted, and help us reach our destination.
The key is to be open to God’s adjustments along the way.
- Once the decision is made, hang in there until you are completely convinced otherwise.
Luke 9:62 has Jesus telling us:
“No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” (ESV)
The Israelites in the desert began to question. They stopped looking forward and began focusing backward.
Simply put, we must learn to close the back door of your mind.