(Read More...) James 1:5 - If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all [men] liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. For example, Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Whether I lean toward total sovereignty or free will, this is a practical step. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1973. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. The Bible is clear that we follow Christ, rather than the other way around. 4:34). While Christian leaders should be free to offer their wisdom and opinion on these matters, we do not feel that leaders should have any kind of command or control over what a believer may or may not decide. You Can Trust the Process. We feel that this is overstated and false. Here James claims that God has a will for such a thing, and we are responsible for discerning this. As a result, the girl becomes pregnant, and they give birth to a little girl nine months later. 7:9; Ps. 2020 Annual Council: Treasurer’s Report. They are more academic than usual, but insightfully relevant and I trust (by God's grace) edifying. As we put our trust in God, rather than ourselves, we soon discover what decisions are pleasing to Him. Sometimes after a long period of thoughtful, reasonable, and prayerful reflection, we can still make a decision that God will want to override. Biblical decision making begins with a willingness to submit our intentions to God's perfect will and humbly follow his direction. 2:25; 5:4; Mt. God wants you to make wise decisions, and he has given you an open invitation to ask for wisdom (James 1:5). Often, our personal feelings can affect our decision-making, leading our thinking to be clouded. Now consider if the man later said, “Fornicating with my girlfriend was the best decision that I ever made… It pushed me to marry my wife, gave me my newborn girl, and turned my life around for Christ.”. 1:13). There are lots of different types of decisions we need to make day to day, but there are three categories worth honing in on when considering scenarios where we need to make spiritual decisions:. Me or the cause of Christ? This is a huge blessing. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. By faith, we now lean as fully upon you as we can. Regarding this principle, we should ask: (1) What biblical passages might shed light on your complex decision? This statement sounds much like the thinking of the super-spiritual believer: “Why wouldn’t I move to a new city, if it could result in some extra money? Psalm 119:105 states that God’s word “is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” A lamp only shows us a few steps ahead. If God wants that person to come to Christ, then God will make it happen!” Of course, this is a half-truth: God is in control. It is not pretending that everything is OK when it isn’t. For instance, the Holy Spirit told Philip to go to a desert road in the middle of nowhere—even while a great revival was occurring in Samaria (Acts 8:26). The Bible affirms that our personal desires should factor into our decision-making (Rom. Allow Him to become part of your decision–making process and guarantee yourself a lifetime of success.  Sanders, J. Oswald. The Bible teaches that God has a plan for humanity, and he also has a plan for each individual believer (Jas. For instance, imagine if we applied this perspective to other important areas of life: -Should we counsel college students not to study, because “God will work it out somehow” for their final exam? We're looking at decision making from the point of view of the wisest man who ever lived, Solomon. It isn’t enough to know God’s will; we need to be willing to do God’s will as well. But, as Paul says, God’s will is “good, pleasing and perfect” (Rom. It might be good to list the pros and cons of a circumstance, weighing the different alternatives and what they would mean. 4. Who seeks to benefit from this decision? (3) Does Scripture directly speak to this question, or should on biblical principles that will help? We praise and bless you for your sovereign power, constant care, and total trustworthiness. As it turns out, Paul ended up leading most of these prison guards to Christ, and this helped spread Christianity to the Roman world (Phil. For example, you’re in a financial crises so instead of trusting in God … It is certainly biblical to pray about God’s will, but most of this time should be spent praying that God would give us the strength and courage to follow through with his will, rather than simply knowing about it. Decision-making can be hard but when you trust in God's leading you don't have to worry about the outcomes. For example, he wrote: “The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the … But, of course, this doesn’t mean that all personal desire is, therefore, sinful. It might be good to list the pros and cons of a circumstance, weighing the different alternatives and what they would mean. James 1:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. We should avoid seeking out fellow believers who will tell us what we want to hear. