Hearing God When You’re Making Decisions – Part 1December 5, 2004
You’ve been offered a new job at a larger salary with primo benefits. But it means moving and starting over in a new town. You’d have to leave the church you love and the neighborhood that feels so comfortable. What would be the right thing to do?
You’re dating a very special person and it feels like they might be “the one”. But the more you analyze it, you realize that there are several pieces to your relationship puzzle that aren’t right. Does God want you to marry this one or wait for another that is more in line with your calling?
These, and a thousand other life situations, call for wisdom from God. But, of all the situations in which we would like to hear the voice of God, times of decision-making seem to be the hardest. It seems that God doesn’t make sense at those junctures, no matter how hard we try to get His will right for our lives. Why is it so hard to hear God when we are trying to make decisions?
It isn’t just difficult for us. In Acts 1:15-26, the disciples were trying to decide which of the followers of Jesus should take the place of Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus and then killed himself. This was a critical decision and they were worried about getting it wrong. They had two very qualified and righteous guys to choose from and it seems they just couldn’t make up their minds. Eventually, they cast lots to make the final choice. This is very much like choosing the short straw. Why didn’t they just rely upon God instead of going to such random lengths?
First, hearing God in decision-making is hard because we are fighting the agenda that our hearts already have. Many times, we hope that one path will be chosen over another. In approaching God with our minds half made-up, our inner heart is yearning to go one direction. For those who really want to be in God’s will, we don’t want God to disagree with us. It then becomes easier to look at circumstances and believe they are God pointing us in the direction of our heart. I know a pastor who ministered in a church for a long time while not being married. Regularly, he would have women tell him that God had shown them the pastor was supposed to marry them. He never doubted their sincerity, though he did doubt their motivation for listening for just that particular answer. One woman asked God that if it rained the next day it would be God’s sign that the pastor was supposed to marry her.
He said it had rained for seven straight days. Needless to say, there was no marriage.
Next time, we will look at the other three reasons why it is so hard to hear God when we have to make a decision.