If you live long enough you will be faced with a BIG decision. Big decisions are those decisions that will affect our life and the lives of many around us. Before you make that BIG commitment, before you make that BIG purchase, before you take that BIG job, before you make any BIG decision please ask yourself the following:
IS THIS MY IDEA OR GOD’S IDEA?
I have to admit that I’ve made some hasty decisions in my past. Decisions that if I had the opportunity to make again I would approach them quite differently. The first thing I would ask myself is “Has God brought me to this point or am I just exercising my free will? Sure you can do whatever you want it’s your life, but this is God’s world. If I’m choosing between my gut instinct and God’s will I know which one I am banking my future success. Sometimes we have great ideas, but it’s only God’s plans that really matter. Sometimes we think its God, but it’s really gas.
(Proverbs 19:21) Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
#2: HAVE I REALLY PRAYED ABOUT THIS?
We’re all guilty at times of saying we’re praying for someone or about something, but rarely do we get alone with God and pray. Big decisions require extra thought, focus, and concentrated prayer. Big decisions should never be made on the fly and should be saturated with much prayer. Scripture tells us that “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”(Luke 5:16) That Jesus before he made the big decision of calling his first twelve disciples “Jesus went up on a mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night.”(Luke 6:12)
(Philippians 4:6) “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
(1 Thessalonians 5:17) Pray continually.
(Matthew 6:9-10) “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
#3: AM I PREPARED TO MAKE THIS DECISION?
I didn’t just decide on the first date I would get married. I didn’t just decide one day that I would become a pastor. God led me one baby step at a time. Through much prayer, processing, and experiences God prepared my heart for his service. After believing God had called me into the ministry I spent over 6 years in college and seminary allowing God to teach me and prepare me to lead others. God’s preparation process is different for all of us, but big endeavors call for big preparations. I need to consider what this commitment will cost me, whether I’m willing to make the necessary sacrifices for this succeed, and have I prepared myself for what lies ahead.
(Luke 14:28) “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it?
(2 Timothy 4:2) …Be prepared in season and out of season…”
#4: HAS GOD GIVEN ME THE GREEN LIGHT?
In other words, has God said its time to move forward with this decision? I’m not asking is this something you believe God wants you to do, but is it God’s timing for you to do this now. Sometimes God tells us to STOP, sometimes GO, and many times WAIT. Just because something makes sense doesn’t mean it’s God’s perfect timing. What matters is if God has impressed this upon your heart and led you to this point. It may not make sense to you right now, but may be exactly what God wants you to do right now. Or, it may make total sense, but not be God’s will for you right now. Scripture is clear that timing does matter.
(Ecclesiastes 3:1) “There is a time for everything,and a season for every activity under heaven.”
(John 10:27) “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
#5: DO I HAVE GOD’S PEACE?
You will always have nerves, fears, critics and concerns. But, after your prayer, processing, and preparation do you have a peace in your heart that God wants you to walk through this door? You can have total peace about something and still be scared to death about what lies ahead. Trust me I’ve made some big decisions in the past like moving 18 hours away from home or starting a new ministry that the only thing I could rest on was the peace that God was leading me to move forward. At the end of the day, all I need to know is that God is for me and with me. But, until I reach that total peace that God is in this thing there is no way I’m moving forward.
(Philippians 4:6-7) Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Psalm 4:8) In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O LORD, will keep me safe.
(Psalm 139:23-24) Search me, O God, and know my heart;test me and know my anxious thoughts.See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Trust me when I tell you that these five things will help you make better decisions and have greater peace as you face God-sized endeavors. I pray these steps processes help you as much as they’ve helped me!