When you don’t know what to do?

There are so many voices in our heads each one yelling out an opinion on what to do

The present voices of the news, our colleagues, co-workers, friends, family

The past voices of parents, teachers, friends, fears, failures, victories, the “if only’s”

All of these voices can stalemate us into doing nothing or mediocrity 

Every decision we make or even if we don’t make a decision, we are making a decision.

Whatever stage of life you are in we are all faced with tough decisions

Is now the time to start a family, buy a home, change a job, change a career? How do I invest? How do I know what I’m supposed to do in light of what God wants me to do? 

There can be an almost paralyzing fear of making a decision but as I said early, not making a decision is making a decision by default

In an age where wisdom seems to be absent in many situations how do we make wise choices?

  1. Understand – before a decision can be made we must understand the best we can the risks, facts, and option. A quick decision made rashly is often what gets people into trouble. Often if someone is pushing me for a snap answer I won’t give them one because an answer made in haste about a major decision is often a bad decision. If you can’t take time to talk with the Lord about it then you are definitely setting yourself up for a bad decision. James put it this way

James 1:5,6

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.

  • Get counsel – as I said a few weeks ago just in our church body here we probably have someone who has had to make the decision you are making….even more so we have godly men and women who have learned to hear from the Lord to become a success in every avenue from business, parenting, career change, future…it doesn’t mean we take counsel from anyone but you look for seasoned people that demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit in their lives

Proverbs 11:14

Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.

  • Clarify – this may seem redundant in some ways but it is not really. You may be gifted in certain areas and you can use those gifts as part of the decision-making process. You have gathered the information you need, seeing the risk and listening to wise counsel. But it is time to evaluate your gifts and abilities with the decision you are making and to create a list of pros and cons. The truth may point us in one direction and our gut another but as we make a list you may find your heart revealing itself in this list. Often we can get caught up in the process and miss the heart but as you make your list remain open to the Lord and he will guide you…two scriptures come to mind here

Psalm 25:4,5a

Show me Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths. 5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me,

John 16:13

However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

The Holy Spirit will guide you each step of the way. Your diligence in understanding and seeking counsel will only enhance your ability to hear from the Lord at this stage. Hopefully the wise counsel have also given you scripture to chew on as you make your decision

  • Be bold, be strong, have courage – no decision will have any power if we don’t go after it full of trust in the Lord’s guidance. Change is uncomfortable for mostly everyone so it will take courage to follow through with any change you want to make, even if it is completely exciting

Joshua 1:9 

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

  • The last step is often the hardest be at peace, be content with your decision. It doesn’t matter what decision you make there are going to be bumps in the road and with each bump you can doubt, don’t! Regrets are wasted energy, if you have followed the previous four steps then you have qualified your decision the best that you can and you have done it with the Father’s heart first. “What if?” is one of the easiest questions to ask yourself when things get tough but I have found when things get tough, if you stay the course the often lead to something even better…Three scriptures come to mind

Philippians 4:11

Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:

Psalm 37:23

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the LORD upholds him with His hand.

Isaiah 30:21

Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left.

If you are truly seeking the Lord for His insight and guidance you will never be let down. He will give the peace and joy to be content. You have to trust that even after following all of this guidance if you are making a mistake God will hold you up and carry you the right way and also direct you if you have gone ahead of him, because all of these steps show your heart is right.

Just one bit of warning though from John and this is important because to God relationship is the most important thing. He sent His son to die on a cross so we might have relationship with him. You can follow all of this guidance and if your relationship with your brothers and sisters in Christ is off it can prevent your success and what you maybe hearing is your own voice and not the voice of the Lord

1 John 2:9 – 11

If anyone claims, “I am living in the light,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is still living in darkness. 10 Anyone who loves a fellow believer is living in the light and does not cause others to stumble. 11 But anyone who hates a fellow believer is still living and walking in darkness. Such a person does not know the way to go, having been blinded by the darkness.

Bitterness and unforgiveness is a killer to your relationship with Christ and a real challenge to your successful ability to make God decisions for your future. Please make sure your keep your heart pure and don’t 

So what do you do when you don’t know what to do?

1)Understand as much of the facts as you can

2) Counsel – seek wise counsel

3)Clarify – make your “heart” list of pros and cons

4)Be bold – go for it, difficulties will come allow them to encourage your resolve

5) Be at peace – God has your back

In all of this keep your heart right so you can clearly hear from the Lord!