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 our situation.
- Detail the outcomes we prefer.
- Thank him for his trustworthiness.
- Submit our 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 our 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 we have several equally good options, choose the most appealing one.
- Implement our selection as best we can under the circumstances.
- Permit God to adjust our plans along the way, as he sees fit.
- Trust him to produce a good outcome ultimately.
Following this protocol will not protect us from every adverse outcome. We live in a fallen world in which evil harms all reborn believers.
But using it for significant decisions will help us walk in harmony with God.
Sometimes God seems unresponsive when we seek his guidance. He may be silent for one or more reasons.
- 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.