Anyone living in Raleigh is faced with a barrage of decisions each and every day. The decisions range in significance from what to wear or which route to take to work to major decisions involving marriage or career. Successful Raleigh residents make wise decisions, and effective Christians make decisions in accordance with God’s will for their lives. However, hearing from God and knowing with confidence which choice to make is not always easy. Thankfully, the Bible provides a number of helpful tips for gaining wisdom and making wise decisions.
1. Fear God.
And he said to the human race,
“The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom,
and to shun evil is understanding.” (Job 28:28)
The Bible teaches that by developing a healthy fear of God, mankind may obtain wisdom.
5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the LORD gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2: 5-6)
To fear God is to have a holy reverence for Him. Unbelievers fear His judgment while believers worship Him with awe acknowledging that He is holy, righteous and just. Fear of God is utmost respect combined with the understanding that He hates sin and possesses all power to execute judgment.
28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:28-29)
2. Seek Him.
God wants to give His people wisdom and offers instruction and counsel.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. (Psalm 32:8)
However, His greatest desire is that His people would seek Him and get to know Him personally. He is the author of all wisdom, so to make wise choices, one must seek Him earnestly.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)
3. Study God’s word.
The Bible is complete. Every principle for life that a person will ever need is contained in the pages of Scripture. The last chapter of the Bible even warns that terrible plagues will come to anyone who adds anything to the Bible. Christians must read, memorize and meditate on God’s word. When God’s word has been implanted in the heart, the Holy Spirit will bring appropriate Biblical truths and specific Bible verses to one’s remembrance during times of decision (John 14:26).
105 Your word is a lamp for my feet,
a light on my path. (Psalm 119:105)
4. Trust Him.
Often, God’s leading may be counterintuitive. For example, missionaries who sell all they own and move their families to dangerous foreign lands where God is calling them to share the Gospel defies common sense. Even the simple act of tithing requires much faith, especially for those who are struggling to make ends meet. Yet, God is faithful to provide for and protect those who obey Him.
When seeking direction from the Lord, Christians must resolve to trust Him even if the direction in which He leads seems foolish. His ways are higher than man’s ways.
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6
5. Repent of sin.
Unconfessed sin hinders communication between God and man. To receive instruction from the Lord, Christians must first evaluate their hearts and then confess their sins. Next, believers should repent, turning from that sin with a heart that longs to please Him.
To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. (Ecclesiastes 2:26)
6. Listen to Him, not the world.
Raleigh, NC can be a noisy, busy place. While the Bible does instruct believers to seek Godly counsel when making choices, too often, believers will turn to their closest friends and family members first and listen to their input instead of first listening to the Lord. When faced with any decision, a Christian’s first priority and impulse should be to get alone with the Lord to listen for His still soft voice.
21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21)
Rarely is His voice is audible, but He will impress His leading upon a believer’s heart. His direction will never contradict His word. Often, in His loving care, He will confirm what He has spoken into the believer’s heart through similar counsel from Godly mentors or friends and through circumstances.
7. Ask Him for wisdom.
When God made Solomon King over Israel, Solomon knew the task of leading God’s people was too great. So, when God told Solomon to ask Him for whatever he wanted God to give Him, Solomon replied, “Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” God was so pleased with Solomon’s request that He not only gave him more wisdom and understanding than any other man to ever walk the earth, but He also granted Solomon honor, wealth, and possessions (2 Chronicles 1: 7-12).
God knows when His children need wisdom and guidance, but just as a father delights to give his children good gifts when they ask, God prefers that His people ask Him for what they need. When He provides in response to His people’s prayers, their faith is strengthened as they recognize that the provision came from the Lord. Intimacy between God and man is also increased when God answers man’s prayers.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5)
There is no greater joy than walking in God’s will. When a believer takes a step of faith in the direction they think God is leading them, then God will confirm His will with peace. When peace does not come, then believers should continue seeking the Lord and ask God to put up road blocks to hinder them from walking along the wrong path. God is faithful to direct His people in the way they should go as they regularly submit to His leading.
Disciplers Bible Studies: Acts Suzie Klein, 2001, Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274
www.biblegateway.com (all verses are quotes from the New International Version)
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