Take away all of the pretenses, facades, illusions, and fluff and that’s what you’re left with.
Get to the genuine reality and that’s what you’ll find.
Sometimes with Christianity, it’s easy to overlook the actually. We listen to Sunday preaching, pray during our quiet time, and read from the latest daily devotional. We are consistently reminded of the important Biblical concepts of love, obedience, joy, and faith, for example, but often times we see them as just that, concepts. It’s easy to let the truths of the Bible become principles that we study and ideologies that make our emotional selves feel good. But seldom do they become the practical linchpins in our daily lives.
Actually is what moves us from theoretical to practical.
What does it actually look like to love our enemy? What does it actually look like to obey in times of uncertainty? What does it actually look like to have joy in the midst of struggle? What does it actually look like to live out your faith?
One of the “actually” questions a lot of us struggle to answer:
What does it actually look like to make big decisions while seeking God’s will?
We make decisions every day, most of them being small. But all of us will inevitably have big decisions come up in our lives. Perhaps it’s a move, a career change, a relationship commitment, a new addition to your family or maybe a big purchase. Whatever it is, when it is big and impactful, we feel the burden of not having an answer to this question.
There are people all throughout the Bible who were called by God to decide and act according to His clear commands. At my church right now as we continue through the book of Joshua, there are numerous examples of how Joshua and the Israelites were given clear direction from the Lord and their role was to choose whether they would obey.
But decisions in life seem so much more complicated than that. It doesn’t usually seem so clear as to what God is calling us to do or where He is leading. It’s hard to know if we are making the right decision.
What is God’s will? What if I make the wrong choice? What will be the consequences? Will we be overcome with a “peace that passes understanding?” Is everything supposed to “fall into place?” Will God “close all the other doors?”
In the midst of wrestling with big decisions, I have found these 7 biblical and very practical steps, which our pastor, Matt Brewer, shared at church a few weeks ago, to be a helpful guide in focusing my decision-making process and seeking what it looks like to actually make big decisions while seeking God’s will.
A Biblical Guide to Making Big Decisions
- Genuine Faith
This is different than just believing in God. Genuine faith is the by-product of choosing to truly submit ourselves to Jesus’ authority over our lives. It is acknowledging our filthiness and hopelessness as well as God’s provision through Jesus Christ to bridge the gap between us and Him.
- Bible Intake & Biblical Worldview
To know what God may be calling you to do, you must know what is important to Him. The more you understand God and how He sees the world, the more you begin to see the world that way, too.
- Connected to and Involved in a Healthy Church
Notice this is a HEALTHY church. You should be engaging in a church community that is actively seeking Christ, teaching sound doctrine based on Scripture, and shows evidence of fruitfulness. Also, being involved doesn’t mean being part of the Sunday crowd. It means intentionally living in community with fellow believers. It means meeting together, struggling together, and doing life together.
- Confession and Repentance Often
Sin makes everything murky. When you allow sin to build up in your life, it clouds your ability to have good discernment and to view your situation and options with clarity. Sin bends your judgments toward selfishness and will steer you away from the Lord.
- Pray for Wisdom, Clarity, and Guidance
Praying for these is a reflection of a humble heart that is open to truth and input. If you pray for these out a sincere desire, God will be faithful to provide them. He provides them in many ways, including through his Word and other people, so be looking for them all around you.
- Filter your wrestling through 1-5
Be honest about what you think God might be leading you to and don’t throw aside considerations that seem intimidating. Compare all your options and consider how they line up with Scripture and affirmation from your church family. Also, be sure to give careful thought to red flags that are brought to your attention.
- Do What You Want
If you have been faithful to walk through steps 1-6, trust that God will change your desires to align with His will. To place this anywhere else but last will, more often than not, lead you astray and away from God’s will. God is about His glory and His purposes, not ours.
God is practical. He is relevant and He is personal. Following Him isn’t just learning theoretical, life-improvement concepts. God wants you to welcome Him into the daily details of your life, especially when you are in the midst some of the biggest and hardest decisions you will face. When you feel overwhelmed by the options and stress and need something concrete, intentionally walk your way through this list. Allow it to move you from theoretical to practical, so you can actually, and boldly, follow God’s will.