Tuesday, 13 October 2015

HOW TO BE WISE IN DECISION MAKING

Trusting His wisdom and acknowledging Him in our plans

As believers, when we make important decisions such as switching jobs, going into “full-time” ministry, buying a house or migrating, we need to seek God and commit the decision-making process to Him.

                                                                      

Here is a prayer asking God to guide us. It is implied that we trust His wisdom and acknowledge Him in all our plans and decision making.


  • Lord, we declare that You are the almighty God who alone knows what is best for our  lives (Jeremiah 10:23).

      
  • We acknowledge that You have a specific will for every child who calls You, “Father”. And that you are more than willing to show Your perfect will to us (Jeremiah 1:5, Romans 11:29, Acts 17:26).


  • We want to live purposefully and intentionally to glorify Your name. As such, we dare not be presumptuous or trust in our own wisdom (James 4:13-15, Proverbs 3:5-6, Jeremiah 9:23-24).


  • We know that You are not a hard taskmaster. For the paths you have arranged for us to tread have our welfare at heart (Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 37:4).


  • Lead us, guide us as we meditate on your Word. Speak to us through the still small voice, trusted mature believers, and the opening and closing of doors (Psalm 32:8-9, Joshua1:8, James 1:5, Ephesians 5:17-18).


  • And even if we should venture to do something and falter, we know that You will lovingly correct us and set us along the right path again (Psalm 37:23-24).


                                                                       
What happens when we apply the above steps in the decision-making process?

The result might be that these elements—the Word, inner witness and peace, circumstances and godly counsel—all line up in a straight line, like the runway lights that help a plane land safely.  Then we know that God has spoken, “This is the path I would like you to take.”

If we seek to hear His voice, listen to His heartbeat, trust and acknowledge Him in all our plans and decisions, our lives will be marked by blessing, purpose and direction. 



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SEEKING GOD’S WILL
When we come to a fork or crossroad in life, we know we need guidance. How can we know God’s will for our lives?

                       
MAKING WISE CHOICES
We can choose either to obey God or reject His ways. But, having done so, we cannot choose the consequences of our decision.

THE POWER OF VISION
By embracing a God-inspired vision, we can live purposefully—by design and not by default.

SHOULD I EMIGRATE
Stay put or emigrate? A biblical perspective of emigration

BUYING YOUR DREAM HOME
Does God’s wisdom merely guide us along the correct moral path? Has it no relevance to us when we make mundane decisions in life—like buying a home?

EXTERNAL LINK

A Bible teacher from Singapore sent this comment (edited) by email:

Your writing is a good reminder to Christians that our decision making involves more than the “usual facts” but wisdom from God. As long as we live in our mortal bodies, our tendency is to rely on our natural knowledge, might, wit, wisdom or whatever resources we can muster. A common rationale is that “God helps those who help themselves.” However, our natural intelligence or even a lifetime of study will never be sufficient to prepare us for the challenges of life. God understands our frailty. And He is more than able to teach and coach us in any situation for it is written in Christ are hidden “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3).

When we lack answers and do not know what to do, the Holy Spirit is there to impart wisdom as we submit to and lean on Him for “it is not by might nor by power, but by the Spirit of God, the LORD of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6). We need to adopt an attitude not of inactivity or passivity but rely on the Word of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit because a paradox in God’s Kingdom is that He delights in using weak vessels to do mighty works. When we use our strength or natural wisdom, God stands aside and waits until, in desperation, we shift our trust from ourselves to Him. When we decide that “we can’t”, He will then respond “I can.” God intervenes when we lay our shortcomings at His feet and exchange our weakness and wisdom for His strength and His wisdom.

An example illustrating this principle is found in 2 Chronicles chapter 20 where King Jehoshaphat found himself in a crisis as a great army was preparing to attack his kingdom. He prayed to the Lord and confessed, “We have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You” (2 Chronicles 20:12). As the people of Judah cried out to God, they were granted godly wisdom. They applied God’s strategy—putting the worship team ahead of the soldiers as they marched into battle—and defeated their enemies (2 Chronicles 20:21).

When a believer taps into the Holy Spirit’s supernatural wisdom, he can apply it to every situation in life because God’s Law is higher than any other law. As he walks in submission to the rules of the God’s kingdom, the “Law of the Spirit of Life” operates in the supernatural realm to defy natural wisdom. The Holy Spirit directs his steps as he walks humbly before his God.

REFERENCES

I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself,
    that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.
(Jeremiah 10:23)

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.
(Jeremiah 1:5)

For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
(Romans 11:29)

And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place,
(Acts 17:26)

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”
(James 4:13-15)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.
(Proverbs 3:5-6)

“Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”
(Jeremiah 9:23-24)

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
(Jeremiah 29:11)

Delight yourself in the Lord,
    and He will give you the desires of your heart.
(Psalm 37:4)

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
    I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
    which must be curbed with bit and bridle,
    or it will not stay near you.
 (Psalm 32:8-9)

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
(Joshua 1:8)

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
(James 1:5)

Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit.
(Ephesians 5:17-18)

The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
    when he delights in his way;
though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong,
    for the Lord upholds his hand.
(Psalm 37:23-24)

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