Should I marry this person or not? Should I take this new job or remain in my current job? Should I continue renting, or is it time to buy a house? Should I join this church? Should we adopt? Etc.
The difficulty in Christian decision-making comes when there are a number of choices you could make within the boundaries of God’s Word. The practical questions outlined below will help you make wise decisions. Weigh all of these questions together.
The Main Question
Will my decision keep me on the path of glorifying God in Jesus Christ, or will it divert me?
See 1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 1:18. If the choice before you is big enough to make you wonder what God’s will is, then you need to have a clear sense that your decision won’t distract you from glorifying God in Christ. Nothing is more important. As the saying goes, “Only one life will soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.”
1. Will this decision keep me in line with clear biblical teaching?
See John 17:17. If your decision will cause you to sin by going against God’s Word, you know it’s not God’s will. Don’t do it. All your conduct must be “in step with the truth of the gospel” (Galatians 2:14).
2. Is my mind captivated by the things of God or the things of the world?
See Romans 12:1-2; Proverbs 1:7. As your mind is renewed in the truth, you have greater ability to discern what will please God in various circumstances. Conversely, the less captivated you are by God and the gospel, the more suspicious you should be of your discernment. You will need to lean harder into the other questions in this list.
3. Am I talking regularly to God about this decision?
See 1 Thessalonians 5:17; James 1:5. God is pleased to give you wisdom when you ask for it in faith.
4. Do I have an open door?
See 1 Corinthians 16:8-9. An open door is no guarantee that you have discerned God’s will. Sometimes more than one door will stand open to you. But still, if the door is closed, there is no decision to be made.
5. Do I have a sense of peace about walking through the open door?
See 2 Corinthians 2:12-13. Paul had an open door but no peace. His lack of peace trumped the open door. Having peace that God is pleased with your course of action is important in decision-making, since you will need to make your decision in faith (see Question 7).
6. What do my godly Christian friends think about my situation?
See Proverbs 11:14; 24:6. It’s almost always wise to seek counsel, especially when you’re stumped, or when you’re about to make a significant decision. Put the decision before a few trusted believers to see what they think. Be open to their counsel, especially if they have some thoughts or concerns that you haven’t considered.
7. Can I make this decision in faith?
See Romans 14:23; Proverbs 3:5-6. If the Bible allows for your decision but you still can’t follow through in faith, something is wrong. Don’t do it, at least not until you can do it with a clear conscience. “To go against conscience is neither right nor safe” (Martin Luther).
You Can Rest
If the decision you make is within scriptural boundaries, if you’re walking with the Lord and asking for his wisdom, if the door is open, if your Christian friends think it’s a good idea, and if you have peace before the Lord and can act in faith, you are glorifying God! Make your decision, then rest in God’s sovereign care. God is big enough to fix any missteps you take—he will sustain you in your chosen course or he will redirect you to a new path. Regardless, he will never leave you nor forsake you. You simply can’t outmaneuver God, for “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).