I sat on the couch with tears stinging my eyes. “I do not know what to do.”
I was faced with a decision to make. I could continue with my bachelor’s degree (which would put my husband and I in further debt and lessen our chances of buying a house) or I could stop my bachelor’s degree and pursue certification in biblical counseling. I wanted my education, but I didn’t want the debt. It was like two walls were quickly closing together around me.
Can you relate to that pressure? Even tiny decisions can press with might against us. Sometimes it’s like a juggling act of tossing options around and seeing which one has the best outcome. We strain to see around the corner as to what might happen if we chose option A or option B.
Life presents a multitude of decisions to make: Who to marry, should I marry, what school do I attend, what degree do I take, what career do I pursue, should I accept that job, where do I live, which house do I buy, which church do I attend, which ministries should I be involved in, when should I have children… the lists goes on.
As believers, we want to make decisions that honour God. But how do we do that?
Friend, I want to encourage you by saying Scripture is sufficient for any decision you need to make.
Scripture Is Sufficient for Your Decisions
Though the Bible does not tell me whether or not I should continue with my degree, it does equip me for every good work. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NASB).
Claiming that Scripture is sufficient does not mean that I believe it contains a direct answer for every problem I will face. Rather, the sufficiency of Scripture means that the Bible is fully adequate to provide us with everything we need to live as a Christian. An article from Got Questions defines it this way:
“The doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture is a fundamental tenet of the Christian faith. To say the Scriptures are sufficient means that the Bible is all we need to equip us for a life of faith and service. It provides a clear demonstration of God’s intention to restore the broken relationship between Himself and humanity through His Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior through the gift of faith. No other writings are necessary for this good news to be understood, nor are any other writings required to equip us for a life of faith.” (https://www.gotquestions.org/sufficiency-of-Scripture.html).
We are fully equipped to live a God-honouring life with the Bible. Scripture itself testifies of this:
The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.” Psalm 19:7-9 NASB
If we are equipped with the Bible to live a godly life, we are equipped to make godly decisions. Though the Bible is not a life decision encyclopedia, you can find principles, guidelines, and commands that will equip you for discerning the right choice.
When making your decision, consider what God commands and compare your options with them. Ask yourself:
- Do either of these options disobey God?
- Do they cause someone else to stumble?
- Will God be dishonoured by this decision?
- How will this decision effect those around me? Will I still be loving my neighbour?
- Can I still fulfill the roles God has called me to (mother, wife, friend, serving the church, personal spiritual health, etc.) in making this decision?
A Word or Sign from God
My anxious heart wished God would write in the clouds, “This is the decision I want you to make…” Though I was tempted to pray for a sign at times, I knew that wasn’t the biblical response.
Because the Bible is sufficient, there is no longer any need for extra revelation. God may bring certain passages of Scripture to mind through the Holy Spirit, but He will not tell you in a dream or through a personal word what you are to do. When the last book of the Bible was written, new revelation was finished. God does not need to reveal anything new to you, because all that you need to know is in His Word. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says that we are equipped for every single good work with the Word of God.
God has given us the resources and abilities to make godly decisions, so as a mature Christian, it is my responsibility to use those resources and discern the right choice.
Though God knows everything that is going to happen and does have a specific plan for your life, that is His secret will, and Deuteronomy 29:29 tells us that those things are for God to know: “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law” (NASB). We do not know God’s secret will, but He has given us His revealed will so that we can discern a godly decision.
More Wisdom for Decision Making
Reading the Bible was my first step in making my decision. Secondly, my husband and I sat down with a few of our Christian friends to ask them for wisdom and insight. Our friends were able to point out things we had missed when considering our options, like the fact that God’s providence does not depend on me having a degree. When I began to stray towards selfish ambitions in this decision, my dear friends quickly picked up on that and pointed me back to God’s humble call for my life.
Sit down with a close friend and have a serious discussion about your decision. Ask them if they can see any misguided or misplaced intentions in your decision-making process. Ask them for guidance as to what they believe is the most God-honouring option.
A wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel.” Proverbs 1:5 NASB
We also prayed constantly about our decision. We asked God to show us our hearts in this decision and if we had become self-centred about it in any way. We prayed that He would keep us from a harmful choice and give us the wisdom and discernment necessary to honour Him.
If you want more insight into decision making, Christina Fox has an excellent article.
I hope that you have been encouraged and have a new love and dependence on the Holy Word of God.
In love and grace,