One of the main questions I am asked by young people is this: “How do I know the will of God for my life?” There are young people, I believe, who have a sincere desire to know God’s plan for their life, but the flesh they deal with, the distractions they face, and the peer pressures they deal with can truly confuse them in their search to know what He desires for their lives.
So, I am always looking for helpful hints to encourage people in this direction. Missionary David Cloud (to the country of Nepal) deals with various topics, and I came across this and I thought it could be helpful. I will share a portion of his article in this edition and more in editions to follow.
Many people have spoiled their Christian lives because of bad decisions made apart from God’s will (e.g., wrong job, wrong friends, wrong marriage partner, mistakes in the pursuit of education, mistakes made in moving to another place). And it is not only young people who make unwise decisions; many older and even elderly people have committed this grave mistake.
1. Don’t trust your own understanding; trust in the Lord (Proverbs 3:5; 28:26; Jeremiah 17:9)
The individual that trusts his own understanding will make wrong decisions, because of the fallen nature. We must seek God and trust Him explicitly. Even though the believer has a new nature called the “new man,” the “old man” is still there and can still lead us astray.
We acknowledge God in all our ways through prayer. Instead of trusting in our own understanding, we beseech the Lord for wisdom and guidance in every major decision. He has promised to lead His people, but we must seek His guidance and not presume upon it. We must “acknowledge him” in all of our ways. It is tempting to think, “Well, the Lord already knows that I need His wisdom and help; surely He will automatically give it.” In fact, God has taught us in His Word to pray specifically and earnestly about all matters. To fail to do so is a recipe for making unwise decisions.
We acknowledge God in all our ways through consulting the Bible. If we want to make wise decisions, we must be diligent Bible students, because it is through the Bible that we know God’s mind (1 Corinthians 2:16), learn God’s will (Psalm 119:105), and obtain faith (Romans 10:17). We must learn how to have an effective daily Bible study. We must be faithful to the preaching and teaching ministry of a strong Bible-believing church. We must take every opportunity to grow in our knowledge of God’s holy Word, so we can know His will and make wise decisions.
2. Walk in the light (1 John 1:5-10).
To walk in sin is to walk in darkness, and it hinders spiritual living and thinking (1 Peter 2:11). The Bible warns that the backslider will be filled with his own ways rather than with the ways of the Lord (Prov. 14:14).
If a believer is disobedient or sassy to his parents, stubborn or critical or bitter toward authority, not loving his wife, not showing honor to her husband, gossiping, lying, stealing, loving the evil things of the world, his prayers are hindered and he will not have wisdom to make good decisions.
To make important decisions in a backslidden spiritual state is a recipe for disaster. Many believers who were far from the Lord in their hearts contracted a marriage or a job or pursued a field of education or chosen a Bible College or developed a friendship that they later came to regret deeply. Beware!
Evangelist Eric Ramos