I teach my sons that life consistently offers us three things: Choices, Decisions, and Consequences. We are faced with choices that require us to make decisions. These decisions will dictate the consequences of our lives. Also... not making a decision, when faced with a choice, is in itself a decision that bears consequences.
Studies show that we make 35,000 choices a day. Most of them, we give no thought at all. However, there are times when we're faced with a choice that is so big it cannot hide among the thoughtless choices. We are faced with big choices that require us to make big decisions.
God doesn't make choices for us. He gives us the tools to make the right decision: prayer, bible study, and voices of people whom he uses to speak to us.
In Revelation 3:20 Jesus says he'll knock at the door and IF we hear his voice AND open the door, he'll come in. God isn't going to force himself on us. This is a consensual relationship. It's our choice. If you aren't sure if you ever actively made the choice to follow Jesus, just close your eyes right now and say "Yes, Jesus. I choose you."
So how do we face those big choices? Here are a few tips...
Don't Make Decisions Alone
The Bible gives us plenty of insight for decisions making. Proverbs 16:9 tells us to include God in our plans. When we make plans with God, his purpose prevails in our lives. "We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps." (NLT)
This doesn't mean that God puppets us from heaven. It means that when we include God in selecting our choices, he inspires our decision which directs the consequences. It also means that when we don't include God in the decision-making process it's not likely to turn out like we thought.
I'm not making this up. The Bible specifically tells us to seek advice from others in Proverbs 15:22. "Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success." (NLT).
See? Told ya.
Choose God's Way
I never told my sons, "Christians don't call names" or "Christians don't lie" because the reality is that some Christians do those things. The way I taught my sons was simply to say, "In our family..." That meant regardless of what anyone else was doing, we do it like this. Likewise, we make certain choices because we are in God's family.
Joshua said it best, "...But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15 (NLT)
Earlier in that same verse he told the people to chose whom they would serve. When you are faced with a choice, always remember whom you have chosen to serve and select the thing that lines up with that.
Choose love over hate.
Choose healthy living over destructive habits.
Choose hope over despair.
Choose generosity over selfishness.
Choose forgiveness over holding a grudge.
And so on...
It's All Good
You can't mess it up if you include God and get some good advice. That's a promise. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take."
You might be facing a big choice right now. The consequences may not turn out exactly the way you hope. However, include God in your decision-making and it will be all good eventually. Remember Romans 8:28, "And we know that EVERYTHING works together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." Don't let past failure or fear of the future keep you from making a decision. God has placed the choice in front of you. Pray. Thank Him for the choice...and GO!
"Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving!"
Exodus 14:15 NLT