I have always been taken by stories of change. Powerful transformations that rearrange a life and rework heart-space are, in my humble opinion, nothing less than scintillating! Don’t we all love those epics in which a life is improved, bettered or even catapulted into greatness? Like the magic of the metamorphosis we see in nature. Caterpillar becoming butterfly. Men and women defying the odds, choosing forgiveness and emerging with renovated hearts and minds. What about big life changes like getting married, taking on a new career, having a baby or moving continents?
Sometimes change is so unseen, it happens quietly, deep down in the recesses of one’s heart, one minute decision at a time. Other times, it is unmissable, and we all get to witness the transformation. The truth is that most change starts with a decision. The choices you make on both macro and micro levels. Today I want to look at the important topic of “How to make good decisions”, particularly when it comes to those large-scale decisions that have notable ramifications. I have come to realise that how we make decisions is perhaps one of the most destiny-defining aspects of our lives. We’re often told that we are the sum total of our choices. There certainly is a measure of truth in this statement!
At creation, our wonderful, relationship-seeking God took an enormous risk, giving mankind the beautiful, but sobering, freedom to make his/her own choices. Our journey through life is fraught with junctures that require us to make decisions, and it goes without saying that we need enormous wisdom to navigate these places successfully.
So how do we make those significant, life-altering decisions? I believe that our process must start, first and foremost, with seeking God. So obvious isn’t it, and yet I have watched many folk make decisions without a thought of Him and His perfect plan.
Proverbs 3:5-7 says, “Trust in the Lord completely, and do not rely on your own opinions. With all your heart rely on Him to guide you, and He will lead you in every decision you make” (The Passion Translation). God wants to lead us through every major decision we face. We’re instructed not to rely on our own (limited) opinions, but rather to seek Him and His guidance in the decision-making process. What a resource He is! So full of wisdom, with plans and purposes way higher than anything we could ever imagine! I have been amazed, time and time again, at the detail with which God will speak when I have postured my heart to hear from Him. His voice may resound in a scripture you read, a dream you have, a prophetic word you receive, in a book you’re reading or even in conversation with a friend or colleague. The God who loves you and is intent on doing you good, will not withhold His voice. All that is required is a listening ear and a humble, teachable spirit.
Proverbs 24:6 says, “For by wise counsel you can wage your war, and in an abundance of counsellors there is victory and safety.” (Amplified ) See also Proverbs 11:14. Sometimes we think that seeking counsel is a sign of weakness. On the contrary, however, it shows enormous strength of character.
Thirdly, do your homework! Sharpen your pencil! Research, interview people, run the numbers, and make lists of the pros and cons of your decision. Carefully consider the implications of your choice. Here again, God’s word counsels us. Luke 14:28 says,” Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?” (NIV) This applies not only in the financial sense, but also with regards to weighing up whether one has sufficient emotional and physical energy, as well as time to follow through on a choice or decision. Think ahead, it always pays handsomely!
My fourth point is this: Go with the course of action that you have peace about. God’s word speaks about letting Peace act as the umpire. “And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts (deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds…)” Colossians 3:15 (Amplified). Umpires have the final say. Let the Spirit of Peace, Jesus Himself, who lives within you, have the last word. Sometimes our logical/analytical thinking can pull us one way, and our hearts, another. It’s a head- over- heart dispute. Let Peace be the umpire, settling the decision.
Here are a few other brief points to consider when making a major decision:
*Revisit prophetic words and scriptures that have been given to you, as well as your “history” with God. What has He been speaking to you?
*As far as possible, don’t rush your decision. We all know the old adage, “Haste makes waste”. I’ve seen this play out far too many times. Take your time over big decisions; they warrant careful thought and planning. Wisdom waits, and while you wait, He works!
*Be expectant of the supernatural in your decision-making.
*Sometimes, decisions lead to the closing of a chapter. Perhaps the end of a season, or of a partnership or a relationship. Maybe a change of job or a geographical move. Whenever there is a closure, navigate this with as much honour and grace as possible. Leaving well is just as important as starting well.
Ladies, may your transitions and changes spring from the wisdom He is so willing to give. May your decisions lead you to wide-open, spacious places!
Read Angela Morgan's bio here