We all need to make decisions as we navigate through life. Depending on our nature, we might love figuring it all out or it might scare us. For most of us, it’s probably a bit of both.
Personally, I don’t like making decisions. Twice in my adult life I’ve broken down and cried in a food court because there were just too many choices of what to eat for lunch. How sad is that?! If my husband and kids would go along with me, I’d eat the same thing every day simply to avoid having to decide what to prepare. And this says nothing for the bigger choices in life, like where to live, what career choices to make, how to spend my money, and many other things.
At the end of the day, my life will be a collection of my choices and the resultant consequences, good and bad. For me, this realization highlights two things:
- I really need God’s help.
- I also need a plan.
The beauty in all of this is that God is eager to be an active participant if I will allow Him to. If I acknowledge Him, He will direct my path.1 If His Word is in my heart, none of my steps will slide.2 If I hold up His Word, it will be a light to my path and show me the way to go.3 God’s got His part squared away, so what about mine?
A good place to start is to study God’s Word and the standard He’s given us to live by. God’s Word is like reflectors on a dark road. The reflectors show you the divide between the lanes, so you don’t veer into oncoming traffic, and they show you the edge of the road, so you don’t drop off into a ravine. Knowing God’s Word gives you a set of boundaries and provides guidance to help keep you on course.
Sometimes it’s really simple: I know God’s Word tells me to be loving and kind, so asking a question like “What’s the loving thing to do?” can reveal the obvious best choice. But sometimes it’s more complicated, like when all options fall within God’s will, or when I have a strong personal feeling about a situation which affects my decision-making process. It can be difficult to come to a decision that we can be at peace with. But remember that the Bible says He will direct our paths if we acknowledge Him, so we can expect His help and guidance if we ask for it.
Have you heard the saying, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably end up somewhere else”? God’s Word assumes we’ve made plans: “May he grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans.”4
Naturally, just because we have a plan—and even if it aligns with God’s plan—doesn’t mean that it will materialize instantaneously, or without struggle or challenge. If your path is anything like mine, it’s not a straight shot. However, having a general plan, goal, or destination helps me as I make daily choices along my path.
When I come to a fork in the road, my plan helps me know which path to take. When I feel alone in my journey, it helps me remember that I chose this path because of where it would take me. When other paths seem easier, or for some other reason entice me, I remember that this destination is the desire of my heart.
God has a unique plan for each of our lives. Since God created us in His image with free will to make decisions, we get to be active participants in determining and pursuing that plan. If you already know where you’re going, stay close to God’s Word and let it guide you along the path. If you aren’t sure where you’re going, focus on living as God’s Word teaches us to, and God will put His plan in your heart. Once His plan, His desire, is in your heart, you will know what to do.