“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” –Psalm 32:8
We can’t change the past, but we can change the future.
Tragically, many people spend their lives trapped in an endless cycle of bad choices – and bad choices always have bad results. The Bible is right: “A man reaps what he sows” (Galatians 6:7). It also warns, “He who sows wickedness reaps trouble” (Proverbs 22:8). Even Christians aren’t immune from making wrong choices.
The journey God has set before us isn’t a freeway; we are constantly encountering forks and junctions and crossroads. Which way will we go when we meet them? Life is filled with decisions, and we can’t avoid them. But others are major (even if we don’t realize it at the time) and can literally change our lives.
How can we discover God’s will when we face a major decision? Let me give you six guidelines I have found helpful.
First, commit your decision to God. Make it a matter of regular prayer, asking God to guide you and make His will known to you.
Second, read the Scriptures. Does the Bible give any direct guidance about the decision you are facing? Does any principle in the Bible apply to your situation? Did anyone in the Bible ever face a similar decision, and, if so, how did they deal with it? (We can even learn from the wrong decisions some of them made.)
Third, understand your circumstances. God isn’t only working in us; He also is working around us. Often God guides us through our circumstances.
Fourth, seek godly advice. God has given some people a special gift of wisdom, and when we face a decision, it’s often helpful to seek their counsel.
Fifth, trust the Holy Spirit’s guidance. When we honestly seek His will, God often gives us an inner conviction or prompting to confirm which way He wants us to go. The Bible says, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear the voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it” (Isaiah 30:21).
Finally, trust God for the outcome. Once God leads you to make a decision, don’t draw back. Instead, trust His leading, and believe He goes before you – for He does. The Bible says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Remember: God loves you, and He wants you to know His will. Seek it . . . discover it . . . and then do it. His way is always best.
Excerpt from “The Journey” by Billy Graham (2006, W Publishing Group)