How do we navigate the uncertainties of life and make sensible decisions that are consistent with God’s will?
After all, he rarely provides explicit directions about the situations we encounter. And the Bible does not specifically address every difficulty we face.
God has given us an array of temporal and spiritual resources to help us make good choices, including our minds and experience, the knowledge of other people, Biblical principles, and the Holy Spirit.
He expects us to utilize these provisions to the extent we can and exercise logic and faith in our decisionmaking.
Here is a useful protocol to follow for important decisions:
- Tell God about your situation.
- Detail the outcomes you prefer.
- Thank him for his trustworthiness.
- Submit your preferences to his will.
- Ask him for guidance, direction, and discernment.
- Search the Bible for pertinent insights.
- Gather all relevant knowledge from secular sources.
- Evaluate this information in light of your experience and the advice of wise counsel.
- Identify all the possible courses of action, one of which may be to do nothing.
- Use sound judgment to select what appears at the time to be the prudent alternative. If several good options are available, choose the most appealing one.
- Implement your selection as best you can under the circumstances.
- Permit God to adjust your plans along the way, as he sees fit.
- Trust him to ultimately produce a good outcome.
Following this protocol will not protect you from every adverse outcome. We live in a fallen world in which the ripple effects of evil harm all reborn believers.
But using it for significant decisions will help you walk in harmony with God.
Sometimes God seems unresponsive to our pleas for guidance. What should we do then?
The next step is to pull back and reexamine our situation from a fresh perspective. God may be silent for discernible reasons.
Here are some possibilities.
- He is waiting for us to align our will with his.
- He is waiting for the opportune time for us to move forward.
- We do not need new wisdom. He has already disclosed his insights in the Bible.
- We already know what to do from previous experience.
- We know other people who know what to do.
- We can figure out the solution by applying logic and common sense.
God may also let our perplexities persist because our search for answers will draw us close to him.
He knows we will eventually comprehend his excellence in new ways and at deeper levels through our struggle.