How many decisions do you make in a day?
You breeze through most without thinking.
But occasionally one paralyzes you. You want to make the God-honoring choice, if you only knew what that was. You’ve already prayed and prayed (right?).
You’re stuck. What to do next?
Here are five principles from scripture to help.
1. Tune out distractions to tune in to God
But [Jesus] would withdraw to desolate places and pray.
The world shouts through internet, TV, ads, drowning out God’s voice. So first, turn down the volume. Get quiet.
Then revamp your hearing by listening to God for spiritual principles that apply to your dilemma (Romans 12:2). Use reference tools to study Bible verses in full context. Look for God’s character in the stories you read and see how you can best mirror his character through your choices.
2. Seek godly advice from others
Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.
After listening to the Word for yourself, listen to godly people around you. Who has God placed in your life you can consult? Have any of your spiritual friends already walked this path? Is there a mature Christian in your family who can advise you?
You can also seek help from experts you’ve yet to meet—in person, in print—who can give you additional information.
Look for similar threads in the advice they give that you may have overlooked initially.
3. Narrow down your choices
What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?
Hone in on who you want to be after the decision is made. Let that help purify your motives in the moment—do certain choices appeal more to you than to God? Cross out options that are least compatible with your goals, then circle the ones that could bring him the most glory.
If certain choices are time-contingent, and the pace seems out of God’s timing—either too rushed or too prolonged—discard those as well. While waiting on the Lord may be difficult (Psalm 27:14), he can build up your strength during the wait (Isaiah 40:31). His outcomes are always worth waiting for.
4. Do something
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
On the other hand, if you’re only waiting because you’re too scared to act, step out in faith and do something (Joshua 1:9).
After seeking God through prayer, Bible study, godly counsel, and appropriate pacing, quit delaying your decision. Just make it! Trust that God is true to his word—you ask in faith for wisdom; he generously supplies it (James 1:5-6).
God is even more invested than you are in accomplishing his works through you (Philippians 1:6).
5. Give thanks for the results he’ll bring
The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.
Instead of second-guessing the decision you’ve now made, give thanks for it. Look forward to how God will bless it. Believe that he will work good out of your choice (Romans 8:28). Even if you mess up, he can redeem it. His grace is big enough. Trade in the pressure for peace; he sends rest for your heart and mind (Philippians 4:6-7).
As you enhance your spiritual sensitivity to God’s guidance, let it grow your confidence in what the Lord does, not just what you do.
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 make straight your paths.
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What scriptures do you turn to when you’re unsure about a decision? Please share them in the comments.
revised from the archives
originally posted at Do Not Depart
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