One time only!
I bet some of you thought I was going to blog about the “deal” of salvation. Well I am not. I actually wanted to share some lessons I’ve learned and continue to learn, about decision making. Making decisions is at times, the easiest thing in the world to do. Do I want Eggo’s for breakfast OR oatmeal? Red dress or black? Winter coat or sandals and a t-shirt.
But, other decisions are biggies, and we as Christians can become very overwhelmed and lost as to the right decision to be made. What I mean is … what God wants us to do. Things like, being Christian, going to church, reading our bible, tithing, gambling, drinking, using drugs, having children, adopting children, what school to go to, career to follow, when to date, when to allow your kid to date, getting married, moving in together or not, buying a new car or house, investing, moving, making a new friend, cutting ties with an old friend, having a surgery, quitting a job, and accepting a job, can all be huge.
Some are straight forward, and the bible is really clear. Things like getting drunk, high, having sex before marriage, reading your bible, tithing, and so on. These are easier to figure out what you want to do as a Christian because the bible actually makes direct references to them with directions as to what Christians should be doing.
Then there are the ones like, marriage, school, careers, homes, cars, moving, jobs, etc … These are not explicitly laid out in the Bible. It doesn’t say “if you are a woman, 5’ 5”, live in Antarctica, and your name is blah, blah, blah … you should … blah, blah, blah. It would be nice sometimes though if we got a letter in the mail saying,
Dear so and so,
I hope this letter finds you well, but since I am the Lord I already know you are well. It’s the Lord writing to you regarding your decision coming up about what career to pursue, and who to marry, and where you should live. I wanted to tell you that you should…
Love and Blessings always,
The Lord God Almighty.
But, that never happens. At least it’s never happened to me. It would be great though, wouldn’t it? I dream about how it was for Moses. He was so connected to the Lord; he actually had the Lord come down to speak directly to him face to face. They were so connected that the Lord chastised Miriam and Aaron for talking ill about Moses:
4 At once the Lord said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, “Come out to the tent of meeting, all three of you.” So the three of them went out. 5 Then the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud; he stood at the entrance to the tent and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When the two of them stepped forward, 6 he said, “Listen to my words: he said, “Listen to my words:“When there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions, I speak to them in dreams.7 But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house.8 With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” Numbers 12:4-8
How cool is that? The Lord is so close he considered him a friend and got so mad he came in pillar of cloud and stood outside the tent and summoned them to chastise them. He came down to basically say, “Who do you think you are to speak about Moses that way?”
Could you imagine? I honestly can say I would probably pass out if God spoke to me like he did Moses. But once I got used to it I think that would be AWESOME! I can’t imagine that type of direct dialogue with the Lord, but I can sure say I’ve had many times I wished/prayed/hoped for it when trying to figure out what on earth I was supposed to do.
I have learned some things to help me figure things out. All of which are based on a fundamental belief that the Bible is the divine word of God. So, if he says it, or it’s written by someone else, it is still his word, because he would only allow what he wants in it. So I don’t ascribe to the idea that parts are “interpretations of the person who wrote it” or because Paul says some stuff is his opinion, that it makes what he says any less important or divinely inspired. I believe that if God didn’t want Paul or anyone else to put something in the Bible it wouldn’t be there. So I view the Bible as if God wrote me a big long letter advising me of things I need to know to live my life and make decisions.
What I have learned about making decisions is this:
- If the Bible directly denies it, it’s not Gods will to do it.
- If the decision is being rushed, it’s not right.
- If part of it needs to be kept secret, it’s not right (I am not talking, deciding to have a surprise party for someone, or a surprise gift, I’m thinking bigger decisions)
- If you feel anxious / upset about the decision you’re leaning to, it’s not right.
- If the decision is thought of as the “right” decision by society as a whole, it’s a red flag that it may not be aligned Biblically.
- But, if your decision sounds “right” to stead-fast, long-time, true Christians, then it’s probably right.
- If it doesn’t contradict Biblical teaching but is against the law, it’s not the right decision.
- If your decision is right, even if it’s hard to do, you will have the courage to do it, and stand up firm for it.
- If your decision is all about you and you are not taking into account how others will be affected, (a spouse spending money on a new car when the family is broke) then it’s not God’s will. Being selfish is not what God encourages. The idea of “You gotta make yourself happy” is a world view, encouraged by satan because it makes people selfish, and destroys relationships. God is selfless. Jesus was the ultimate example of that.
- Making Biblical decisions takes effort (prayer, fasting, seeking guidance, and many times waiting)
- God’s will, usually will make us grow somehow, it’s rarely easy. The idea of “too good to be true” is pretty spot on most times. God’s too good to be true includes some sort of challenge, like a person getting into an Ivy League school by scholarship. Could be seen as too good to be true, but it isn’t because they have to study hard and do the work to keep the scholarship. Amazing thing to happen, but not handed on a silver platter.
- When you are in God’s will, you have peace about it, even when you’re nervous about stepping out.
- If you are seeking Gods will and asking him to direct your path, then pay attention to the doors that close, and don’t try to push it yourself.
So, let me explain a bit. If a person says, “You got to decide now or you will lose out on your chance” nope, sorry, not God. God is in charge of the entire Universe, he can make sure you have the time to seek him in prayer, and wait for his answer, and since that is what he tells us to do in the Bible. I can say with certainty anything that doesn’t allow that time for prayer and waiting for an answer is not Biblical. But, satan likes to rush us, so we make anxious, uninformed, and reckless decisions. I don’t care what it is; God can make sure it is still an option, if that is what he wants you to do.
If part or all needs to be kept secret, for example someone says, “I need a loan, but can you not tell your wife/husband?” or “we are going to ________, just don’t tell _______, I don’t want to hurt them or what they don’t know won’t hurt them”. Sorry, huge red flag you’re not making a good decision. Bible says to be open and transparent, so we shouldn’t be making decisions we can’t share with people.
If you are really anxious and upset about the decision you are about to make, that is a Red flag. If you prayed/fasted/sought guidance from true faithful Christians (ones you know constantly try hard to be in alignment with the Bible) like a Elder Pastor, and you read the Bible, and waited to hear what the Lord wants, you should feel you are doing what’s right. You may be nervous about what the next step is but, not upset, or anxious. Nervous like, “okay here we go Lord, catch me, guide me”. But when you come to the decision you feel at peace about it. Almost what I would say is relief.
Lastly, the right decision shouldn’t be against Biblical truth, but if it’s not Biblically wrong but it’s legally wrong, it’s wrong. The Bible says that we are to follow Gods laws and direction above all else, including manmade laws IF those manmade laws are in contradiction to the Gods laws and Biblical truth. So, if it’s not against Gods laws, but it is against manmade law, we shouldn’t be doing it. For example, not getting house insurance and car insurance, or speeding or driving without a licence. Well, they are not specifically talked about in the Bible that I know of, but they are laws man has made to keep people safer and accountable. As Christians we don’t get to say “Oh that’s a stupid law I’m not doing that, I shouldn’t have to do that”. The Bible says to follow the authority we have because he chose them. Unless they are wanting you to do something against God or his truth (murder, steal, lie etc) then you must do what God says.
So, there are a few ways to help make decisions. I wanted to share them because I’ve struggled and do struggle with making decisions, as a Christian. I want to do what God wants me to do, and so I can get overwhelmed and confused. The points I make are from the Bible, my Pastor (s), my experiences, and what I believe God revealed to me through prayer. I hope anyone trying to make a big or important decision will get some wisdom from these words, as I believe God gave me them through experience’s so I could share them with you for his glory.
Because God is good, and all the time he is good.