What is God's will for your life? Making decisions and trusting God
In our lives we have to make all sorts of decisions. Some of those decisions are big and some are small. Some are made very easily and almost subconsciously while others feel impossible. Also, we all go through seasons of our lives where we aren't even sure what we want. So to make a decision that has any real impact on the direction of our lives can be incredibly overwhelming.
Decisions have a tendency to freak us out because what happens if we choose wrong? What if we pick the wrong major? What if you choose to date or marry the wrong person? What if you are going to the wrong church? What if...?
In our Gathering this past Sunday we spent a little time considering Proverbs 3:5-12 and the question, "What is God's will for your life?".
The bible teaches that the best possible life that is available to us is to line our lives up with the way God says we should live. Verses 5 & 6 of Proverbs 3 say it like this; Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not lean on your own understanding, acknowledge him in all your ways, and He will make your paths straight.
What do you think of when you read in the bible, "He will make your paths straight"?
I think it means to continually, and without wavering, be headed toward your goal. Now, that doesn't mean that the straight path is always the easiest one. It just means that it is the best way to get to where you want to go. The problem is that some of the time, and maybe even most of the time, we don't know where we want to go. The good news is that we aren't left on our own to figure it all out.
This is where trusting God comes in. This is where we all get to breathe out, "lean not on your own understanding". And all God's people said Amen.
But still we have a question to answer. What does God want for you? What is His will for your life? This is the question Matt answered in his sermon on Sunday. The answer to that question from Proverbs 3 is "we learn the will of God from the Word of God". We learn what God wants for us by knowing, understanding, and relying on His Word.
Trusting God at His Word and not relying on ourselves to have it all figured out is how we free ourselves from the weight of all those "what ifs?". And if God specifically says in His Word "don't try to do this on your own, let me help you" I think it is safe to say that he doesn't expect us to get it right all time. The way forward is to trust God believing that his way is better than our way because he knows things that we do not know, rely on His word, learn his will, and to do the best we can.
If you are in the middle of a big decision (big decisions are things like job changes, moving to a different city, getting engaged/married, buying a house, etc.) or you have one coming up in the near future, maybe this will help...
Here are 3 questions to help you make those decisions and give you confidence that you are living out the will of God for your life.
- Does the Bible speak clearly to this issue?
- Not all things in the Bible fall into the category of black and white but some do. If you are trying to decide whether or not to do something that the bible clearly says we should do or not do then you don't have to pray about it. You don't need to deliberate about whether or not you should have sex with a person you are not married to or about making a business decision that results in you cheating someone out of money because the bible speaks clearly to those issues.
- Does the Bible give me a wise decision to make?
- Not all decisions in life will have a chapter and a verse we can go to for an answer. For example, although many people would disagree, no one ever decided to come to the University of Georgia because the bible explicitly told them to. But, the Bible does give us principles and parameters around the decisions we need to make.
- What's at stake?
- In decision making we need to ask ourselves what's at stake. If this is truly a big decision you need to live in questions 1 and 2 until you get clarity on how the Word speaks to and informs the decision you are trying to make.
- If its not a big deal and there isn't much at stake, make a decision the best you can and move forward with confidence.
- Listen to the voice of God and listen to His Word. Listen to Godly people around you and make the best decision you can. Then trust God with the results.
Here are 2 errors we need to avoid when trying to make decisions, big or small.
- Don't go to the Word to hear from God about a decision only to ultimately make the decision on your own. When God speaks you should listen and respond.
- Don't go to the Word with the intent to twist whatever you hear from God into what you want it to say. Many of us become masters of making the bible agree with our own agenda.
How has God used this sermon and Proverbs 3 in your life? Let us know here.