Making wise decisions is crucial for living a godly life. As Christians, we want to make choices that honor God and align with biblical principles. The Bible offers much guidance on how to make decisions that please the Lord. In this comprehensive blog post, we will explore key scriptures and glean biblically-based advice for decision-making.
Life is full of choices. Some are small, like what to eat for breakfast. Others are major crossroads that chart the course of our future. Navigating decisions can be challenging, especially when under pressure or facing uncertainty. During these times, we need wisdom from above to make sound choices that align with God’s will.
The Bible advises believers to seek the Lord for direction when facing decisions. Wise King Solomon wrote, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV). As Christians, we are called to seek God’s guidance through prayer, studying the Scriptures, and listening for the Spirit’s leading when making decisions.
The goal of this blog post is to equip readers with biblical wisdom for decision-making. We will examine key scriptures that provide guidance on discerning God’s will, waiting on the Lord, seeking wise counsel, watching for open and closed doors, and more. A list of key takeaways is provided after the introduction to summarize the biblical advice covered in this post.
Whether you are at a crossroads professionally, relationally, or spiritually, it is my hope that this comprehensive overview of biblical guidance for decision-making will help you navigate life’s choices in a God-honoring way. May you discern the Lord’s direction every step of the journey.
- Pray and study God’s Word to discern His will
- Wait patiently on the Lord for clear direction
- Seek wise counsel from godly believers
- Watch for open and closed doors as signs of God’s leading
- Consider how the decision aligns with biblical values
- Evaluate the decision with wisdom, not emotions
- Trust God’s sovereignty when facing uncertainty or risk
- Move forward in faith once you have clarity of God’s calling
What Does the Bible Say About Decision-Making?
The Bible offers much wisdom to guide our decision-making. Here are some key verses that provide a biblical framework for discerning God’s will when faced with choices:
Seek God’s Will First
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2, NIV)
Pray for Discernment and Wisdom
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5, NIV)
Study God’s Word
“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” (Psalm 119:105, NIV)
Wait Patiently on the Lord
“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14, NIV)
Seek Counsel from Other Believers
“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” (Proverbs 15:22, NIV)
Consider the Fruit of Potential Decisions
“By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?” (Matthew 7:16, NIV)
Trust God’s Sovereignty and Timing
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV)
These key verses demonstrate how believers should seek the Lord wholeheartedly, wait patiently on His timing, evaluate decisions wisely, and trust God’s purposes when making major life decisions. With this biblical framework in mind, let’s explore some key principles for decision making.
7 Principles for Making Wise Decisions
- Pray and study God’s Word: Spending time in prayer and Bible study is crucial for tuning our hearts to God’s will. As we bring requests before God and meditate on scripture, He can reveal His direction for the decision at hand.
- Seek godly counsel: Getting perspective from mature believers who know us well can help identify blindspots or share wisdom we may overlook. Their objective feedback is invaluable. As Proverbs 11:14 says, “For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.” (NIV)
- Consider pros and cons: Making lists of the advantages and disadvantages of the options can clarify the right course. Weighing all aspects prayerfully and reasonably aids discernment.
- Wait on God’s timing: God may require a season of patience on big decisions rather than rushing ahead on our own timing. “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31, ESV) As His timing unfolds, He provides clarity.
- Look for open and closed doors: God often guides through circumstantial signs. Open doors like favor, provision, and blessing can signify God’s will. Closed doors like obstacles, setbacks, and lack of fruit may indicate it’s best to change course.
- Evaluate with wisdom, not only emotion: Emotions and desires can deceive us, so we must also apply wisdom and biblical values when making decisions. As Proverbs 3:5-6 reminds us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” (NIV)
- Move forward in faith: Once we have clarity and conviction of God’s leading after prayer and counsel, we can move ahead in faith even in the face of uncertainty, knowing God is sovereign over the outcomes. “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7, ESV)
Using these biblical principles for decision making with prayer and patience can help us discern the Lord’s direction for any situation. Next let’s explore how God may speak in the decision process.
How Does God Speak in the Decision Process?
God communicates in different ways to guide our decisions if we are listening for His voice:
Through Scripture: As we read the Bible, God may highlight certain verses that pertain to the pending decision. Scriptural truth guides us like a lamp on our path.
Wise Counsel: Christians tuned to the Holy Spirit can often recognize God’s leading for someone else more objectively. Their wisdom can be used by God to confirm direction.
Still Small Voice: That quiet inner sense of God’s Spirit whispering within our spiritual conscience with a knowing that defies reasoning. “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27, NKJV)
Providential Doors: When God aligns circumstances to make a decision obvious, opening ways that only He could have ordained. Closed doors can also signify His leading.
Prophetic Words: A timely and specific word from a trusted source can help affirm God’s will or warn against dangerous paths. We always measure prophetic words against Scripture.
Dreams and Visions: Scriptural precedence shows God speaking through symbolic dreams and visions to reveal His purposes. But we use discernment, knowing Satan can deceive through spiritual counterfeits.
Conviction of Conscience: That uneasy feeling and lack of peace indicates moving ahead may be unwise or contradicts biblical convictions placed in us by the Holy Spirit. Checking motives is key.
As you navigate decisions, tune your spiritual ears to hear God speaking through these means, always measuring with scriptural truth. Next we’ll look at some specific areas where guidance is often needed.
