A wise approach to making decisions is a three-step process.
First, realize that you don’t have all the answers and ask the One who does—God—to help you make the right decision.
Second, sincerely want to make the decision according to what His will is in the situation. This is often the hardest part because it requires you to be willing to set aside your own ideas and plans, to seek His will above all things.
Third, receive His answer. It may come through one or more of the following means, which are listed in order of importance and reliability.
God’s Word. The first place to look for the will of God is in His words recorded in the Bible and other inspired Christian writings. His Word provides principles that will help us to make godly decisions and find answers to the questions or problems we will face in life. “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”1
The voice of God’s Word. Have you ever been thinking or praying about something when God brought to mind a certain verse or passage from the Scriptures that shed His light on the issue? Or have you ever been reading the Bible when a verse or passage spoke directly to you, as though it were written just for you in regard to some situation you were facing? God applies His Word to you personally, and you receive the answer you are seeking. “The Word of God is living and powerful.”2
Direct revelation. God can also guide us through dreams and messages we receive directly from Him when He speaks to our hearts, which the Bible calls prophecy. “It shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams.”3
Godly counselors. If you’re trying to find God’s will in a given situation, it is wise to ask advice from others who are established in their faith, have a strong personal relationship with Jesus, and are experienced in His ways. “Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established.”4
Circumstances and conditions. Sometimes obvious circumstances indicate God’s leading. If something is God’s will, He will usually open a door of opportunity that makes it possible. “I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it.”5
Strong impressions or inner conviction. These are sometimes referred to as “the witness of the Spirit.” Feelings can be deceiving, but if God wants you to take a certain course of action, He will sometimes give you a strong desire to do that or an inner conviction that it’s the right thing to do. “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”6
Specific predetermined signs. These are sometimes referred to as “fleeces.” You can sometimes check or double-check your decision by asking God to give you a specific confirmation.
Above all, believe that God loves you and wants to help you make the right decision—the one He knows will be best for you and others in the long run. Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened for you.”7 That’s a promise!
- Psalm 119:105
- Hebrews 4:12
- Acts 2:17
- Proverbs 15:22
- Revelation 3:8
- Psalm 37:4
- Matthew 7:7