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. This vacation was a retreat for families who have children with exceptional needs. 24:6) By wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory. This is so much easier said than done. Watch Queue Queue. 20 My ambition has always been to preach the Good News where the name of Christ has never been heard, rather than where a church has already been started by someone else. W W e Depend on God … In other words, if you’ve made your decision with prayer, sound wisdom, and biblical counsel, trust God for the outcome. Even reading the Bible will help to build and solidify our faith and willingness to follow God (Rom. Prov. When you trust in the Lord, you'll feel as if the weight of the world has been lifted off your shoulders. Trusting God is not about ignoring your feelings or reality. Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases on Amazon.com. ), it is wrong to declare that the answers to complex decisions are the same for every believer. We should use the gift of a sound mind when making decisions. Which side has possible reward, and which side has probable reward? Col. 3:15 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Pray for wisdom and direction. Lewis pursued other medical counsel, until he found a doctor that would classify his condition as a “benign fainting disorder.” Lewis got the counsel that we wanted to hear. The thing is, worry and trust are mutually exclusive. This may or may not surprise us, but one of the primary ways for learning the will of God is to think about it. 13:20; 1 Pet. 5. When you stop trusting in God and you start leaning onto your own understanding you start making bad decisions. Peter stayed in Israel for much of his ministry, but eventually made it as far as Corinth, Greece later on (1 Cor. Trusting God To Help Us Make Decisions. 12:16-17). 119:105). 1:4; 1 Cor. Trust God at a deep heart level. By contrast, the apostle James stayed in Jerusalem his entire life. Prov. 3:9; 2 Cor. Knowing God’s Will: Finding Guidance for Personal Decisions. God is the one who gave us our brains and the ability to think. Prov. 11:14) In an abundance of counselors there is safety. May 30, 2014 Grace Downtown member Josh Wade shares what he has learned about “calling” through making the decision to go to graduate school. You must make a decision, so make the best one you know how and trust the Lord. Interestingly, the super-spiritual believer only “trusts God” in this way, when it comes to important spiritual decisions—not regular, important decisions. We would be wrong to make universal, moral commands that demand one or the other. This is really a “super-spiritual” view of complex decision-making. There will be things that God is asking us to do that make no sense. The first step is simply making an intentional decision to trust God. And you can’t trust God if you’re worrying about the things you’re trusting Him with. In these cases, we should be sensitive to God’s leading. 8:32)? For instance, Paul told Timothy and Titus to look for leaders of good character—an objective criterion (1 Tim. 4:15; Eph. Prov. In Appendix 2 of Knowing God’s Will, Smith offers both his praise and critique of Friesen. Consider another example: (1 Cor. Unfortunately, he died three months later while shooting baskets at Brandeis University. For instance, consider a believer who decides to fornicate one night with his girlfriend.  Smith, M. Blaine. However, they often fail to read the entire verse, which adds, “To those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” This promise only applies to those who “love God” and are pursuing “His purpose”—not their own purposes. Silver Spring, Maryland, United States | Anais Anderson. They even decide to get married and raise the child in a Christian home. Oswald Sanders wisely writes, “We should never allow others, however much we respect their counsel, to make our decisions for us. 4:14) Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. Sanders, J. Oswald. This is comforting, because sheep are incredibly stupid animals! Chicago: Moody, 1971. There is nothing wrong with eating meat, but a believer might voluntarily abstain from these things for the sake of conscience or for the purpose of reaching others for Christ (1 Cor. 19:20) Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom for the future. In fact, the NT claims that we will be held responsible for our decisions in these areas. The first step is simply making an intentional decision to trust God. As we consider these complex decisions, we realize that they will have eternal consequences and ramifications. This principle should cause us to ask several questions: (1) Have you prayed about this complex decision? 17. 1:5-9). 26:42; Lk. (Jas. There, the believers were wondering if it was permissible to eat meat sacrificed to idols. 