When You Don’t Know What to Do

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.”

He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.

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).

Click here to comment.


Debbie W. Wilson

Sometimes I link to the following great sites: #TestimonyTuesday, #Titus2Tuesday, #IntentialTuesday, #TuesTalk, #Tell it to me Tuesdays, #w2wwordfilledwednesday, #Wedded Wednesday, #Women with Intention,  #LivefreeThursday, #WordswithWinter, #Grace and Truth

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  1. Melanie Redd

    What a practical and encouraging word today, Debbie!

    I love this part, “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 ”

    Your post has blessed me today~

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Melanie. You just blessed me!

  2. Tina Yeager

    Encouragement so many need! Guilt and self-doubt trip us up all the time. Thanks for sharing.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thanks, Tina!

  3. Michelle

    Wonderful-thank you for speaking truth into my life today! We are currently facing several major decisions at the moment-I appreciate your insights, as always.


    • Debbie Wilson

      Michelle, may God grant you joy as you trust Him to light the next step.

  4. Pam

    Love this, Deb! I especially like the last lines about approaching God with the joy and confidence of a well-loved child! Thanks!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Pam! Me too. I want to remember to walk with Him that way.

  5. Ann

    Beautiful Debbie and a post we can all relate to! I find myself in this position of looking to Him (one of my favorite scriptures) on a daily basis. As you said, the answer doesn’t always seem perfectly clear but He always answers. I just have to get quiet and pay attention.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Ann, remembering He leads me quiets my soul; trying to define my future and where things are headed is overwhelming. Reminds me of when Jesus said each day has enough trouble of its own, seek His kingdom instead of worrying over tomorrow. Still pertinent words for me today!

  6. Horace Williams Jr

    Amen Debbie! I love this post! It is that part of Psalm 23 that sometimes is forgotten. even when I recite it in my head. “He leads me on the paths of righteousness for His names sake.” I must admit that this is something that I strive to remember when making those difficult decisions. It is amazing how things become clearer for us when our desire is to seek Him and abide in His will. He did not create robots. He wants us to choose Him. When we choose to put Him first in ALL things, He is pleased and will direct our path for the good! Thank you for sharing this fabulous post. I know I will always be encouraged when I read what God lays on your heart. May God continue to bless you and yours!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Horace, You are so right. “It is amazing how things become clearer for us when our desire is to seek Him and abide in His will.” My heart is able to be happy in the moment when I do. Thank you, dear brother, for your encouragement.

  7. Brenda

    “God created us to run on faith.” Love that, Debbie. Thanks for sharing. ((blessings))

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Brenda.

  8. Beth

    Beautifully said, Debbie. And I love that verse in 2 Chronicles! I’m going to snag that and use it as a reminder! I am going through something of a time like you’ve described. There are two good options but I don’t know quite yet which way the Lord wants us to go. Your words have brought encouragement and enlightenment to that dilemma. Thanks so much, my sweet friend!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Beth. That verse encouraged me greatly. I’ve repeated it to myself whenever fear tried to rise inside of me. Always love hearing from you.

  9. Sarah Koontz

    I love how your first admonition is to search the scriptures for God’s revealed truth and make certain you are following it. I see far too few Christians heeding this advice. The fact of the matter is if you are disobeying God in an area He has revealed to you, there will likely be no additional revelation until you have repented and turned from that sin. It’s so easy to pray and hope for a supernatural intervention or answer, but much more difficult to commit oneself to learning and applying scripture on a daily basis.

  10. Debbie Wilson

    Sarah, I agree. If we really want God’s will, which is always the best plan for our lives, the place to start is where He has already clearly spoken. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Mari-Anna @flowingfaith

    Thanks for this post, neighbor. All of our lives we are searching for God’s guidance. Sometimes it’s easier, sometimes it’s harder. The hardest thing to do is waiting for me. But it is better to wait than go before God I think. Thanks for encouragement for the journey. Blessings to you!

    • Debbie Wilson

      I don’t like waiting either, Mari-Anna! But you’ve got it right. It actually wastes a lot more time going the wrong way and having to retrace our steps!

  12. Anastasia

    Trusting God in our uncertainty is such a test of our faith. We really can rest assured that God will work everything out according to His will and glory!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Amen, Anastasia!

  13. Cindy

    Oh Debbie, your words so ministered to me this morning! My husband and I are in the middle of not only planning a new home but having to tear our old home down. We have agonized and prayed to be doing the right thing. Of course, perfectionist me doesn’t want to make a mistake so I have been praying for a flash of lightning kind of sign. Your words today so resonate with me and remind me to trust in my relationship with God. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with me! Cindy your neighbor at #livefreeThursday

    • Debbie Wilson

      Cindy, I can relate to wanting to make the perfect decision! I’ve learned the hard way being focused on trusting my Shepherd is a lot better and more satisfying!

  14. Crystal Hall

    Debbie, these are great reminders for us to follow as we make choices in our lives that aren’t crystal clear. I read your last post about David and Goliath and I’m glad to hear your hope is resting in the name of God. #LifeFreeThursday

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Crystal!

  15. Michele Morin

    What a great application of Psalm 23-truth! Thanks, Debbie!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Michele. I’m leaning on it now!

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