C – GUIDANCE IN DECISIONS – 3
In retrospect, our desire is to live our lives to the glory of God and to bring honor to His name and His church. We want to please the One who gives us everything and in particular—salvation. Secondly, in order to learn how to please our Lord, we go to our instruction book, the Word of God. Our hearts are filled with joy and encouragement as we study its pages and search for its Truths. Our knowledge is filled in three ways as we search the Scriptures: COMMAND, EXAMPLE, PRINCIPAL.
The third element in our guidance to help in our decisions is prayer. God has spoken to us through His Word and now we desperately need to speak to Him in prayer. We can know, but to do is very often difficult. We need help. Jam.1:5 When we fall physically, we call out for help and hope someone hears us and will come to our rescue. God is always there when we call to Him for help. Ps.46:1; Heb.4:16
In our study of prayer, we have found some stipulations. Prov.15:29 Our preceding considerations are important. We are attempting to sincerely glorify God in our words, actions, and attitudes and are studying His Word to increase our knowledge of accomplishing these things. We must believe that God will answer us. Jam.1:6,7
As we pray, we must realize that God has the final answer. We pray that His will be done as Jesus prayed in the Garden. Matt.26:39 As we make decisions it is so important that we are not praying that God will see to it that my will is done. Too often this happens. We see a solution that seems right so we pray for our solution to materialize. God sees far beyond our sight. Isa.55:8
Numerous instances in the Scripture show the power that God has to answer prayer. One example is Hannah praying for a son. 1 Sam.1:11,27 It seemed that the Israelites were doomed; however, Elisha’s prayer was answered and God won the battle for them. This is found in 2 Kgs.6:17. Hezekiah was faced with a very large problem. 2 Kgs.19:14,19 God heard and answered his prayer. 2 Kgs.19:20,34 Many other examples could be given. God hears. God is powerful and all-wise. God is our shield and He answers – when we call on Him. This is necessary.
At times, although our prayer may be to know God’s will, it should be to have the will to do God’s will. So often, inwardly, we know. God’s will may be opposed to our will. How often do people follow their own answer only to be caught up in sin or failure. In Josh.9:14 no prayer for guidance preceded an agreement. Deceit was found in just a few days.
Do we spend time daily in asking God for wisdom and guidance in decisions whether big or small. It might not make a difference if we choose blue or green to wear; however, if we are shopping, the difference in quality and price might make the decision a bit more important. We can pray for God to help us control our spending, our eating, and all of the other choices we make daily, even though the choices may be mundane.
We miss a great privilege and help when we don’t take the opportunity to pray. Some trust themselves and do not feel the need of help from God. Ps.10:4 Although we rely on God in prayer, we cannot assume that we are free from work and thought. Neh.4:9 God knows what we need but we need to humble ourselves before Him and ask. Matt.6:8 In our weakness we do not always know how to ask. A Helper is provided for us. Rom.8:26 Our lives seek to follow His will and our prayers must do the same with a willingness to follow God’s will. 1 Jhn.5:14
As we pray for God to show us the way of His will for us, let us be introspective in a very sincere way. Are we praying for something that will allow us to go or to have or maybe to do the thing that would fulfill a personal desire. Jam.4:3 This type of prayer would not cultivate righteousness nor would it grow spiritual wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. This is where our mind must be to make a decision of earthly importance in a spiritual way. Where we live, what we do decisions are of this world but they have spiritual consequences.
When we have major decisions to make, our tendency is to become very frustrated and anxious. Phil.4:6,7 We know in our heads that God will be with us. Ps.46:1 However, in our heart our faith becomes weak. It seems to us that we pray and pray and yet the answer for guidance in our decision does not come. Lk.18:1 Jesus tell us to not give up. Peter reminds us, as well. 1 Pet.5:7 God knows the proper way and time to answer. He may be building our faith as we wait for the Lord. Ps.27:14; Ps.38:15 We need the mind of David. Even in his faith, he kept crying out to the Lord. Don’t stop! Jam.5:16
In summary so far, give ourselves to our Lord; be willing to do His will (Heb.13:21); seek knowledge and understanding through His Word (2 Tim.3:16,17); and pray without ceasing (1 Thess.5:17). In order to obtain guidance in decisions, our goal need to concentrate on 1 Jhn.3:22.