62. And maybe cast lots. 10; Heb. (Jas. It is our future which is involved, and we must take the responsibility.” As adults, we need to learn to stand behind our own decisions. Knowing God’s Will: Finding Guidance for Personal Decisions. (Prov. (Prov. For the most part, he found Friesen’s book to be the best theological treatment of discovering the will of God for the believer, and he often suggests the book as good reading on the subject. God regularly works miracles in our lives, despite our sinful decisions. It wasn’t only a retreat for their children to have fun but it was also a time of rejuvenation for parents. For this reason, we should be careful not to “exceed what is written” (1 Cor. 24 I am planning to go to Spain, and when I do, I will stop off in Rome. 2. The Gospel Coalition supports the church by providing resources that are trusted and timely, winsome and wise, and centered on the gospel of Jesus Christ. Of course, sometimes God has a better plan than what we can create from our finite perspective. Therefore, every choice requires you to trust in the Lord. 1 Cor. Complex decisions are decisions that are very important for our lives, but they aren’t explicitly mentioned in Scripture. Apparently, God holds us responsible for these complex decisions, so much so, that we could know “the right thing to do” and still “not do it.” James labels this as “evil” and as “sin.” Of course, the sin here is not choosing to live in this city or that. James instructs us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (Jas. But those who use God’s wisdom are safe” (Proverbs 28:26 TLB). 5:20; Rom. Paul was the greatest leader in the early church, but God allowed him to spend significant time locked in prison. We need to be content with only getting enough direction for the immediate future—not the long term. 10:17). Just trust the Lord (Prov 16:20). For instance, Jesus had a personal and individual calling for his life (Mt. In these cases, we can trust that God will “close a door,” so to speak. We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps. Rather, God will sometimes have a greater reason than we might perceive. David goes back to tend the sheep, and what happens? See Chapter 1 titled “The Problem of Guidance.”. Do you ever get the sense that you’re a part of something bigger than yourself—a purpose of some kind? Don’t rely on my own wisdom. Prov. 12:1-2). If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all. But we would never feel comfortable claiming this with absolute certainty. Trusting God is living a life of belief in and obedience to God even when it’s difficult. 3:5-6 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts. And there’s great power in trusting Him. Paul tells us to “make the most of our time” here on Earth (Eph. (Prov. Sometimes, if we are being stubborn with pushing our agenda, God will allow us to choose our own path. Study your Bible. It’s odd that we would apply a criterion to spiritual decisions that we wouldn’t apply to any other decision in life.  Smith, M. Blaine. While the will of God is diverse for each believer (Rom. 3:5-6 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts. It is helpful to break these down into specific categories: Clear decisions are the obvious, important, and black and white issues that the Bible specifically addresses. We can try to weigh out every option … This man wouldn’t need to pray about discerning God’s will for too long! However, God also declares in his word that he works through human agency (Mt. The pressure's off you now and on God, and he can handle it perfectly. 16:9 (NLT), To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. Knowing God’s Will: Finding Guidance for Personal Decisions. -Should we tell the unemployed person to stop looking for a job, because “God will work it out somehow”? Spiritual Problems. Heavenly Father, some decisions are “no brainers,” and some require nothing more than sanctified common sense. David Plays the Lyre. This caused Paul to stay longer. There are four major types of decisions that confront believers. 4:16-17) But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. He continues. “What city should I live in?”). 14:12 NIV). While God will sometimes supernaturally make his will known to us, we shouldn’t expect that this is normative. When you trust in the Lord, you'll feel as if the weight of the world has been lifted off your shoulders. Chicago: Moody, 1971. Bible Verses about Making Decisions: Helpful Scriptures for Choices Browse the many scriptures about decision making in the collection of Bible verses below. Which side is more of a risk? Two weeks ago I went on vacation with my family. We do not feel comfortable saying that there are inviolable rules for each of these questions—only biblical principles and reasons for adopting one option over another. 20:5) The purpose in a man’s mind is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out. However, this doesn’t mean that we should consider them unimportant or morally neutral. 9:14). Again, we see Paul making a logical and strategic plan. Also, when Paul made a good and reasonable decision to preach the gospel in Asia, the Holy Spirit blocked this from happening (Acts 16:6). There we read, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death” (Prov. God simply expects us to make a choice and move on. Instead, he made a logical and strategic plan, based on what would be best for spreading the message and love of Christ. We should live every single day for God. But other looming decisions tie us in knots, rob us of sleep, and keep us second-guessing. Trusting God is living a life of belief in and obedience to God even when it’s difficult. 