When it comes to making a decision, after we go through the previously mentioned principles, we need to makes use of sound judgment. It is amazing how many people will ignore sound judgment simply because of a subjective experience. Sadly, people are deceived into thinking that subjective decision-making is spiritual. Don’t make decisions exclusively based on how you feel. Feelings are important, but we must not be deceived by them or be regulated by them. I’m sure if you think about it, you will see many times in your life where you knew something was right, but you just didn’t feel like doing it. Our feelings can be influenced by all sorts of things like not having enough sleep, eating unhealthy foods or simply being under stress. When it comes to making decisions, we need to make use of an informed mind.
For example, on one occasion the apostle Paul had an important message for the Elders of the Ephesian church. However, he was pressed for time, and he desired to be at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. So instead of going to them, we read that he “had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he might not have to spend time in Asia” (). This was a decision that involved sound judgement. He knew that if he went into Ephesus he would be caught up saying farewell to many people (he had spent three years there), and furthermore, many of the citizens were not happy with him. So as to make the best use of time, he decided to sail past Ephesus.
16 For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he might not have to spend time in Asia, for he was hastening to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost.
After we have sought the Lord in consistent and fervent prayer, we are to make use of the gift of our brothers and sisters in the Lord. When God saved you He did not say, “now you are on your own, all the best and see you in eternity”. In His wisdom He placed you in the body of Christ. That is why you ought to seek to be a part of a church that strives to honour the Word of God. This way, you will find yourself in a place surrounded by others who desire to walk in the will of God.
This is the principle of seeking wise counsel. One of the great advantages of being a part of the body of Christ is that we are numbered with people from all sorts of backgrounds and experiences. We have some people who have been walking with the Lord for many years. How foolish it would be to make an important decision without tapping into the wisdom and experience of other believers. It doesn’t mean everyone is always right, but it is important to seek out wise counsel. This is something from which we can all benefit. Consider these followings verses that emphasize this important principle,
“Let the wise hear and increase in learning,
and the one who understands obtain guidance” ()
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
but a wise man listens to advice” ()
“Without counsel plans fail,
but with many advisers they succeed” ()
“Listen to advice and accept instruction,
that you may gain wisdom in the future” ()
5 Let the wise hear and increase in learning,
and the one who understands obtain guidance,
15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
but a wise man listens to advice.
22 Without counsel plans fail,
but with many advisers they succeed.
20 Listen to advice and accept instruction,
that you may gain wisdom in the future.
Coming before the Lord consistently in prayer is crucial if we are going to know and walk in His will. In fact, Paul said it very clearly,
“pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” ().
It is God’s will for you to pray! Prayer is an important element when it comes to walking in and seeking to know the will of God. When we pray, we ought to ask the Lord to help us to walk in His will. The psalmist prayed, “Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it” (). Furthermore, we ought to ask the Lord to give us deeper understanding of His will, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” ().
Now when it comes to making decisions concerning those things that are not recorded in Scripture, we are to commit it to the Lord in prayer and seek guidance, leading and wisdom from Him. If we are going to walk in His will, prayer should become a habit in our lives.
17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
35 Lead me in the path of your commandments,
for I delight in it.
18 Open my eyes, that I may behold
wondrous things out of your law.