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How to make a decision

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.
Proverbs 3:5-6


What are you trying to decide?

Maybe it’s about a job change. Or whether to move to a new place. Or start an exercise program. Or how to avoid a temptation. Or what to do about church.

Every day you have so many decisions to make, big and small. You probably don’t even think about the routine decisions.

But what about the larger decisions?
Here’s one approach to letting God guide you in making a decision.

Step 1
     Tune out unhealthy distractions
You want to hear God better? Then turn down the volume of unwholesome voices. Distractions seep in (or are invited) through TV, movies, advertisements, internet, etc.

Distracting voices also come through ungodly friendships, negative traditions, bad habits, relational patterns with family. Pay attention to what you’re hearing, and eliminate the bad gunk.

Step 2
     Watch for God’s guidance
If you ask him for help, he will answer you.
Have faith in his promise (James 1:5-6). Look for him in his Word. Seek counsel from godly people. Keep your eyes open to circumstances around you. Watch what God is doing to transform your heart to his will.

Step 3
     Ask the right questions

  • Will my decision honor God?
  • Which choice will bring me closer to him? Make me more like him?
  • Is my choice based on biblical truths? Is it the right thing to do?
  • If I delay making a decision, what decision am I making?
  • Can I live with this decision with a clear conscience?
  • How will my decision affect those around me?
  • Which decision will bring peace?

Step 4 
     Wait actively
In the meantime, as you give God time to work, keep worshiping him. Keep serving others. Keep doing the next thing. 

Step 5
     Choose to act
Don’t wait forever to make your decision,
unless that IS God’s answer. Realize that God may not give you 100% certainty. Act in faith and make the decision anyway.

Then thank God for his help and move forward.

1 My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you,
2 turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding,
3 and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding,
4 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure,
5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
Proverbs 2:1-6

* * *

What tips can you share about making decisions?



Liz said...

I like your post today. I love the questions that you say we should ask ourselves. I think if we asked these in a lot of the little decisions we make, we might make different choices. So much of the time I think we just do whatever we feel like doing, and that's not honoring to God.

Kelli said...

I love your post! I love the questions you pose. My filter lately has been, "Would what I'm about to do bring me closer to God or farther away from Him?" We coul add that too!

Lisa notes... said...

I agree. We don’t always think through the little decisions. If we really asked ourselves—is this honoring God or not?—we’d probably see bigger changes in our lives.

Yes. That is a great question to add and one that might make our choices much clearer for us.

Brian Miller said...

nice. many places along the way people get stuck at...i like you questions too...i usually look at my past experience, my present circumstances and future aspirations as well...

Lisa notes... said...

Yes – looking at the past, the present, and the future are all perspectives to be considered. Thanks for the addition.

Nikole Hahn said...

I think you covered it.

Sometimes, I'm too impetious.

Unknown said...

"Active waiting" This is a great concept and helps take the pain out of the waiting process. Some of us need to 'do something' and this is the right kind of 'something'.
Thanks for your insight.

Gertha said...

Lisa, thank you for your post. I read Proverbs 2 in my quiet time today. Everything you posted, lines up with my "renewing the mind" process.

Donna said...

Informative and helpful post, Lisa. Worshiping while waiting speaks to my heart today.

Mommy Emily said...

i love this lisa. and i needed it--step by step. sometimes i don't even realize i'm distracted until it's too late and my soul has shifted. you help me with this. thank you sister. a lovely contribution to imperfect prose. xo

Shosannah said...

What a timely post for me to read:)
We are in the middle of making a big decision about whether or not to keep homeschooling our high school aged daughter!
So much wisdom here. Thank you.

Elisabeth Black said...

Thanks so much for this. I really needed this today.

I'm up for a new job and I keep waffling on whether I want it or not.

Bonnie Gray said...

Lisa, I love Step #4 -- do the next thing. This has helped me so much when I feel like I'm in Step #2 and afraid to even move a toe! ;)

Great post that is so practical. Love that you shared this in the Faith Jam! Thank you!

Madonna said...

I wanted to let you know what a blessing I got from your post. I have been having to struggle with some decisions lately and your post and Kelli's comment really have helped me a lot.

Lisa notes... said...

I’m glad the post blessed you. Sending up a prayer right now for you. It’s hard when we have to make important decisions… May the Lord give you wisdom.


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