One of the things that comes up regularly in most of our lives is decisions. In our ‘modern’ society, people no longer grow up, live with their parents until they inherit the house, and work in the same job all of their lives. In two surveys I looked at (from 2010), the average time a person spends in a job is between 4 and 5 years. No longer do we even stick with the same career paths all our lives, like many of our parents did, but instead change directions completely once or even twice in our lives, doing many completely unrelated things in the span of our working lives.
Decisions then have become more frequent even since the last generation. We make a lot of decisions – minor and major – in our lives, but I know I am always conscious of trying to make the right decision. Trying to ensure that what I choose is the right thing before God – in other words, spending time to try and discern God’s will for my life.
Not surprisingly, the Bible has something to say in this area. And today, I came across a few verses in Proverbs that speak right to it, and they have a crystal clear encouraging message for us all…
Proverbs 16:3 (ESV)
Commit your work to the Lord,
and your plans will be established.
Step 1 – commit your plans to God – all of them. This means being open and honest with yourself about what your real desires are, and about what your real motivations are. Then coming before God in prayer and committing those to Him. This doesn’t mean that you will ‘get what you want’! But step one is to hand them over to God.
Proverbs 16:9 (ESV)
The heart of man plans his way,
but the Lord establishes his steps.
Proverbs 16:33 (ESV)
The lot is cast into the lap,
but its every decision is from the Lord.
Step 2 – God will deal with it!
But what does it mean for me?
Don’t worry! It means that if you have given it over to God, He will ensure the right decision gets made in the end. Not that you shouldn’t look carefully at the choices before you, but that He will guide you. Maybe he will use friends to encourage you in a certain direction, or circumstances, or even a direct word of prophecy. But no matter what is the means of His action – know that He will act, know that He is sovereign. Even if we were to ‘cast lots’ (a last resort in many cases), He will ensure that the right choice is made in the end.
So? Don’t worry about it. Take the time to think through the options yourself, then take the more important time to commit those options to God – and let Him work. Know that because you have done that, when you finally make the choice, it will be the right one.
Philippians 4:4–7 (ESV)
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.