One of the greatest gifts the Lord has given us is the power to choose. In fact, every day we are faced with literally hundreds of choices. The question is: Are we making the right ones?
Think about your own life for a moment. When you have a decision to make, do you normally go with the flow, doing whatever feels right? Or do you pray for wisdom, and ask the Lord for insight?
I love Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV). It says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."
If you are anything like me, you know how easy it is to lean "on your own understanding." However, just because something might sound good, feel good and look like the right thing to do, it doesn't mean it's God's best for you or necessarily the right direction to take.
Let me give you an example. Early in my ministry, I had the idea to do a local TV talk show in St. Louis. We got a group of ladies together who were well educated in the Bible, and we rented some studio space at a local TV station to do the taping.
I was trying to do an interview show, but every time I asked a question, I'd answer it myself! I just couldn't quiet down long enough to let anybody else respond.
Obviously, this didn't work because it was my plan, not God's. In six months, we received one piece of mail!
A few years later, the Lord directed us to go on TV, and we didn't have a clue what we were doing. We rented a banquet room where the ceiling was too low, and some of the tiles were caving in. We placed a podium on a stage, and for a backdrop we took this blue thing that looked like a shower curtain and strung it up on a pole behind me.
It looked ridiculous, but the very first day my program aired, we received 125 calls! That was the beginning of our television ministry, which continued to expand and now airs throughout two-thirds of the world.
Proverbs 3:7a says, "Do not be wise in your own eyes." I believe God is telling us, "Don't think you can run your life and do a good job without My help and direction."
Sure, we can come up with some good ideas on our own, but many times we settle for "good" when God wants to give us "great."
It seems many Christians struggle with making decisions because they're afraid they won't hear from God. However, the Lord longs to give us direction, and He desires to speak to us in so many ways.
First and foremost, He has given us His Word. The Bible tells us that God's Word is alive, active and powerful (see Hebrews 4:12). In fact, John 1:14 says this about Jesus, "The Word became flesh."
So, when we read and study the Bible, we're not just reading a good book; we are actually spending time with God Himself. And the Bible is our instruction book for life!
The Lord can also speak to us through our conscience, other people and even the world around us. But one of the main ways the Lord will direct us is through peace. Colossians 3:15 says, "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace."
This is saying that just as the umpire in a ball game decides if the ball or player is "in" or "out," similarly, peace is the umpire that decides if something in our lives should be in or out.
There have been times when I have been invited to speak at a conference or special event, and I have really wanted to accept. However, I didn't have peace about doing it, so I decided to decline.
Now, I may not always know why I shouldn't go, but I have learned (sometimes the hard way) that God knows things I don't.
I encourage you to let the peace in your heart decide with finality every question that arises in your mind. If you are getting ready to make a major decision, ask the Lord for His guidance. Remember, when you acknowledge Him in all your ways, He will direct your path (Prov. 3:6).
If you aren't used to praying about decisions, it may seem awkward at first. But the more you seek the Lord and ask for help, the easier it gets ... and the more sensitive you will become to His presence and direction.
Don't settle for "good enough." God has a great plan for your future, and as you seek Him for guidance, He will be faithful to lead you in every single decision you make.
Please note: The views and opinions expressed throughout this publication and/or website are those of the respective authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Joyce Meyer Ministries.
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. She has authored 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Get Your Hopes Up! (Hachette). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit www.joycemeyer.org.
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