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Decision-making can be a paralyzing experience.
Say, for example, that you have been offered a new job in a different state. Should you take it? Well, it depends. What are the schools like in the area? What is the traffic like? Are there any nuclear power plants nearby? Is the increased salary worth the emotional cost of moving your family? … All these different factors can make it difficult to decide.
Now, throw the whole issue of God’s will into the mix? Is it really God’s will for you to move? It seems like it’s God’s will, but maybe it’s not. What if you make a terrible mistake and somehow miss the will of God? Are you going to end up in some purgatorial situation because you accidentally missed God’s will?
The fear of missing God’s will is enough to paralyze any Christian. But here’s the question: Can a Christian miss the will of God for their life? Could you somehow go your entire life being outside of God’s good plan for you? ...
The way to miss God’s will is really simple: ignore the Bible. In the Bible God has told us exactly what we should do when it comes to making decisions. First, we should determine if our decision goes against anything clearly spelled out in the Bible. …
Second, we should ask God to give us wisdom. James 1:5–6 says: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting.”
Getting wisdom from God isn’t a mystical, super-spiritual experience. It means asking God to help us think clearly and biblically about the decision in front of us. When we ask for wisdom, we should believe God is going to give it to us. God isn’t trying to hide his good will from us. He wants to help us understand the right way to walk. …
If we heed the counsel of Scripture, we won’t miss God’s will. God isn’t hiding his will, or trying to trick us into making a bad decision. If we evaluate our decision by Scripture, ask for wisdom, and then ask the opinion of others, we are doing what God requires of us. He promises to guide us through that process. …
The Bible doesn’t tell us what we’re supposed to feel about our decisions. Instead, it tells us how to make biblical, God-honoring decisions. So, if you have a big decision to make … go to the Word, ask for wisdom, and get others involved.—Stephen Altrogge1
The “what if” syndrome
Throughout our lives, we all have to make important decisions. Whether it’s what school to go to, what to major in, what job to take, or even who to marry, we all have to make a decision and face what all those decisions will bring. When we make these decisions, however, we often ask ourselves one question: What if? What if I had chosen to go to a different college? What if I had chosen a different major? What if I wasn’t in this relationship?
When we are forced to choose something, our thoughts often go wild thinking of what could have been and maybe what should have been. Sometimes when we think and feel like we have made the wrong decision, we also think we have missed out on God’s plans for our lives. What if my one choice wasn’t what God intended and I have messed up all His plans? What if I took the completely wrong path? ...
Sure, you may take a wrong turn and add a detour to His path, but He will ultimately get you to where He wants you. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
God already knows where you are going. He has your destination set. … Even when you feel like you took a wrong turn or made the wrong decision, trust that God has you on His path. He will lead you to where He wants you to go, if you will let Him. You have to listen to His voice and let Him move you in the right direction.
Next time you wonder if you missed His plan or path, trust Him. Give your worry away and have faith that God is watching over you and leading you.—Allison Preslar2
If you think you’ve blown God’s plan for your life, rest in this: You, my beautiful friend, are not that powerful.—Lisa Bever
Finding plan B
We all regularly miss God’s “plan A”—myself included. All of the biblical figures, apart from Jesus, misunderstood, misheard, or chose to ignore God’s will at multiple points in their lives. Sometimes we misunderstand. Sometimes we’re determined to do what we want. The good news is that God is a specialist in “plan B”! God has to be, since we humans are great at missing “plan A.” …
God has you in his sights. He loves you and delights in you. And though at some point you surely have missed God’s plan A (as we all have), he still has plans to prosper and bless you and to give you a future with hope.
You may or may not have missed God’s “plan A”—but [if you have, take heart because] God’s plan B is your new plan A. God uses our mishaps and mistakes to accomplish his purposes. You’re right where he wants you today. [Maybe] you can’t yet see how it’s all going to work out. But trust him, keep seeking to do his will, know that the tough stuff will not last, and that even this period of existential angst is being used by God.
Picture him before the potter’s wheel, forming and shaping you for purposes you cannot yet see.—Adam Hamilton3
His plan, His will
We are weak and faulty, but our God is invincible. We are earthen vessels that He works through, and we can have full faith that, as we look to Him and His Word for guidance, and allow Him to direct our paths, He will work through us.
It’s imperative that we believe in God’s ability to fulfill His will for our lives and to use us for whatever purpose He sees fit. Specifically, we need faith to make the right decisions, decisions that are the Lord’s will, even in cases when we’re in a blind spot, but we personally have to decide what to do. Can you have faith that as you look to the Lord, He will help you to make the right decision?
Believe that you can do what is His will, because He can do it through you. “For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”4 Have you put any limits on what God wants to do through you, because you lack faith in His ability to perform His will and to work His good pleasure through you? Believe in God’s ability to work in you.
We need to believe that if God asks us to do something, even if it’s something we don’t feel comfortable with or haven’t done before, if God is calling us to do it today, we need to believe that we can.
We need faith in the Lord’s ability to perform and work through us. Because it’s according to our belief and faith that it shall be done unto us. God is in you and working through you. So believe that you can fulfill His will for you and your life, no matter what mistakes or wrong turns you make along the way, because He can do it through you.
Let’s work to cultivate an atmosphere of faith in each of our lives, a faith that believes, that hopes for and expects the best, that knows that God will never fail us or His promises in His Word.—Peter Amsterdam
Published on Anchor June 2021. Read by Jon Marc.
4 Philippians 2:13 ESV.