How to make a decision (part 1)

ultra-spiritual-jp-searsIt seems that many Christians don’t like making decisions – they would prefer God to make their decisions for them.

To this end many Christians are constantly looking for signs, confirmations, fleeces, open door or closed doors (please excuse the Christian jargon).

Or else they are waiting for a “word of from the Lord”, a neon sign in the clouds or the nebulous “peace in my heart about the decision”.

Many decisions can be very important and we should certainly be spending time in prayer asking God for wisdom in making God-honouring choices.  However, it is important to not that God gives wisdom so that we can make the decisions, not Him

It also goes with saying that in the decision-making process the Bible is the highest authority in the Christian’s life.  As the Bible is the revealed Word and Will of God, so our decisions should be based on what the Bible says – that way we can be sure that we are honouring God with our choices.

Having God’s Word as our highest authority may sound simple, but we also have many other competing authorities in their lives, for example:

  1. Experience – this makes me feel good about myself, or this gives me peace in my heart
  2. Tradition – this is what we always do, or this is what my parents did, or this is what the church teaches
  3. Reason – this seems the most reasonable, logical thing for me to do

None of the above mentioned authority are bad things, in and of themselves, as long as they are not the Christian’s highest authority.  God’s Word as our chief authority must trump (excuse the word) these other, lower authorities.  The Bible is the only book on our planet that is God’s book (2 Timothy 3:16-17).   

Experience

Obeying God’s Word might not always make you feel good, especially when you decide to break up with a non-Christian boyfriend.  Obedience might not take you to that “happy place” when you end that inappropriate relationship that has been an infatuation for you.  If you are a Christian struggling with same-sex attraction, it will probably be tough experience to abstain and yet that would be the right decision.

Tradition

God’s Word might be at odds with what you were taught at church, especially if you come from a Roman Catholic background.  Complete and lasting righteousness through faith alone in Christ alone may not be quite what your priest teaches.  Obeying God’s Word may cause a ruction with your extended Roman Catholic family.  We may also grow up with wrong traditions; your father treating your mother in an unkind way will be a tradition that God’s Word challenges.   

Reason

Obeying God’s Word will seem very unreasonable to your non-Christian friends who think you’re crazy to give your church so much of your hard-earned income.  In fact, believing in the death and resurrection of Jesus as a wrath-satisfying sacrifice will seem even more unreasonable and nonsensical to an anti-Christian world.  It may seem unreasonably for a father to decide against a promotion at work to spend more time with his family.  Obedience to God’s Word is totally reasonable, but reason itself is not our highest authority.  

Therefore, when it comes to making decisions:

  1. Pray and ask God for wisdom.
  2. Consider carefully what the Bible says about the issues concerned.
  3. Use the brain God has given you to make a decision.
  4. Don’t wait for or expect God to make your decisions.

In years to come you will look back on your choice and see God’s good providence in that decision, guiding and directing you.