We are each faced with decisions every day. Most of these decisions are easy to make since they involve matters of right and wrong. Even if doing right is not easy, we know that the proper decision is to do the right thing. However, there are times when knowing what the right choice is isn’t obvious.
In God’s Word He has given use various ways to know what is right. When God gives a clear law in the Bible we should obey it. When we are not given a specific law, God gives us various principles in the Bible to guide us in our decision making.
Every decision we make should be bathed in prayer. Praying about your decisions will keep you closely connected to the Lord. Through prayer you can maintain a close relationship with God without which you would not be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading in the decision you need to make.
Obey God’s Word
God’s commands are to be obeyed. There is no real decision that needs to be made when there is a clear command in the Bible concerning the matter. Simple obedience is the proper response to the Lord’s commands. Don’t complicate a decision because you think the Bible doesn’t apply to your situation.
Apply Biblical Principles
When there is not a clear command that is to be obeyed, then God has given us principles in His Word that we should apply. There are many different principles, but I want to highlight a couple.
Doubt Principle: When you are unsure as to whether an activity is right or wrong, the Doubt Principle says that you should not do the activity. According to Romans 14:21 and 23 we should not engage in activities if we are unsure as to whether it is appropriate. In fact, the Bible goes as far as to say that engaging in an activity when you are not convinced it is the right thing to do is sin.
Association Principle: We should not associate ourselves with that which is (or may be) inappropriate. We are told in 1 Thessalonians 5:22 to abstain from activities that have the appearance of evil. What is the dominant association of the activity? If people see you doing it, will they immediately think you are involved in something inappropriate for a Christian? If so, then you should not participate.
Accept God’s Leading
Sometimes we don’t make decisions a spiritual matter or a subject of prayer because we are afraid of how God will lead. God wants to bless us, but blessings only come through obedience (Deuteronomy 11:26-29). When you finally make the decision you know is right, then accept what the Lord has shown you and do what is right in the situation. It may be something difficult to do, but the promise is that as you obey the Lord, you will have blessings in your life.
Seek Godly Council
There are times when a decision is much bigger than we can comprehend. We need others to help us work through the different aspects of our decision. Having other people at your side to help counsel you is wise and godly according to Proverbs 15:22 and 24:6. Part of the function of the church is to support one another. Use the church as God intended: a support network for Christians.
Stretch Your Faith
Even after each of the previous steps you may not know the final decision you should make. Allow God to take His time in showing you. Trust that He will reveal His will when it is time. God doesn’t always answer or give direction on our time-table. He works His own plans in His own way. Trust that He has done this enough to know exactly what you need and when you need it.
Desires of Your Heart
The Bible says to delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4, 5). I think these verses are often used to say that God will give you anything you want. But notice that verse 4 comes with a condition. If you delight in Him, He will give you your desires. This could be read, “He will give you what you desire,” or “He will give you the right desires.” Ultimately I think these are the same thing. If you have the desires that He wants you to have, then you will receive what you desire. The following verse says that if you will then commit that desire to Him, He will bring it to pass.
While there are many decisions that involve a choice between right and wrong, that is not always the case. There are times when you have to choose between two excellent options. Work through the previous steps and God will show you the right decision. When it comes down to choosing between two good choices and God does not give any clear direction, then the final step indicates that you can choose the one you most desire. Then trust God to bring it to pass. Remember though, that this promise is to those who are pleasing and right in the sight of God. Otherwise you won’t know what the right choice is.
Spend time in the Bible to know what God’s opinion on various matters is, then trust that He will lead you into the right path you need to take in your decision.