Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6)
We make decisions – big and small – every day. God wants to be a part of each decision. We may not see answers in the Bible text for what house to buy, what job to take or where to move, but God can guide us in each one if we ask in prayer.
Here are some guidelines which will help you avoid costly mistakes.
When you pray, spell out what you need. For a house, you may need 3 bedrooms, two baths, a two car garage, a good school system for your children. It’s not that God doesn’t know what you need, but praying this way indicates that you have thought things through, you know what you are looking for.
When I moved to Oakland, Maine, I looked at many, many houses in the area. My real estate agent was getting quite frustrated. I didn’t really have things thought out. I was thinking more about a home for my ministry and looking at older homes that needed work. Mainly I needed a house for myself to live in and I had just come from a new house that I built on Long Island (Maine).
As a single person, I didn’t need to take on long costly projects and it was best for me not to live on-site with the ministry. A friend one day asked me to pray specifically for what I wanted. Soon after we prayed I found a house I liked. It was only 10 years old and in very good shape. For the six years I owned it, the only repairs I made was to jack the deck and put in some drainage systems. The ministry rented some apartments to get started.
When it comes to big decisions, avoid making them quickly. I allow at least overnight to think things over. When I haven’t done this, I have made some very serious and costly mistakes. It is always so amazing to me that the next day I can see many problems or obstacles that I overlooked the day before. The answer then is obvious where the previous day, I was ready to sign up.
God doesn’t rush us into making decisions, the devil does. The devil says “If you don’t do it now, you’ll miss your chance. You’d better take it.” God gives us time to make that decision. If you are to have whatever you are considering, it will be there after you have thought things through. The price may even be lower!
Get Good Advice
It is important to get advice from people you respect who know you and know something about the project that you are deciding on. When others view the situation, they often see things that you do not see. They won’t be making the decision for you, but they can point out the things you may overlook.
My sister and brother-in-law looked at some of the houses I was considering. I was enthusiastic about them but they vetoed them, much to the chagrin of my real estate agent. The good man asks for advice from friends. The wicked lead them astray. Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many counselors bring success. . (Proverbs 12:26, Proverbs 15:22)
Check with God’s Word
How do you know you are hearing from God or from the evil one? The most important way is to determine whether the decision agrees with the Word of God. The Word of God won’t tell you specifically what house to buy, but it could tell you what job not to take or business not to buy. Buying a bar is not something consistent with God’s direction, since it leads people into alcoholism and ruins many lives. If a decision is not consistent with the Word, then it doesn’t have God’s endorsement and should be avoided.
Usually when you make the right decision, you will feel peace. If there is that little caution in your spirit, pay attention. Take more time to make the decision. There is probably something that needs to come to light. Examine your motives. Is there anything behind your decision that is not Godly? If there is, stop! You will ultimately get into trouble.
If you disagree with anything in God’s Word, you can be sure that He is right and you are wrong. His Word and direction keeps us from ruining our lives and the lives of those around us. Because something feels good doesn’t make it right. The devil is a liar. He knows our weaknesses and he is very sneaky at drawing us in. Following God’s direction keep us safe and protected.
Dear Heavenly Father:
I need Your help, Your guidance in making decisions.
You tell me in Proverbs 3:5 not to lean on my own understanding.
Help me to hear Your voice and rely on Your Word.
Give me advisors who can help me make Godly decisions.
I want to stay on the path You have ordained for me.
Keep me from errors and from the devil’s traps.
Thank you for Your love,
Your direction and Your many blessings.
DLH – Cell Group Teaching
January 11, 2011