A Detailed Strategy for Making Decisions
BIG IDEA: God’s will is that we live God’s way as revealed in God’s Word
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In this series, we’ve already dismantled a defective view of God’s will and defined God’s will for our lives. As a result, we know what His will is NOT and also what it is; now we turn to the challenge of learning how to allow God’s Word to guide us as we make decisions that are sure to honor and bring glory to Him.
Wise decisions are the result of answering the right questions, so here are nine questions to guide us, broken into three categories: Vertical (in relation to God), Personal (in relation to our own hearts), and Relational (in relation to others).
Does God’s Word speak to this decision? James 1:22
The truth is, God’s Word speaks to every decision. It either prescribes (tells us specifically what to do or not do), describes (gives an example), or implies (provides a broad guideline). As we spend time in Scripture, we can find direction.
Will this bring glory to God? 1 Corinthians 10:31
All that we do should give evidence of the existence of God. Our relationships, our education, our vocation, our finances, our sexuality - every decision we make is an opportunity to bring glory to God before the eyes of a watching world.
Is this the decision Jesus would make? 1 Peter 2:21
As Christians, we are called to be people who follow Jesus. The four Gospels include many examples of how Jesus handled disappointment, how He trusted God, how He prayed, how He handled finances, and more. We can’t go wrong by following in Jesus' footsteps.
Could this eventually enslave me? 1 Corinthians 6:12
If we are to live under the power of the Holy Spirit, we have to take care not to be enslaved to any other power or person. While many things are not overtly sinful, if taken to excess they still could enslave us.
Am I confident this is right? Romans 14:22-23
A more mature Christian may feel freedom to pursue a course of action that a less mature Christian may find troublesome. If you’re not confident it’s right, then it’s wrong for you.
Am I breaking any previous commitments? Psalm 15:4
Our culture tends to be commitment-phobic but as people of God we are called to keep our commitments, even if it hurts. Christianity is (and always has been) counter-cultural.
Is this a loving decision? 1 Corinthians 16:14
The call to love will inform some of our most difficult decisions. A wise decision honors God and positively impacts others; a decision that benefits us individually but hurts those around us is not loving, and therefore not wise.
Will this cause another to struggle spiritually? Romans 15:1-3
We live in a self-obsessed culture where it seems the only sin is self-denial. But just because we CAN do something doesn’t mean we should. We have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak and not just please ourselves.
Have I thought through all the consequences? Proverbs 3:13-15
Some decisions aren’t necessarily sinful, they’re just stupid. Making wise decisions means thinking through the immediate AND long term consequences so that we can avoid the devastation of negative consequences.
God’s will is that we live God’s way as revealed in God’s Word.
If we want God’s Word to be our guide for the decisions we make, we have to read the Bible for ourselves. Then as we become people of the Word, we’ll stop hunting for the elusive “center of God’s will” and have wisdom to live in freedom within the revealed will of God.