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June 21, 2017

Getting Smart with Making Decisions

Are you losing sleep because you have a big decision to make? Like where to go to college or whom to marry. Perhaps you're torn between two job offers and you're just not sure which way go. Could it be that you need God to guide you in buying a house or how to best discipline your kids or what to do about your aging parents?

Maybe you're one of those people who agonize over even the smallest life decisions—like what restaurant to go to for dinner. Or, every woman's big hair decision: bangs or no bangs? Every choice is a big deal and you are constantly stuck in indecision mode.

Indeed, life is full of decisions. And it's time to get unstuck.

Thankfully, as believers, we don't have to leave our choices to chance. We have God's Word to guide us and prayer—talking with God—to provide wisdom to know what to do.

Large or small, I've learned that God guides us in making all kinds of decisions. Our job is to seek His will and ask. Then, walk out what we know to be true in obedience.

To be sure, how God leads may vary. He may not always act in the same way twice. Here's an example.

Years ago, when I was trying to decide where to go to college, I felt a clear knowing that I was supposed to go to Trinity International University (then called Trinity College) just outside of Chicago. I remember sitting at the dining room table asking God in prayer what to do and which college to attend. I knew it was a big decision and I wanted to do the right thing. So I read a lot of materials from various schools, I visited campuses and I even prayed with my pastor for God's guidance. Then one day while in my bedroom at home I felt like I just knew that I should go to Trinity. I had a settled peace that it was the right place and the best decision.

And it was.

However, when I graduated from college I expected God to act in the same way in my decision-making process over whether to stay in the Chicago area or move back home to Milwaukee? Again, I wanted to do the right thing and follow God but I didn't seem to have clear direction. Why didn't I have that "knowing" in my spirit I'd had before.

A few weeks later, my sister called and asked if I would take her place in the upper flat apartment she shared with two other women in Milwaukee. She was off to Honduras to translate for medical missions and she needed someone to fill her spot. When I prayed about it, I felt God was saying that either way was fine—stay in Chicago or move back to Milwaukee—and He would bless it. So I moved back to Wisconsin a few weeks later.

And it was a good decision.

Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of Rev. Billy Graham, has four things she looks for to determine God's will in making a decision:

1. The confirmation of God's Word

2. My inner conviction

3. Practical circumstances

4. The counsel of godly, mature Christian friends.


And then she steps out in faith and takes action, trusting God is guiding every step of the way.

As you reflect on your own life situations, take hold of these helpful Bible verses about God's guidance and direction:


Psalm 23:3

He guides me along the right paths for his name's sake.


Psalm 25:5

Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.


Psalm 32:8

I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.


Psalm 48:14

For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.


Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him. And He will direct your paths.


Isaiah 58:11

The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.


James 1:5

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

I am so glad that we can count on God to guide us. Surrender your situation to Him today. Ask Him to guide you. Then trust God for His will, His way and His timing. After all, there's no better place for your request to be than in God's hands. And He never drops the ball.

God is a good and loving Father. He wants the best for you. He wants you to make right choices and He is more than able and willing to help you.

Talk to God today. Follow His leading. Be at peace. And walk forward by faith with a courageous heart knowing God is with you and for you every step of the way.

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