A lot of times when I see Christians trying to make decisions there seem to be two extremes...
ONE is relying totally on self to figure it out- using all brain. logic. personal desires. finances. wisdom. and circumstances- to point us towards the right choice.
THE OTHER is totally relying on a "move of the Spirit"- using scriptures. feelings. peace. emotions. things other people say. and circumstances- to tell us where to go.
Both of these processes are motivated by great hearts, but they are unbalanced.
God definitely moves through both of them, but neither method is my favorite.
The other day my friend Jesse and I were talking about this.
Jesse used to be the guy that relied totally on an almost mystical move of the Spirit to show him what to do next. Essentially he would try to turn "off" his logic to hear from God. He viewed critical thinking as unbelief... by thinking critically he felt like he was doubting God's ability to function supernaturally. But God has been teaching him some awesome things that have revolutionized the way he makes decisions. He shared with me 5 things that he considers when he is making choices now,
and I liked them so much I thought I should share them with you.
They are balanced. They are Biblical. They are fantastic.
When you are faced with big decisions in life-
look at these 5 things to help discern God's will:
If the thing that you are considering does not line up with scripture- it is NOT God's will. If it does line up with scripture move directly to #2.
Example: If Shaun (my studly husband) meets a girl and feels like she is actually God's choice for his wife and he made a mistake in marrying me, the he wonders if it is God's will to leave me and marry her... Well, lucky for him, scripture tells Shaun clearly that God hates divorce and in marrying me, Shaun is not to be separated from me. Easy as pie.
2) Peace from God when praying:
Peace is one of the fruits of the Spirit of God in us. If we don't have peace about something, it is worth reconsidering. God speaks to us in prayer so take note of things you think and feel.
3) Counsel from mature believers:
Find people who: love God, love you, and have wisdom. Their input will be helpful. They will see things that you don't see. Listen to them.
4) Wisdom and careful thinking:
Ask God for wisdom and knowledge. He likes to give it and is glorified when we use our brains and think. Compare the positives and negatives when thinking through the options. Our lives are like a story book- it is okay to reflect on past pages as we decide what we will put on the next page. When we don't use our God given ability to think, it is like treating everything in life as a new book... and every past experience is its own book too. It's like if we were considering going into the Army... instead of looking backwards and saying, "Wow, ever since I was a little girl I have been interested in the military"... we disregard the past and try to face the decision as a totally new and separate thing. It can bring unnecessary confusion. Look at the big picture. Consider the past and the future. Factor in things like finances. Don't be afraid. You are smarter than you know.
5) Providential circumstances:
What doors are open? What doors are shut? Are there any awesome opportunities that have been provided? Any obvious supernatural provision? Factor those things in.
Sip on a lovely hot drink,
write in your journal,
read your Bible,
& be ready to make some excellent choices.