Do you ever wish God would come down and tell you exactly what He wants you to do? I remember feeling that way five years ago when I first considered writing a Bible study on emotional eating. I kept waiting for a sign – or at least a feeling – that He wanted me to write the book.
I never got it. In the end I wrote the study out of gratefulness to God for what He had done in my life and a desire to help others.
It wasn’t until later that I realized what I really wanted from God was a guarantee that my time wouldn’t be wasted – that it would be worth the effort in terms of lives changed and books sold.
No wonder God didn’t give me confirmation.
Too often we say we want to know God’s will, but what we really want is a guarantee that life will be good. Or that our efforts won’t be in vain. At other times, we really do want to know God’s will but we have a hard time seeing what His will is.
Here are a few questions that I hope will help for either situation. They can also be found in the Renewing of the Mind Project, along with some helpful Bible verses. Write the answers in your journal and see what God says to you as you write:
Decision Making and God’s Will
- Why are you having a hard time making this decision?
- Are you caring about the same things God cares about? Explain.
- Do you have enough information to make a good decision?
- If not, what information do you need to gather?
- What do others that you respect think about your potential decisions?
- Are you doing this because it’s expected of you, or do you actually think it’s a good thing to do?
- What are your other options?
- Does the Bible speak at all to your decision?
- Yes: If so, what does it say? Are you willing to do what the Bible says even if you have to sacrifice to do it?
- No: If not, does God give you the freedom to make your own decision?
- Do you think God would prefer one choice over another? If so, why?
- How will you know if you’ve made a good decision? (Remember, the idea that you should expect everything in life to go smoothly is an American concept, not a biblical concept.)
- Is this one of those situations where you can’t really know what’s best?
- What’s the worst thing that can happen if you make what appears to be the wrong decision?
- Can God redeem bad decisions?
- What will have to sacrifice or accept to make this decision and not keep second-guessing yourself?
- What can you thank God for in this situation? (Note: Once you make your decision, focus on being thankful for the good things about the option you chose.)
Possible things you’ll need to accept with decisions: That you can’t always make perfect decisions, that you can’t always know what’s best, that you can’t always make everyone happy, and that you can’t guarantee a good outcome to your decisions (in other words, no matter how hard you work, you might not get the results you want).
Possible things you’ll need to confess with decisions: Caring more about other things (comfort, great lifestyle, what other people think, relationships, easy life, etc.) than you do about God, a self-focused, indulgent approach to life.
Click on the picture to the left if you’d like to print these questions out. Thanks to my friend Melanie who made this printable for me! Melanie is a Christian psychologist who blogs on homeschooling and time management. She has some great resources on her blog, including a free Once-And-For-All-Meal-Plan book. Click here to check out her blog.