Do you have a job decision to make? A business to build? A relationship to end, or begin? A family to start, or expand? A house or apartment to buy or rent, or not? ♦
I’ve had this image in my mind’s eye for a couple of decades. It’s a visual map of the world with little points of light representing people randomly dotting the continents. I then picture a shadow representing the Holy Spirit moving over the world’s landscape seeking those individuals emitting light. At a closer view, the bright light from these people are coming from the tops of their head, visible only from above.
Those emitting lights are receptive true believers of God. To be clear, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David. The God who sent Christ, His Son, to die a ransom death for all of mankind.
The issue is that there are not as many lights as you would think.
The receptive ones are those that have sold out completely to God and are ready and eager to follow Him wholeheartedly without condition.
To believe is one thing; to surrender all is quite another.
God wants our hearts and our head. In fact, all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. As Christ answered the question about the Greatest Commandment, He states in Matthew 22:37 and Mark 12:30:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”
Okay. But what does this have to do with making big decisions?
Standard Operating Procedure
Do you have a job decision to make? A business to build? A relationship to end, or begin. A family to start, or expand? A house or apartment to buy or rent, or not?
In our lifetime there are many big decisions and smaller decisions. Many have huge implications and impact on the direction and flow of our lives. Most of us make these decisions after some internal analysis (pros and cons) and hopefully wise input from family and friends. If we’re a Christian, we’ll pray about it; typically, “God, help me make the right decision!”
But there’s an inherent problem with this standard practice of decision-making: it’s very human and superficial, spiritually speaking.
But it works. Or so we think, as many of us have had decent lives making decisions this way.
In my youthful ignorance, I used to have a decision-making philosophy of which I was quite proud:
Make a decision, then make it the right decision.
This sounded so strong and attractively bold, particularly in the business community. I was a doer and the one in charge of my destiny. The fact that I was a Christian with this mindset sadly makes the point that I was quasi-rudderless, except for my own Mike-Power. Relative to my lights vision, I was not one of those with the light emitting from the top of my head.
Now combine Mike-Power with the world’s standard operating procedure for making decisions with worldly analysis and inputs, and you’ve got a recipe for a life full of hits and misses, wins and losses.
Flipping the Decision-Making Process
But the Scriptures tell us “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” (Galatians 6:7) Fortunately God is infinitely full of mercy, grace, and patience. He would have that “none should perish” and seeks to strengthen those fully committed to him.
“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” – 2 Chronicles 16:9a
My faith and full commitment to God did mature over time, most specifically over the past 10 years. I now go through a very different decision-making process.
So how can we make better decisions? Here are 4 keys:
- God is the Goal, not Me. I can only seek Him and have a heart fully committed to Him and His will. When I put God first, all other things fall into place, with the right perspective, even worldly things.
- God is the Doer, not Me. I am but a vessel to be useful for His plans and purposes. My gifts and talents are best used under His direction. When I let God lead, I am maximized in my usage, even in this world.
- God Manages Time, not Me. I must wait and release time-tables to the Lord. He is the time-keeper and I am to be patient, even in His silence. When I let go of time, God’s better plans play out.
- God Makes the First Move, not Me. I must not operate in confusion or doubt, only in obedience. He leads the way as I respond to His nudges, instruction and direction. When I carefully listen to Him, I don’t make rash and mistaken decisions.
If I follow these keys to decision-making, then God will be intimately involved. If God is intimately involved in my life, then my life will reflect goodness and light. If my life reflects goodness and light, then God will seek and strengthen me, a life fully committed to Him.
Is your life a light reflecting full commitment to God?
“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.” – 2 Chronicles 16:9a