I do not like indecision or ambiguity. Decision-making causes me stress. Especially when there’s no clear path.
Recently I was stressing over a decision that I thought I needed to make quickly. For several days my stomach was in knots. Fortunately, it was not a decision between right and wrong. It was merely a tough call. I couldn’t decide what to do.
I sought the counsel of some wise friends, which helped. And then I remembered something my husband had written, “10 Questions to Consider When Trying to Discern God’s Will.” I thought I’d share them with you and then I’ll tell you which one helped me and why!
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
1. Am I in a right relationship with God?
If there is unconfessed sin in my life, it is a barrier between God and me. Our fellowship is broken. Psalms 32:1-6, 66: 18-20.
2. Do I want to know and do God’s will?
Jesus says that whoever is willing to do what God wants will know what it is. John 7:17
3. Have I asked God for wisdom?
God promises us sound judgment, but we must ask and keep on asking. James 1:5, 2 Timothy 1:7
4. Does the Bible speak to this decision in any way?
Some decisions have been clearly addressed in Scripture. God does not lead contrary to what He has already said in His word.
5. Have I assembled and studied all the facts?
It is wise to list the pros and cons and ask, “What obligations do I already have that I must keep?”
6. Do I have deep inner conviction and peace about this?
Do I have peace and conviction about what is right? Paul says, “Anything which does not arise from conviction is sin.” Romans 14:23, Philippians 4:6-7.
Sometimes we must pray and fast regularly about a question before we receive God’s peace. God’s peace is deeper than the acceptance given by a casual world.
7. Have I sought the advice of mature believers who know know me well?
Others will not always be right, but if three or four mature believers agree, their opinions must be seriously considered. Always ask others to pray for you as well as advise you.
8. Will this help me to better love God and my neighbor?
This is the most important goal in life. If something hinders this goal, we must carefully examine the problem. Matthew 22:37-39.
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9. Is this my decision to make?
I may be worrying about something that will eventually be decided by someone else.
10. Do I have to decide now or can it wait?
Often we worry needlessly about decisions that are not really pressing Sometimes they go away.
Sometimes when I ask for guidance God doesn’t answer immediately. Often I’m not yet ready for the answer. I need to stop struggling to know His will and simply seek to know Him. In His time and in His way He will reveal His will to me. My primary job is simply to get to know Him better, to open my heart to whatever He would teach me in a time of waiting.
“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3
So, are you trying to guess which one I needed?
It was #10.
I asked myself, Do I need to make this decision now? Why?
Asking these clarifying questions made me realize that I did not need to make this decision now. Instead, I needed to take the summer off and pray and rest instead. What a relief.
In the midst of this process God also revealed to me once again how much I like to be in control (hah!). I like to be decisive. I like clarity. But I am not in control. (OK, I am so tired of being reminded of this!) He is in control and often in the waiting He is working in ways that I cannot see and in His time He will give me clarity. I have to be careful not to be so focused on the answer that I miss out on what He desires to teach me while I’m waiting.
I hope these questions will help you as you face important decisions.
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