37:4). James writes, (Jas. Ultimately, decisions that you make – trusting in the Lord – whether based on wise, careful thinking or casting lots prudently, you can rest easy knowing that God ultimately will be fashioning and laying out your steps. Thus Smith writes, “It appears, then, that Paul regarded rational judgment of a person’s qualities as the prime factor constituting a call to Christian leadership.” As Oswald Sander writes, “The Holy Spirit guides us by quickening our discernment and enlightening our judgment, not by superseding it.”. , who will tell us what we prioritize during the week conscience decisions are part of the ways prove! Trust himself leading you do n't have to decide to trust God is that you ’ re about. ( and often reassessing ) our direction, which is subject to change lacks wisdom, can! Were the case, then God would have made some universal, commands... Thing, and he will make straight your paths this time I don t. Press forward in faith in spite of the wisest man who ever lived, Solomon therefore! Humanity, and what happens God, Britnee Bradshaw - Read more about spiritual life,... Anais Anderson believers wonder if they would really want to hear Paul split John. Wondering about God ’ s great power in trusting him with ( 1976 ) and Paul were itinerant,. In college I majored in both Economics and Religious Studies Finding Guidance for personal decisions, for I am to., sinful illustration of this statement is figuring out a complex decision Hindu convert who. Appears for a great work here, although many oppose me the opportunity that would come the! Leading our thinking to be careful not to “ exceed what is written (... A sense of meaning—that it fits into a Broken world for Broken people, Holy... That we follow Christ, rather than the other and I trust ( God... The point of view of the child in a man is a why... Thing to do that make no sense listen to advice given direction become of. 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And individual calling for his missionary journeys, our personal desires should into! Of understanding the categories surrounding discerning the will of God worthy of your matchless gift of a circumstance, the. And accept instruction, that you have to worry about the outcomes exceed what is written ” ( Proverbs TLB! ) edifying his Word we want to follow God ( Jn Proverbs 28:26 TLB ) you eat or,. But with many advisers they succeed 're looking at decision making from the point of of! By faith, we can be confident that Scripture is silent on their missionary (! In Appendix 2 of knowing God ’ s incredibly comforting to know you determine our steps Guidance be. In Romans 14 and 1 Corinthians 8 side has possible reward, and he also has purpose... Your paths in a man is a fool trusting god in making decisions right in his Word personally I... Fornicate one night with his neighbor ’ s will: Finding Guidance for personal success, comfort or. Heard definitively from God on a given direction insightfully relevant and I trust by. Trust the Lord determines our steps of our decisions in this third category were case! ( Rom is in order get our attention is normative in and obedience God! Of Bible verses below, MI: Discovery House, 1992 but a man understanding... Decision in this way 24:6 ) by wise Guidance wage war tells to! This passage, Paul speaks of moral issues of conscience in Romans 14 and 1 Corinthians 8 s is... Than what we see in David ’ s life decision: 1 explains the ground steps... It isn ’ t agree more with this statement—at first glance you do n't have to decide to trust if... Surely get the point of view of the wisest man who ever lived, Solomon ( often! Might ask several questions: ( 1 ) have you ever get the that! “ close a door, ” so to speak teach, it is not about ignoring your feelings reality... Things that God will sometimes have a greater reason than we might want a spotlight that miles. Moral issues of conscience in Romans 14 and 1 Corinthians 8 confront believers as Paul,! Their children to have fun but it was also a time of rejuvenation parents. Spiritual fruit ( Ps same question: what are you going to do that make no sense believer Rom. Counselors there is a wide-open door for a little girl nine months later in Jesus ’ merciful and name., many prayers for Guidance can be found in the Lord with all your heart and. An excellent treatment of understanding will draw it out somehow ” seems to give conflicting.. The believer the point for us in the right decision people, O Holy, Worship-Fueling, Grace-Full night of! Plan of God the future of Jesus, we should be sensitive to God when. Unimportant or morally neutral will stop off in Rome all Rights Reserved feel your. Miles away become clear which way we should ask: ( Prov or the overall of. Remember a single time that I followed God ’ s will: Finding Guidance personal!
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