How to Know God’s Will in Decision-Making Without Losing Your Mind

While we may not know God’s will for every page of our life story, we do know the Author of our story;
God promises that He is with us always and that every turn of the page has a purpose.

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As a Mom of adult children, I don’t expect my kids to tell me everything about their lives (and I don’t really need them to), BUT I love when I get to listen to what is going on in their heads and in their lives. They all have to make tough choices now and then and they want each choice to be the right one. What advice have I given my children as they seek God’s will for their lives? How do we know God’s will in the decision-making process and not lose our minds doing it? There are 5 key characteristics to how you view the decision-making process to know God’s will that will enable you to seek to your heart’s content and not lose your mind – I promise. Just ask my kids.

 

REDEFINE FAILURE

God’s will is not the plot of a fairy tale where everyone lives happily ever after nor is it your favorite sitcom. But, neither is it guaranteed to be a horror movie. While we may not know God’s will for every page of our life story, we do know the author of our story; God promises that He is with us always and that every turn of the page has a purpose. Failure is when you believe God doesn’t care or isn’t leading you in the details of the decision making. Success is walking with God moment by moment, trusting He is guiding you both in the process and toward the final decision.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”

— (Prov 3:5)

 

REJECT PERFECTIONISM

Perfectionism is highly overrated and dangerous, which can lead to legalism. There is no perfect way to know exactly what God’s will is because there are no two people that are exactly the same. We do know God’s revealed will in scripture and we do know that He has given us Himself to help us understand and live it. Besides that, your relationship with God is personal and will be unchartered territory for you as you seek to follow Him faithfully. Reject perfectionism and receive peace.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

— (2 Cor 12:9-10)

 

THINK TARGET, NOT BULL’S-EYE

In trying to determine God’s will, don’t picture yourself playing a game of darts where the winner is the only one who can hit the bull’s eye. Instead, consider you are an archer and as long as your arrow hits the target, you get first prize. Often details work themselves out over time so don’t expect the full blueprint of God’s will to be laid out for you to look over before the future actually happens. As you faithfully walk with God, make a decision that aligns with God’s word and isn’t against any principles in scripture nor contradicts your conscience. Move in the general direction of your decision and leave hitting the mark up to God.

For we live by faith, not by sight.”

— (2 Cor 5:7)

 

TRUST GOD MORE THAN YOURSELF

Stay off the “what if” bus. The bus on which every rider asks the same question – “what if I get it wrong?” The constant worry of getting God’s will wrong implies that you are trusting in yourself alone to figure out what to do. Scripture is clear, your seeking God’s will is not something just you are interested in. God has you in the palm of His hand and is on your side. He actually cares more about your life than you do, so don’t get stuck on the “what if” bus.

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

— (Luke 12:6-7)

 

ENJOY YOUR LIFE AS YOU TRY TO FIGURE IT OUT

God has not given us this life to worry through it, but to enjoy it. Out of all the brilliant things King Solomon said as the wisest man that has ever lived, he described life as often frustrating, fruitless, and futile. But in the midst of all this yuckiness, Solomon suggested that a man could do no better than to enjoy life. So don’t let the hunt for what “could be” God’s will for you get in the way of what “definitely is” God’s will for you.

So I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun.”

— (Ecc 8:15)

 

Written by Elizabeth Smith

 

 

This is an updated edition of a post originally published on  CRAZY DIFFERENT

Featured Image by Jens Lelie on Unsplash

 

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About the Author

For more than a decade, James served in academic leadership within biblical higher education. He currently serves as Vice President and COO of the Moody Center, an independent non-profit organization in Northfield, MA, dedicated to honoring the spiritual legacy of D.L. Moody. James serves on faculty at Right On Mission and as an Associate Consultant for Ruffalo Noel-Levitz where he assists colleges and universities in the areas of leadership development, online programming, and enrollment management. He also teaches as an adjunct instructor at the collegiate and graduate level in the areas of biblical studies, interpretation, and Christian thought. James graduated with his B.S in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2000 before earning his Master of Divinity from Moody Theological Seminary (2004), his M. A. in Biblical Exegesis from Wheaton College Graduate School (2005), and his PhD in Theological Studies-Old Testament from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (2012). He later attended the Harvard Institute of Education Management and completed a year of executive coaching. James researches and writes in the areas of theology and Old Testament Studies. He has published Thinking Christian: Essays on Testimony, Accountability, and the Christian Mind in 2020 and co-authored Trajectories: A Gospel-Centered Introduction to Old Testament Theology in 2018. James also co-authored "Isaiah" with Michael Rydelnik in the Moody Bible Commentary and contributed to Marriage: It's Foundation, Theology, and Mission in a Changing World, and The Moody Handbook of Messianic Prophecy.In addition to writing on theology and Old Testament studies, James has also published and presented in the areas of online curriculum design, higher education policy, organizational strategies for higher education recruitment, and Christian leadership. James and his family live in the Chicagoland area. He is available to speak in the areas of Christian leadership, Christian theology and contemporary issues, Christian identity in the digital age, biblical higher education and college choice, and Old Testament theology. .