Making decisions isn’t easy. It scares us and drains our strength, but decisions have to be made. When you make one, trust that God has everything under control, and know He works everything for His purpose and your good even if you don’t know what His specific purpose in a certain situation is or understand the good He is bringing.
Life is a dirty job. We deal with dirty hearts, dirty minds and dirty souls. We get dirty. Christianity requires difficult decisions that sometimes hurt others and hurt us. We risk our financial security and family’s safety for the hope of making a greater difference for the Kingdom. We give our time, strength, emotional energy, and money away to others who take them for granted.
We hire people, fire people and correct people. We counsel them, comfort them, and confront them. Our personal sacrifices pale compared to His rewards, but our pain is real because this world is messy.
To better help navigate life’s quandaries, here are “Seven Keys to Making Difficult Decisions.”
- Don’t do what you want to do.—The heroes of faith often did what they didn’t want to do. Jonah wanted to flea Nineveh, but God sent Him there. Moses didn’t want to speak to Pharaoh, but he spoke anyway. Gideon wanted to keep threshing his wheat in the wine press, but wound up leading an army. They all laid down their wishes in the presence of His will. We have to do the same.
- Don’t follow your heart.—The world tells us to follow our hearts, but scripture says the “the heart is deceitful above all things.” It leads us to decisions and directions opposite of His plans for us. So, maybe we should follow His heart and not our own. It should be also noted that, “the heart is incredibly fickle.” It turn it’s affections on whatever happens to catch it’s fancy at the moment. Don’t let your heart cloud your decisions.
- Ask others for advice.—Don’t make a difficult decision on your own. Moses received help on his mission from his brother, wife, and father-in-law. The disciples traveled in pairs. John the Baptist had to stand before Jesus. Jesus ministered along with His disciples. If Jesus needed a forerunner and built a team, we all need to also. Look to others for counsel and help while making decisions.
- Don’t do what feels good.—Following God feels good sometimes but bad other times. The easiest way may not be the right way. Tending sheep was an easier job for David than leading the nation of Israel. The cross felt bad. Your feelings shouldn’t dictate your decisions. Sometimes, the right decision brings pain now and joy later.
- Don’t expect God to give you all the details.—He give us a mission, but He’s not our travel agent. He gave us His word, He gives us His Spirit, but He doesn’t give us all the details. God gives us choices so that we will grow. There may be more than one good decision you can make. If God hasn’t spoken clearly to your heart, move forward in faith, trusting that if He has something to say, He will say it.
- Expect success and failure.—Almost every Old Testament prophet failed in their mission to turn the nation away from idols even though they obeyed God’s word to them. They preached hard, but the nation of Israel fell harder. Paul tried time and time again to reach certain places and failed. He tried to go into Asia, and the Lord stopped him. He also rocked the city Ephesus with with the power of the Gospel. Sometimes, our failures are more important to our characters than our success. Don’t expect failure, but don’t be surprised when it happens. The right decision doesn’t guarantee worldly success.
- Listen to the Holy Spirit.—God’s not dead, God’s not deaf and God’s not mute. Close your mouth and slow down so that you may hear Him speak. Stop running after things that lack eternal value and let Him speak. If He doesn’t speak that’s fine, just continue on your last known course until further orders.
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