While no thinking person makes an important decision by “flipping a coin” or “rolling the dice,” that is actually what many do who depend upon subjective criteria such as feelings or urges. While lots were necessary in ancient times, God has provided us with no less than four tools for making decisions:
First, He has given us His Word. As noted yesterday, many verses tell us exactly, word-for-word, what God’s will is. This is always the starting point, and more times than not it is the only guideline we will need. I have heard some people say, for example, “I’m looking for a sign not to marry that unbeliever,” when God has stated categorically that a Christian should never do that (2Co_6:14 to 2Co_7:1). “[God’s] Word is a lamp unto [our] feet, and a light unto [our] path” (Psa_119:105), and it will show us each step we need to take and the decision we need to make.
Second, inseparably linked to His Word, God also gives us wisdom. We need only ask Him for it (Jas_1:5). Wisdom is the ability to make the right choices at the opportune times (March 22), and so it is the ability to apply God’s Word to any situation, even those not specifically addressed. Solomon is our example. Already having the written Law, he did not ask for more revelation, but asked God for discernment (March 25) to apply what he already had (1Ki_3:5-12). God answered that request, and the verses that follow illustrate how he used that gift (1Ki_3:16-28).
Third, God also allows us our wishes, if they are godly. Desire does have something to do with our decisions. The most important aspect of desire, of course, is found in Jas_4:3 : “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” Be sure your desire is not just lust, but a godly, biblical desire. With that established, what do you want to do? As David assures us, “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart” (Psa_37:4).
Fourth and finally, God also gives us warning. As the last “safety valve,” God provides us with the godly counsel of others. This can be a godly friend, a parent, or a pastor who might see something we don’t or might give encouragement we didn’t consider.
Scriptures for Study: Read the following verses for each of our four points: Word (Psa_119:89; Psa_119:97-100; Psa_119:129; Psa_119:30; 2Ti_3:16-17; 2Pe_1:3); wisdom (Pro_1:20-23; Pro_2:1-6); wishes (Ecc_9:9-17; Ecc_11:9); warning (Pro_12:15; Pro_15:22; Pro_19:20; Pro_27:9).