If my fears and desires rule me, then I am not free to choose well. Our first place in making a godly decision is surrender to our Father’s will. We look for the path of God’s love.
John 14:21 Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.” … 23 Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.
- How does God look upon those who seek to do His will?
- What is the outcome for those who accept God and His word?
Example of Lordship
1 Thessalonians 3: 1 Finally, when we could stand it no longer, we decided to stay alone in Athens,2 and we sent Timothy to visit you. He is our brother and God’s co-worker* in proclaiming the Good News of Christ. We sent him to strengthen you, to encourage you in your faith,3 and to keep you from being shaken by the troubles you were going through.
- For what purpose was Timothy sent?
- At what cost was Timothy sent to Thessalonica?
- What does the Bible Command?
Sometimes there is a command in the Bible that tells us what we must or cannot do. This text (Acts 15:15-19) is from the first Church council. Here, James concludes the discussion:
Acts 15:15 And this conversion of Gentiles is exactly what the prophets predicted. As it is written: … 17 so that the rest of humanity might seek the LORD, including the Gentiles— all those I have called to be mine. … 19 “And so my judgment is that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.
- On what basis does James make his decision?
- What expectation is there that the judgement would be agreed?
Example of Bible Commands
Paul is on trial before the Romans.
Acts 24:14 I worship the God of our ancestors, and I firmly believe the Jewish law and everything written in the prophets.15 I have the same hope in God that these men have, that he will raise both the righteous and the unrighteous.16 Because of this, I always try to maintain a clear conscience before God and all people.
Acts 24:25 “Go away for now,” he replied. “When it is more convenient, I’ll call for you again.”26 He also hoped that Paul would bribe him, so he sent for him quite often and talked with him. 27 After two years went by in this way, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. And because Felix wanted to gain favour with the Jewish people, he left Paul in prison
- What standard does he seek to live to?
- What (in the second passage) does it cost him?
Desire & Common Sense
Sometimes the answer to a decision does not need great spirituality, one only has to follow one’s desires, or recognise what is obvious.
Psalm 37:4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires.
- What does the Lord give to those who delight in Him?
- What does it mean to delight in the Lord?
Example of Desire & Common Sense
Acts 20:16 Paul had decided to sail on past Ephesus, for he didn’t want to spend any more time in the province of Asia. He was hurrying to get to Jerusalem, if possible, in time for the Festival of Pentecost.17 But when we landed at Miletus, he sent a message to the elders of the church at Ephesus, asking them to come and meet him.
- How did Paul’s desires influence his decision?
- How did his understanding of people influence his decision?
It is good to gain a perspective from others who are competent in the area of decision, or who can be trusted in godliness and wisdom.
Proverbs 15:22 Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.
Proverbs 19:20 Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life.
- How can a decision be influenced by advice?
- Why do these proverbs emphasis numbers of advisers?