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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Six Steps for Biblical Decision-making

In review of Proverbs 28:26 it says, “A man is a fool to trust himself! But those who use God’s wisdom are safe.”

Bottom Line:
It’s foolish to trust yourself, those who use God’s wisdom are safe and will do all right.

What this means to me:
It’s foolish for me to rely on my own insight, instead I should be safe and follow the teachings of wiser people.

God gave Moses the dream of leading the children of Israel out of 400 years of slavery, but Moses had to make the decision to confront Pharaoh. God gave Noah the dream of saving the world from the flood, but Noah had to make the decision to build the ark. God gave Abraham the dream of building a new nation, but Abraham had to make the decision to leave everything he had and go out into the unknown.

Just like these men, I will never realize God’s dream for my life until I come to the stage of decision-making and step out in faith.

Whether it’s about my career, marriage, finances, health, or children, there is a simple, workable plan for making biblical decisions that will keep me on track toward pursuing God’s dream for my life.

Step 1 - Pray for guidance.
Before I do anything else, I should get God’s perspective on the issue. “A man is a fool to trust himself! But those who use God’s wisdom are safe” (Proverbs 28:26 TLB).

Step 2 - Get the facts.
There is no contradiction between faith and fact. Find out everything I can before making a decision. Proverbs 13:16 says, “All who are prudent act with knowledge” (NIV).

Step 3 - Ask for advice.
Talk to somebody who’s made a similar decision and friends who know my weaknesses. “The more good advice you get, the more likely you are to win” (Proverbs 24:6b GNT).

Step 4 - Calculate the cost. Every decision has a price tag; it will cost time, money, energy, reputation, talents, and resources. Proverbs 20:25 says, “It is a trap to dedicate something rashly and only later to consider one’s vows” (NIV). When people pressure you to make a decision, it’s OK for me to say, “I’ll get back to you.” It’s more important to make a wise decision than a quick decision.

Step 5 - Prepare for problems.
In faith, expect the best. Expect God to work in your life. But also prepare for the problems that are part of every decision. Solomon said in Proverbs 22:3, “A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences” (TLB).

Step 6 - Face your fears.
Perfectionism paralyzes potential. God has always used imperfect people in imperfect situations to get his will done. Ecclesiastes 11:4 says, “If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.” I have to trust God and start moving in spite of my problems, fears, and doubts.

In retrospect, I think I’m hesitant at times to pray or ask God for direction because I’m afraid it may not always be what I personally wanted or how I wanted it to go. There are also times when I think my thing is not important enough to bother God with it. When it comes to getting counsel from others, often just the logistics of getting with someone and the timing of when you need to make a decision end up affecting the ability to do this. However, honestly I think this is also coupled with the fear that I may hear something I may not want.

Lately I believe the step that’s been most difficult for me is step 3, asking for advice. I just need to learn to be open to things I might now be willing to look at or accept. Also now that I have moved it will be more a little more difficult since I do not have a local base quite yet that I can draw on. If I run into a situation, I can always reach out and contact those I know from the past. I end my time this morning asking for God’s help in making me open to following these steps and taking them to heart.