One of the questions a pastor is most frequently asked is, “What should I do?”
The Bible is the best source of information when it comes to making choices for successful living. Psalm 119:105 (NKJV) says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
God never intended for you to walk through life groping in the dark, squinting to see the answers you need. His desire to help you is made clear in Proverbs 3:5-6 where we are told, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (NKJV)
If you want to make the right choices, you’ll need to lay down any pre-conceived ideas you might have that are not based on the Word of God. While it may seem easier to just do what you think, it is ultimately much less painful – and much more productive – to do it God’s way!
James 1:5 (NKJV) tells us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” Clearly, God is willing and able to reveal His will to you.
So, when you have a decision to make, pray and go to the scriptures to see what God has to say. Here are some helpful questions you can ask yourself as you are seeking His will:
1. Does my decision agree with the Word of God?
“Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4)
Ask yourself: Does it line up with scripture? If the answer to this question is “no”, you don’t need to go any further. God wants you to live by His Word, and He will never lead you to do something that goes against scripture.
2. Has the Holy Spirit given you peace about it?
“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth…”
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…” (Colossians 3:15)
Do you have the inner witness of the Holy Spirit – or in other words, is your decision being directed by God’s Spirit who dwells inside you? Do you have peace on the inside when you think of doing this?
3. Will it edify me?
“Everything is permissible – but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible – but not everything is constructive.” (1 Corinthians 10:23)
Will this decision bring you closer to the Lord or will it draw you away from Him? Will you be built up or edified by this? Is it “on the edge” of God’s will for you or in the center of it?
4. Are you doing it to please God – or other people?
“Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10)
Will the result of this choice bring pleasure to God or will it impress another person? Who are you trying to please by your decision? Each decision you make reflects who you were serving when you made it.
5. Can it be done in love?
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.” (1 Corinthians 16:13-14)
Will the actions that result from this decision clearly show God’s love, or will it reveal that the decision comes out of a heart of anger, bitterness, or jealousy? Does it promote unity, or discord?
6. Will the fruit of this be good?
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” (Galatians 6:7)
Think about it: what are the long-range implications of this choice? Will the fruit be bitter or sweet? Yes, God will forgive if you repent of sin, but do you want to live with the results of this decision? Remember, what you sow, you will also have to eat!
7. Will this cause anyone to stumble?
“Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak.” (1 Corinthians 8:9)
“Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.” (1 Corinthians 10:24)
Have you considered the effect your decision will have on others, or are you thinking only of yourself? Will what you do influence others for good? Even though it may not be a sin, could it cause confusion to a new believer or cause someone to stumble?
8. Have you sought Godly advice?
”Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety. (Proverbs 11:14 NKJV)
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked…” (Psalm 1:1)
When you are having trouble making a decision, it is wise to seek advice from someone whose life reflects God’s wisdom. Don’t listen to foolish people but seek out counsel from someone of Godly character. Don’t take the advice of someone who has a history of making poor choices.
9. Will this glorify God?
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
(1 Corinthians 10:31)
Ask yourself: will this choice bring glory to the Lord or would it in any way dishonor or discredit Him?
10. Is this something you’d want to be doing when Jesus returns?
“So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.” (Matthew 24:44)
Would you be embarrassed or uneasy doing this in the physical presence of the Lord? If He appeared while you were in the midst of this, would His presence make you uncomfortable? This isn’t meant to be legalistic, but it can serve as an indicator of the intent of your heart.
Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” By committing your mind, will and emotions to God, you won’t run the risk of acting independently of Him.
So much of God’s will for us is revealed in His Word. The more you know His Word, the easier it will become to make decisions that are in His will. Then it is a matter of committing it to the Lord in prayer.
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” (1 John 5:14-15)
This truly is the key to receiving what you need from the Lord. When you know His will and pray for those things that are in His will, you will have what you ask for!
About Duane Vander Klok
Duane Vander Klok, Ph.D., and his wife, Jeanie, are passionate about seeing people come into relationship with Jesus Christ and helping believers grow in their love and dedication to the Lord. They live to win people to the Lord and disciple them in the things of God. Pastor Duane is the Lead Pastor at Resurrection Life Church in Grandville, Michigan. He also hosts the Walking By Faith television program and travels in the United States, Latin America, and abroad sharing the Gospel and encouraging the body of Christ.
For more information on Resurrection Life Church in Grandville, Michigan click here.
For more the Walking by Faith Television Program click here.
Devotional Used with Permission