Key Areas Where We Need God’s Direction
There are certain major decisions where guidance from the Lord is especially critical. Let’s explore what the Bible says about navigating these choices:
1. Relationships and Marriage
Choosing a life partner is profoundly impactful. Scripture offers much wisdom on this decision.
Seek unity in Christ: “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14, NIV) Marrying a fellow believer unifies life purpose.
Look at character and compatibility: “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30, ESV) Godly character and spiritual maturity matter more than appearances.
Confirm it is God’s choice for you: “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.” (Proverbs 18:22, NIV) Marriage should have God’s blessing. Listen for His direction before pursuing relationships.
Act in faith once sure: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6, ESV) Move ahead in faith once you have godly confirmation.
2. Choosing a Career or Ministry
Work and ministry callings require prayerful decisions as well. Biblical advice includes:
Consider your design and gifts: “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.” (1 Corinthians 12:4, NIV) Seek work that utilizes how God designed you specifically.
Choose ethical work: “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17, NIV) Work should be honorable.
Balance godly priorities: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33, NIV) Career cannot supersede Christ.
Be patient for direction: “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.” (Proverbs 21:5, NIV) Don’t force open doors; wait for clear ones in ministry.
3. Major Financial Decisions
Money decisions also require prayer and wisdom:
Seek counsel and count the costs: “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.” (Proverbs 21:5, NIV) Get advice and carefully evaluate expenditures.
Remember who owns it all: “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” (Psalm 24:1, NIV) Steward resources in a way that honors God.
Live generously within means: “All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along.” (Galatians 2:10, NIV) Balance prudent savings, debt avoidance, and strategic giving.
Value eternal investments: “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” (1 Timothy 6:17, NIV) Earthly wealth is fleeting compared to eternal treasure.
4. Major Life Changes
During seasons of transition, we need the Shepherd’s guiding hand:
Seek God’s purpose in it: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.“ (Romans 8:28, NIV) Every change has divine purpose if we cooperate with God.
Ask for strength and courage: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9, NIV) God promises to equip us for every new chapter.
Trust God’s faithfulness: “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:7, NLT) Release the unknown future to God’s capable hands.
Seek unity and community: “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2, NIV) Fellow believers support and strengthen us through change.
Whether romance, career, finances or life transitions, we can navigate wisely by seeking the Lord wholeheartedly for guidance, standing on the truth of His Word. Next we’ll explore the blessings of walking in God’s will.
The Blessings of Walking in God’s Will
What benefits can we expect when following the Lord’s direction? Scripture describes many blessings:
Purpose and meaning: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord…plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV) We gain confidence knowing we walk in God’s intended purpose.
Fruitfulness: “He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.” (Psalm 1:3, NASB) We thrive in the center of God’s will.
Provision and protection: “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters.” (Psalm 23:1-2, NIV) The Good Shepherd cares for His sheep who follow Him.
Supernatural peace: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13, NIV) Confidence in God’s guidance brings peace amid uncertainty.
Reward in eternity: “Well done, good and faithful servant! …Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:23, NIV) Faithfulness reaps eternal blessings.
When we choose God’s will, we gain so much. Although His path may involve difficulty at times, we can have joy and peace knowing He leads us with perfect love.
Pitfalls and Dangers of Bad Decisions
Since our choices carry great consequences, we must be vigilant against pitfalls that lead to unwise decisions outside of God’s will:
Not seeking godly counsel: “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” (Proverbs 11:14, ESV) Arrogance and independence from wise advice cause failure.
Following self-will: “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.” (Proverbs 14:12, NIV) What seems right to us can in truth be destructive sin.
Being impatient and impulsive: “A hot-tempered person must pay the penalty; rescue them, and you will have to do it again.” (Proverbs 19:19, NIV) Rash choices often require future correction.
Forgetting to consider long-term impact: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.” (Proverbs 27:12, NIV) Shortsighted decisions lead to future consequence.
Not seeking God’s will: “There are many plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21, NIV) Unless the Lord builds the plans, they will fail.
To avoid these pitfalls, we must humble ourselves and diligently seek the fear of the Lord rather than what merely seems expedient. God’s way is always best.
Trusting God’s Sovereignty in Uncertainty
Walking in God’s will does not mean the path will be easy or outcomes guaranteed. We live in a fallen world where hardship will come. But Scripture offers comfort when facing uncertainty:
God is still good and loving: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28, ESV) Despite heartache, God’s purposes stand.
God works powerfully in trials: “We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” (Romans 5:3-4, ESV) He uses pain for ultimate good.
God gives supernatural peace: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7, NIV)
Heaven awaits believers: “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4, ESV) Eternity heals all wounds.
Rather than striving to control outcomes, we can find rest knowing God holds the future while empowering us daily to walk in obedience. He is sovereign and wise.
In summary, God promises to guide those who seek Him with humility and patience. As we pray, study the Word, get counsel, and watch for providential signs, the Shepherd makes His voice known. Though the way is sometimes difficult and unclear, we can trust the Lord’s purposes are good and He is in control.
My hope is this comprehensive overview of biblical wisdom for decision-making has equipped you to better discern God’s direction in life’s crossroads. May you reflect Christ as you evaluate options and courageously follow where He leads, one step at a time. The Lord promises to give wisdom when we ask in faith, so look to Him always.