We make hundreds of choices every day. Some are of little consequence, such as which coffee mug I chose for my morning cup of coffee. Others may be life-changing, including the person we choose to marry. But no choice we ever make will be more important that the choice to accept Jesus as Savior and Lord of our lives. If you aren’t sure that you’ve made this choice, find someone you look up to as a mature Christian and talk this over with them. Without this assurance that you truly are a part of God’s family because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, none of the below steps will make sense to you.
The question of salvation was settled in my life many years ago. Yet I’m currently facing another major decision, one concerning my health, and my husband and I are in agreement that we need to hear from God before moving forward. After seven months of greatly increased pain, dizziness, and other symptoms, the spinal and neurosurgeon I was referred to has told me that the vertebrae in my neck and back are in such bad shape that surgery is my only option left for getting relief. Back surgery is risky, therefore my husband and I want to hear from God before we make a decision. So what I’m sharing today is not theoretical. The principles I’m sharing are practical steps to confirming the will of God in a situation such as this.
Proverbs 3:5-6, in the New Living Translation 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.” But what is our part in the process of finding God’s will. These verses give the steps.
- Trust in the Lord with all your heart. The Hebrew word translated trust means “to be confident and secure in someone,” in this case in the Lord. It includes the idea of picking up all my cares and concerns and throwing them on Him. And I am to do this wholeheartedly. James 1:5-8 promises: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.”
- Do not depend on your own understanding. To depend on (lean on, in KJV), is to rest upon or put our confidence in something. We are not to rest in our limited understanding, intelligence, or discernment. Instead, we’re to rest in the Lord as we wait for His answer. “Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.” (Psalm 62:1 NIV)
- Seek his will in all you do. KJV words this “acknowledge Him in all your ways.” The word for acknowledge means to know or be acquainted with someone. Another meaning is to turn the mind on someone or something. God seldom works in our timing, so to me this is instruction in what we are to do while we wait for His answer. We are to turn our focus on Him, not the subject for which we’re seeking an answer. And we are to seek to please God in all we do, not just to get Him to answer us but as a way of life. This is also a good time to become better acquainted with God, by studying His attributes or names that give us deeper revelation of who He really is.
- He will show you which path to take. Unlike the first three points which are instructions, this final one is a promise. If we do the three steps listed above, God will smooth the path before us, will show us the best decision to make. There are numerous verses that promise God will be faithful in showing us what choice to make in situations such as the one I’m currently facing, but one of my favorites is Hebrews 10:23, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”
We all make innumerable choices every day, most of little lasting importance. But sometimes we need to make decisions that may have a major influence on our future. I’m currently facing such a choice, and some of you may be also. I hope you will join me in the decision to choose wisely, by doing it God’s way. Psalm 147:5 says, “Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.” Isaiah 46:10 tells us He knows the end from the beginning. Therefore, we can be confident He knows which path will take us where His perfect will is found. So let’s ask for wisdom, wait for His answer, then boldly and bravely start down that path.