When you are faced with a decision, what do you do? I love the story of Jacob’s wrestling match in Genesis 32. Let’s consider how we make important decisons. There are decisions in life that are easy to make. When you go to the the store and look for a parking place that is pretty easy. You pick a spot that is close or if you don’t want door dings on your car you park far away from others. Then there are the hard decisions. Decisions that affect you and others close to you. How do you use your faith? How can you be true to yourself?
First, be true to how God made you. You are a person with gifts, talents, and abilities. This is not insignificant. You need to use your intelligence and ability to sort out how your talents can be used most effectively. Will you give glory to your creator? This is true with anyone who is thinking about retirement as well. If you don’t plan to go sit on a porch and rock or go somewhere and just spend the rest of your life golfing – plan to give back. As God has blessed you – go be a blessing.
Second, spend some concentrated time in prayer and ask for some trusted advisors to pray for you and with you. An attitude of trusting prayer is so important to decision making. Listen and don’t just use prayer like a vending machine telling God what you think or what you want. Read Jeremiah 29:11 and consider what that means for you.
Third, analyze the decision. Perhaps your decision is between two good alternatives. What are the pros and cons? You may choose either and it will be good. This is freedom. God gives us much freedom and offers us opportunities. We are not robots programed to do only one thing. All choices have consequences, of course, but not all the consequences will be bad. Once again consider the pros and cons of your decision and seek counsel all along the way. Proverbs 3:5-6 is a great passage to read at this point.
Fourth, be ready to obey God’s direction. Sometimes God will give you clear leadings and they may seem to be a complete surprise. Obey the leading and be ready – God does not always reveal his plan immediately. When God told Abram (Abraham) to “Go,” he just went. It was later that he began to discover all the plans God had for him and his family. Rely on God’s Word to give you comfort as you wrestle. Read Psalm 119:105 and remember that God will shed light on your path.
Fifth, have faith. Decisions take time and come in steps. One decision leads to others. It is a process of trusting God step by step. Faith is realizing that the plan requires you to grow and learn.
Sixth, find encouragers. Connect with people who are nutritious and encouraging in your decision making. There will always be nay-sayers and negative people. Realize that there are many toxic people out there who are ultimately living for themselves and not to glorify God. They do not want what’s best for you. Choose nutritious people to encourage you.
Seventh, act on your decision. Once you have wrestled with the decision, you’ve considered your gifts, you have sought counsel from the Word, you have prayed each step, it’s now time to act. You realize that you want your decision to ultimately please God and strengthen your relationship with God. Our life goal should be to become more intimate with our creator while using the gifts God has given to us. Consider these words as you put your decision into practice, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
Vol 4 #39