Like everybody else, I make about a zillion decisions each day. Some are as simple as, “Should I have a ham sandwich or a tuna fish sandwich for lunch?” Others are as complex as, “Should we list our house with a real-estate agent and try to sell it?” Some have to be made on the spur of the moment: “Can I beat that yellow light?” Others only get made at the end of a long-drawn-out process of investigation: “Which college should my kid attend?”
It’s the “big” decisions, of course, that stress us out, keep us up at night, and drive us to prayer. These are the ones that have the potential to radically change the status quo and usher in major changes. While it’s true that sometimes our “little” decisions are actually “big” ones in disguise — as the old saying goes, “Big doors swing on little hinges” — some decisions seem “big” right out of the gate and stay that way right down the line because, let’s face it, they are.
Regarding these decisions, I hope you won’t mind if I share with you a tip that I’ve found very helpful over the years. Actually, this tip can be used to help you determine God’s will regarding any decision (“big” or “little”), but I myself usually just use it for “big” ones. The tip goes like this:
When you are faced with a decision, go to God in prayer and say this: “Lord, if You called me up to heaven right now and asked me, ‘What do you think My will is regarding this decision?’ here is what I would answer: ……”
Now that I’ve given the tip, let me add in two important details about it. Detail #1 identifies the basic assumption that serves as the foundation for the tip. That assumption is: Not only does God want you to know His will regarding your decision, He has already been working on you to let you know what His will is.
Admittedly, God’s work in you must not be complete if you are still in decision mode. Still, though, the mere fact that you have already formed at least a working answer that you can give in reply to His question shows that He has been on the case a while. Again, the work isn’t finished and it’s not yet time for you to commit to any course of action, but God already has the bread in the oven.
Detail #2 plays right off the first one and has to do with the nature of how the tip works. What you need to know is that the tip is only helpful for the specific moment in time in which you employ it. What I mean is, just because you answer God’s question in a certain way on Monday, that doesn’t mean that you’ll answer it the same way on Tuesday. Sometimes just a little more information or a new set of facts can tweek your whole mindset and completely change the answer you give to God.
Because of this, the tip is not intended to be an end-game type of deal. Instead, you should think of it as being simply a mile marker on the journey that ends with you finalizing your decision. It’s just you saying to God, “Okay Lord, if I had to make my decision this second, here’s what I think is Your will.” Needless to say, if the answer you give isn’t truly God’s will, He knows that He has to do that which is necessary to bring your thinking into line with His. And He will always be faithful to do that.