How do you make decisions?
Do you assess the pros and cons of every option, or do you just do what you want to do?
I know what you’re thinking: Different levels of decisions require different decision-making processes. You might say that you dedicate more thought and prayer to the more significant decisions, and take a more casual approach to the less significant ones. Some decisions are weightier than others, more consequential – while some are more menial; they matter less overall. For example, selecting an outfit requires a different decision-making system than selecting a city to live in.
You might say that, while the bigger decisions take more time and effort, you may decide on the smaller things, (i.e. what to eat, say, or wear) by what you feel.
Here’s the problem with that response:
Our feelings are not always for us.
Think about it: do you usually have to will yourself to want dessert? No. If dessert is offered, we’ll want it. All our emotions associated with cake, (nostalgia, laughter, gluttony, shame) will conspire together without our cosigning to get us to desire dessert. It takes zero effort on our part to feel like we want cake – in fact, we exert more effort in deciding to say no!
Now, feelings surely should be considered during decision-making. God often uses our feelings to communicate to us. God’s spirit often guides us towards something or warns us away from something through our emotions.
But in order for our feelings to reflect God’s will, we must first align our hearts to His word. Without first meditating on the truth of His word, our feelings cannot be trusted.
Listen: we’ve got close to a million voices in our minds speaking thoughts into existence. God speaks, too – but He only has one voice. And the only way to truly know His voice is to know His word.
Okay, fair enough. So is it safe to isolate the bigger decisions from the smaller ones; to say that we’ll trust His word for the bigger decisions and just trust ourselves for the smaller ones?
Well, not quite.
Firstly: We do not have the authority to determine the significance of a decision. Only God can do that.
Who says that choosing an outfit isn’t significant? In our eyes, it might not be. But God tells us not to lean on our own understanding. God just might want you to pray about your outfit; because He might tell you to wear a certain shirt that He knows will draw the attention of a certain person and thus unlock a certain divine connection for your future. Trust Him.
Secondly: If we’re not careful, our bigger decisions will also become solely motivated by our feelings.
Following our feelings is an addictive way to live. It takes no effort, no prayer, no fasting; and it always serves our better interest. The less little things I pray about, the more big things I will forget to pray about. And before I realize it, I’ve completely eliminated my need for God.
Proverbs 3:6 says, “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
Here, we have a promise. The Word promises us that in every way we acknowledge God, He will direct us. But if we do not acknowledge Him, He cannot direct us!
We need His direction.
Because while our feelings are not always for us,
our God is always for us.