We have all had difficult decisions to make in our life. Do I stay in my hometown where I grew up, or do I move to the new city? Do I take the job with the lower pay but is closer to home, or do I take the job with the higher pay but also higher stress, and longer commute? Do I say yes to the “experimental medication”? Do I quit my job? Is this the “right person” for me to date or marry? What should I do with my life? How do you know what to do when you don’t know what to do?
How do You Know You are Making the Right Decision?
These decisions can be overwhelming in our lives, if we let them. So how do you know you are making the right decision? How do you know what to do, when you don’t know what you should do? You have these feelings and thoughts running through your minds, but sometimes you think you have the “right answer” only to wake up the next morning and start doubting yourself once again.
You want to do the right thing; the best thing for your family, for your future.
But how do you know that the voice inside your head is going to take you on the right path, and not lead you down the lonely dark alley? How do you know if the voice whispering to you is the voice of God and His Holy Spirit, or the voice of an evil spirit? How do you know what to do when you don’t know what to do?
What if I Make a Wrong Decision?
There are several ways to test the voice you are hearing and validate you are making the right decision. Sometimes you want something so bad, that your mind makes it sound like an excellent idea, when in your heart, you know it is the wrong decision. Take for example a woman who is dating a wonderful man: He has been kind, and is a very nice person, but his believes and goals in life are different than yours. He has become involved in things that you are opposed to, but you keep thinking “he will come around”. He doesn’t like your music, your friends are not his friends, and while he will on occasion participate in activities with you, something just doesn’t feel right.
Listen to Your Inner Voice
There is this small voice inside of you that is saying: “He is not the man I have for you.” You don’t know what to do? You don’t want to listen to that voice. You are so confused. But Jesus says:
The sheep that are my own hear My voice and listen to Me; I know them, and they follow Me.John 10:27
4 Ways to Know the Right Thing to Do
- The first step in knowing what to do is to test the voice you are hearing. Is this the voice of God speaking to me? Scripture says His children (sheep) will hear His voice and know it is Him. Have you ever been unsure at times whether the voice you were hearing was from God or not? That is because Satan’s number one job is to confuse and distract us. Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy. And if he can place doubt in your mind; cause confusion of any kind, he thinks he has won. However, God’s children know HIS voice! Listen closely to the voice you are hearing.
- The second step in knowing what to do is to test your thoughts against scripture; the Bible. Does what you are hearing, match the word of God in Scripture? In the example above, if the man you are dating has become involved in things that are morally, ethically, or legally unacceptable then it would fail the scripture test, and therefore you can trust that the voice you are hearing is the voice of God. God would not permit anything illegal or unethical. In Exodus 20:3-17, these Commandments are written:
- You shall have no other gods before me
- You shall not make for yourself an idol of any kind
- You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain
- Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it Holy
- Honor your father and your mother
- You shall not murder
- You shall not commit adultery
- You shall not steal
- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor
- You shall not covet anything that is your neighbor’s
How to Test Your Decision-Making Instincts
- You can literally test every decision you make, against these commandments for your lives. It is pretty clear on God’s commands to “do not murder”, “do not steal”, or “do not commit adultery”. But what if the concern you have is not as black and white? What if you still do not know what to do? Your next step is to seek Godly council. This is where you take your questions to one or two strong men or women whom believe in Christ; explaining to them the dilemma you have. Through the wisdom of others, you seek God’s direction for you.
“For by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory.” Proverbs 24:6
- Finally, check to see if these thoughts, these voices, sound like something that would come from Jesus. If you feel guilt for example, this is not from Jesus. Guilt comes from external sources and from people, but not from God. If you feel condemnation or judgement, this is from an evil spirit; from the Devil. God does not condemn you, instead He convicts you. Conviction is a loving voice from the Holy Spirit, addressing something you are doing or shouldn’t be doing. But it is not judgmental or condemning. Conviction is a slight nudge; a small voice guiding you in the way He wants you to go. God’s characteristics include love, goodness, graciousness, mercy, truthfulness, and patience. Satan on the other hand is a liar and a deceiver.
God is interested in who you are, and He is interested in your character!
Does He care if you are in job A or B; in Texas or in Alabama? Does He care if you marry the man whom is kind, but is doing things that is slightly unethical? God’s character is to give you choices. However, He does have a moral will for your life. His guidance is clear, and if you listen closely to His voice, making sure you are not being deceived by Satan, and testing it against His word and even Godly council, you will not go astray.
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice – the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”Romans 12: 1-2
When you don’t know what to do, and you hear that small voice, listen and determine if it is the voice of God. Look to God’s written word to get confirmation. And then seek advice from one or two people who are close to God. There is so much guidance in the Bible, to help you know what to do, when you are confused or lost. Trust God in your decision-making process. He will not lead you astray.
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!Galatians 5:22