Ever struggle to make decisions? I sure do. Recently, someone came to me for advice on making a pretty big decision in their life, and I want to share with you a key thought that came out of the conversation.
Here it is: “Have more confidence in God’s shepherding ability than in your decision-making ability.”
When people make decisions, I often hear, “Well, I’ve prayed about this, and I believe God wants me to . . . .” While this thought is often stated with sincerity, sometimes it is merely a tagline to justify a decision and try and quiet any criticism. Often, the decision was really made before the prayer was even uttered. The reality is that we can deceive ourselves, and we are masters at using “prayer” as an excuse for making poor decisions. The issue is not as much our external manifestations of submission (such as seeking advice or praying), although these are important, but our internal willingness to truly be wherever we can be of most use for the glory of God despite what circumstances that might bring.
Let me say that again more plainly. The issue is with the heart. Am I really willing for “God’s will to be done” regardless of the circumstances so long as it brings him glory?
Sometimes when we make decisions, we pray and pray, hear nothing, and sense nothing. Sometimes a decision has to be made. Sometimes, we are still unsure after we search the Scriptures, pray, and seek advice. Sometimes, we have to move. And yet, as we prepare to move, we are terrified that we are making the “wrong decision.”
Other times, we just know that we are doing the right thing (or so we think). We move with little thought, little prayer, and little counsel. Looking back years later, we realize that we were not walking as close to God as we thought, or possibly, we nailed it and were in the “zone” so to speak.
Either way, our confidence must be in a redeeming shepherding God, not ourselves. While God’s will in particular circumstances may seem very unclear, God has already stated clearly in his word his desire to use us to glorify his name and spread his gospel to the nations.
So, here’s a tip. If we truly, with as much of our heart as we can, want to be wherever God wants us in order to be used for his glory to promote his gospel, then we can have great peace in the midst of that decision.
When you ask God to place you in whatever circumstance will give him glory and promote the gospel, you will have 100% confidence he will answer. When this is sincerely our heart’s desire, we can have great peace. If this is the disposition of our hearts, then we can have great confidence, because God is the gracious Shepherd and a good Father (Ps 23; Matt 7:11). He will guide us.