Have you ever had a dream, a nudge, or idea about something that you thought might be from God? Are you wrestling with a big decision in your life? How do you process? ◊
I believe I’ve made some good and poor decisions in my life. Always with good intentions but not always with consideration of a thoughtful process for decision-making. Certainly not always seeking wise counsel or even deliberate prayer.
While I’ve come a long way over the decades, I have learned that God is patient, loving, and keenly interested in helping develop His naive children who earnestly seek Him, His Word, and His ways.
A Godly Decision-Making Process
While the secular world will advise you to brainstorm or journal or think positive thoughts, the typical Christian advice will be to pray and seek godly counsel. Nothing wrong with any or all of that. It just lacks deeper guidance that goes beyond mere platitudes.
Here’s a 5-part framework for very deliberate decision-making prayer that can bring real substance to your decision making process.∗
- Dream to Vision – the Holy Spirit of God works in the spiritual realm and certainly through our thoughts and dreams. There is ample evidence in the Bible of God communicating to man via dreams, thoughts, visions, and notions (Abimelech, Jacob, Laban, Joseph, Pharoah, Solomon, Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel, Joseph of Nazareth, and Jesus, to name a few). In the context of the first part of this framework, think of a dream as but the preliminary thought that needs to be interpreted. Unfettered, our dreams can lead us into wrong decisions. In this context, a vision is the plan of action to execute the dream that God has given us. So therefore, first pray deliberately that God will give you the vision to execute the dream that He has given you.
- Ministry Alignment – if the idea and plan is from God, then He has helpers, angels, administrators and facilitators of the plan that need to be brought together and aligned. You’ve probably had the past experience of key people, partners, situations all coming together in an uncanny way to bring some good thing to fruition. God is real and His movements should not be casually relegated to mere coincidences in life. Do not underestimate the power of key real and spiritual alliances. Therefore, pray deliberately that God will bring together and align all the necessary and key elements, angels, helpers, and players to help you execute the plan.
- Movement of God’s Purpose – if God wants something done and has implanted ideas and dreams in us that should beget an executable plan, then we better act on it and get it done. Many a dream turned vision, with godly forces and people in place, have floundered or failed to launch because of inaction, fear, procrastination, hesitation or other obstacles that halt the movement of God’s purpose. Therefore, now pray deliberately that God will drive you to move purposely to follow through and effectively execute God’s purpose and plans.
- Superimposing of God’s Will – now beyond your own proactive actions, anything done in this world’s physical realm is actually played out in the midst of this world’s spiritual realm. And there are spiritual forces that are against the will of God and His Kingdom here on earth. (The power of our spiritual enemy is revealed in the depth of our ignorance of that power.) The evidence is throughout all of Scripture of God’s supernatural spiritual existence in the real context of His creation’s physical existence. As we have been instructed by our Lord to pray for God’s will to play out in our realm as He would have it in His realm – “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” – we need to call upon that in the context of our executable God-inspired plan. Therefore, also pray deliberately that God’s will and ways will be superimposed on this plan so that nothing in the physical and spiritual realms can stand against it.
- Atmosphere of Rest – as God rested on the 7th day after His good work of Creation and established a discipline of rest or sabbath for the original Hebrew nation, through which He ultimately brought salvation to all mankind via Jesus, any God-led executable plan should also be good, blessed and permeated with God’s atmosphere of rest. While hard work needs to be worked, the fruit of God-blessed initiatives should be good and full of peace and joy. Strife and conflict should be overcome with tempered patience, love, gentleness and self-control. Workloads, marriages, and family relationships should be healthy and balanced. Therefore, also pray deliberately that you will not lose God’s rest, peace, and pleasure in the process of executing God’s good will.
Towards What End?
Here’s another consideration for Godly decision-making. If this is the How (to do it), do not lose sight of the Why (do it at all) nor the What (the result).
That is, while this 5-part framework (the How) will no doubt improve the execution of a plan led by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, do not be caught up in the common Christian trap of checklists and to-do’s that can overwhelm our good intentions.
Rather, be grounded in our very existence as a new creation in Christ (the Why). As one who does all things for the sake of our obedience to God, not out of our own ambition or prosperity or recognition, be therefore diligent in our purpose and actions aligned with God’s purpose and direction for each of our lives. All other things are secondary.
Therefore, if we execute well out of that good foundation, then the result or fruit (the What) of our labors will be good and manifest a multiplied harvest, not for our own glory but for the glory of God, our good and loving Father who blesses us, His fruit-bearing children.
Is God thoroughly embedded in your decision-making?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. – Galatians 5:22-25
∗ NOTE: This 5-part framework came to me via the God-inspired conversations with my friend, Osi Aigbokhaode, who actively seeks the will of God and models godly decision making.
Categories: Abundant Living, Calling, Creation, Devotion, Discipleship, Faith, Fathering, Forgiveness, Jesus, Manhood, Marketplace, Marriage, Parenting, Prayer, Purpose
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