When faced with a decision, I love a clear “yes” or “no.” I often pray, “Lord, You know what’s best. Please make it obvious to me whether this option is a yes or a no.”
I’m delighted when the answer is crystal clear. Even if a “no” means more hunting, at least I’ve eliminated a dead end. But, what do we do when, unlike Goldilocks, no option seems “just right”?
First, we make sure we are living within God’s revealed will, as explained in the Bible. This eliminates much confusion and many harmful options. We don’t fish for God’s best in a pond He’s marked “No Fishing.”
But some choices deal with areas where there is no apparent biblical instruction, such as the following:
- Do I take this job?
- Do I go on this mission trip?
- Which medical treatment is best for me?
- Which doctor should I choose?
How do we discern God’s will in these types of decisions?
In facing such a choice, I recently heard myself say, “I don’t know what to do.” The words reminded me of the following Scripture. “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you” (2 Chronicles 20:12, NIV).
This reminded me that I don’t have to know what to do. I need to know whom to follow. As I look to God, He directs my steps.
The God who led the children of Israel through the wilderness still leads us today. He used a pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night to guide them. They didn’t know the path, the distance, or the time it would take. They didn’t need to know. They only had to keep their eyes on God. He knew what they needed and when.
Many claim Psalm 23 as a favorite Scripture. Have you considered it when making a decision? It begins, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want” (Psalms 23:1, NASB). Jesus provides exactly what I need. My well-being doesn’t rest on my ability to discern the nuances of His will in a cloudy area. It comes from living under His care.
This Psalm assures me that “He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake” (verse 3). His very reputation rests on how well He takes care of me!
The Good Shepherd wants us to enjoy Him. When we do, He gives us the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4). I believe this means He aligns our desires with His perfect will.
When I’m right with God I can listen to my heart’s deepest longings. For example, in deciding between two jobs, one may appear good, but I’m not drawn to it. Another job has some unknowns, but after exploring and praying, the desire to try it won’t leave.
Why not try it? If it doesn’t turn out like I hoped, it may be the connection to a better place. I may gain skills to prepare me for another opportunity that hasn’t yet appeared. God may want me there to minister to someone at this time in her life. Our shepherd holds our hands. He won’t let us stray too far.
God created us to run on faith, not fear or guilt. Decisions birthed from faith in Christ delight Him and lead us in peace and joy.
The next time you don’t know what to do, try approaching God with the joy and confidence of a well-loved child. Bring Him your dilemma, and ask Him to lead you. Believe He’ll direct your steps as you walk with Him (Psalms 37:23).
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Debbie W. Wilson
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