I’m curious: How do you make decisions? Now, I’m not talking about what to wear before you head out of the house in the morning or what to have for lunch each day. I’m talking about those life-changing kind of decisions.
Do we take time to really think through our decisions or do we throw darts at a dartboard and go with whatever choice the dart lands on? The thing is, a wrong decision is a wrong decision regardless of how we come about it.
I’m sure many of us have used the dartboard method at some point in our lives and maybe it ended up being the right choice. But do we really want to take that chance when it comes to making important decisions? And do we really want to walk in that kind of uncertainty?
As a pastor, I’m frequently asked, “How do you know what God wants you to do?” The easy answer to that question is pray—simply ask God what He wants you to do. James 1:5 tells us: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” God wants to guide us and lead us. He wants to help us make the right decisions.
The other question I hear then is, “When I pray, how do I know that it’s God’s voice I’m sensing?” (Which is often the real question being asked when people ask me, “How do you know what God wants you to do?”) And that answer is a little more challenging. But I believe the key is trusting that the Holy Spirit is at work in our lives. God has given us the Holy Spirit to guide us and direct us and the Holy Spirit will speak to us if we take time to listen.
One of the ways I encourage people when it comes to decision-making is to operate on the premise of peace (see Philippians 4:6-7). In other words, do I have a peace about the decision I’m making or does there seem to be a check in my spirit? Oftentimes, a lack of peace is the Holy Spirit guiding us and leading us in another direction. Again, the key is trusting that the Holy Spirit is at work in our life because I know it’s easy to second-guess ourselves and our ability to actually discern God’s voice.
We have to put our trust in God and like it says in James 1:6: “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”
The decisions we make in life are important—even some that are seemingly small can shape our lives and our future. My encouragement to all of us is that we continue to seek the Lord in our decisions and allow the Holy Spirit to guide and direct our path!