Three Tools to Help in Making Godly Decisions - Part 2
In our previous bulletin, we saw how prayer is an important tool to use when we are striving to make godly decisions. One of the things we might struggle with at times when it comes to praying about a decision is the question, “How do I know what God’s answer is to my prayer regarding this decision?” God does not speak to us directly today as He may have done in times past (Hebrews 1:1-2). God does not directly revealing His will to us in some mystical manner. If we want to know what God’s answer to our prayer regarding an important decision might be, there are a couple of ways we might be able to determine His answer. God can cause doors of opportunity to providentially close and such may be an answer to our prayer. However, it would always be good to remember not to be too certain God was the one involved but to use the language of, “perhaps” (Philemon 15), or, “who knows” (Esther 4:14). Another way God may supply an answer to our prayers regarding a decision is through the guidance He gives us in His revealed word (2 Timothy 3:16-17). If prayer is where we are talking to God, then one could say Bible study is where God is talking to us.
Bible study can help us make some decisions very easily. As we study the Bible we become able, “to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:14, NKJV). A person may need to make a decision about whether to go to the dance, whether to watch a certain movie, listen to a certain song, wear a certain outfit, etc. There are times where knowing what God’s word teaches on these sorts of subjects can make it a lot easier to make a decision. When the Bible identifies a certain action as wrong, then it becomes easy to know what decision to make if we are striving to make a godly decision.
One of the great things about consulting the Bible before making a decision is it helps us to not rely solely on our own unaided wisdom. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understand; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (NKJV). Many people today may advise people facing a decision to simply follow their heart. However, God’s word teaches us it is not a good idea to just trust our heart. Proverbs 28:26 says, “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered” (NKJV). Twice in the book of Proverbs we are also told, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25, NKJV). Bible study provides us a means to check and see whether our thinking is lining up with godly principles or is our thinking being led by something else.
Occasionally, we are facing a decision where neither option is inherently sinful of itself. When we have decisions like that, it is sometimes tempting to wish God would just come out and tell us directly what it is we ought to do. Yet we can think about such situations in a more positive manner if we recognize God has given us some freedom and liberty to make choices in certain areas based on what we want while respecting godly principles. Paul wanted Apollos to go to Corinth but Apollos would not do it at that time (1 Corinthians 16:12). This demonstrates there are certain decisions where there is not something which is required but where we have some liberty. When we face decisions where we have some amount of liberty, I do believe Bible study can be helpful in supplying us with principles we may need to consider. God’s word does not tell you specifically who you ought to marry. God’s word does describe for us the type of character an individual will have who will make a good spouse though. God’s word does not tell us specifically where to live or what particular job to work at. God’s word does contain principles which might help us understand what sort of places would be better than others to live at or what sort of jobs would be easier or more challenging for a Christian to do.
When we are making a decision, let’s make sure one of the options is not something the Bible condemns. If neither option is inherently, let’s not forget to think about whether there are Bible principles which might help us in making a wiser decision. In order to accomplish these steps, we need to be studying the Bible as we make decisions about what we are going to do in this life. Let’s make sure everything we do is authorized by Jesus Christ our Lord (Colossians 3:17)!