Which Way?

imageMaking decisions can be tough, especially when our choices involve appealing options. Thankfully, as Christians, the Bible offers clear direction to support wise choices, regardless of the situations we might face. For example, I was once presented with two excited job opportunities. One position allowed us to remain in our hometown. The other required us to move, but offered higher financial incentives. For some the decision may appear easy, but of course, God customizes the options that come our way to accomplish the specific purposes He desires to work in & through us (Ephesians 1:11). For me, my family is uniquely fortunate to be in an environment surrounded by relatives, deep friendships & active church fellowship. Therefore, we longed to stay. Yet, we also felt the financial benefits the other position offered shouldn’t be ignored. Thus, the difficulty of the decision. Do we stay & enjoy a great opportunity, or do we move, make more money & enjoy an equally great opportunity?  In the end, we filtered our decision through three biblical principals I hope will support your upcoming decisions as well:

Peace: When we’re walking closely with God, His peace that surpasses all understanding guards our hearts regardless of our circumstances (Philippians 4:7). During periods of uncertainty, or decisioning we must trust in His leading and never settle out of panic, or desperation.  Remember, His peace helps guide us. Are you feeling pressured to do something you have no peace about? God is the Prince of Peace & there is a definite reason if you have none.

Alignment: God does not seek to confuse (1 Corinthians 14:33). Therefore, His Word, His Spirit & His Body will always be in sync & aligned. For example, I shared my job situation with a few pastors & friends at church (His body), who were able to offer scriptural encouragement & prayer. In addition, my own prayer life & Bible study reinforced God’s statutes & that life is not about me, but what He desires to do in & through me, for others & for His Kingdom (Galatians 2:20). Thus, my prayers were to be led to where my family could grow strongest spiritually & be used to encourage & disciple others the most. This was my motivation & God used His Word, Body & Spirit to guide our final decision. Have you bathed your decisioning in prayer, sought Scripture & shared it with Godly counsel? Don’t make a move until you do – not once, but continuously.

Restraint: There are times our flesh, the world, our friends & even our family may favor a particular option we’re faced with, but for Christians none of these are to have the final say. Thankfully, God offers us restraint (Proverbs 29:18). This is the small voice of unrest we sense in our heart. We may rationalize a choice all we want and try to do all we can to justify it, support it and defend it, but that small voice continues to disrupt us when we’re staying close to God. It keeps us from moving forward. The danger is ignoring this sense of restraint and plowing ahead any way, because it seems like the most rational thing to do. However, God rarely, if ever, does anything that seems rational to the world (Isaiah 55:8). Are you trying to convince & force yourself to make a particular decision? Consider why, and for what purpose – does it serve our kingdom, or His?

Application: “Bad, Better, or Best?” – Isaiah 42:16 
Many times our decisions aren’t necessarily a matter of right, or wrong. Instead, our choices may be between two good, or neutral things. So, the question becomes what’s best? What best promotes God’s purposes? What’s best for the people God has entrusted under our care? Where can we be most impactful to others & for His Kingdom, not our own? When we begin to view our decisions not based on personal gain, but surrender them to God for His gain, the answers become clearer. However, we may not always like the answers. For quite possibly we will be required to sacrifice something. It may be pride, possessions, position, or promotion, but whatever it is, it’s best we give it up. For me, our final decision was to accept the position that allowed us to stay. This wasn’t easy, but God confirmed in my heart it was His best for us at this time. Frankly, after I made the decision I faced attack internally, for I let go of some things my flesh found difficult to accept. For even though the local role was a tremendous blessing, I passed on more money. However, God’s gentle voice soon reassured me I received much more through the process.  Money was no longer my primary motivator, as it had been in the past. My faith grew stronger. My family maintained proper priority. Deeper fellowships were developed & I experienced God’s leading, peace, provision & protection in new ways. In short, the things only He can offer.

by Dagan Sharpe @ CareerCall.wordpress.com

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