My guess is, like me, you have had to make a few difficult decisions in your life. Things like: do go I go to school A or school B, do I take this job or not, do I marry this guy or do I hold out for Mr. Perfect?
Stuff like that.
We make decisions all the time. I just chose what to eat for lunch. You chose to read this post. Some decisions we make without even thinking about it. Some of those decisions end up changing our lives even more than the “big” ones I mentioned earlier.
Life is decisions.
It’s actually a big part of my job to help people make big decisions. I don’t take this role lightly. I believe it is more than a privilege to sit with someone as they make major life decisions. More than once, these friends have asked my advice. I give it from time to time. More than once, these friends have asked me to decide for them. I never do. It is always better to let the person who has to live with the consequences make the hard choice.
Often the question arises, what does God want me to do? So often, God seems silent. Why is that? Why does God so rarely tell us the way he wants us to go?
Some people have answered this question by pointing to the fact that God has given us free will, and it is important to him that he doesn’t meddle with it. There may be some truth in this. However, it is equally true that God is at work. Jesus says he is always working – therefore, if there is one thing you can say is our God is not a hands-off kind of Deity.
So why does he feel so hands-off when we make decisions?
Let me offer this thought for you to ponder.
Sure, maybe he is silent because he honors our free will. But I believe it has more to do with what he is trying to accomplish in our lives. Namely: his desire to grow our faith.
Faith matters to God.
It matters more than the decisions we make.
Rienhold Niebuhr wrote this: “Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith.”
In other words, God doesn’t give us immediate understanding of what the hell’s going on because it matters to him that we trust him.
And trust matters to God.
One time, Jesus was hanging out with a whole bunch of hungry people. Scripture says: “When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Phillip, ‘Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?’ [Here is the kicker – my emphasis] He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.”
Jesus already had it in mind.
You get that? Jesus already has your decisions in mind.
So why does he keep silent with Phillip?
To test him.
To test what?
Jesus wanted to grow Phillip’s faith.
He wants to grow yours as well.
Decisions are a great way for him to do it.
Now, this is important so pay attention: to Jesus faith is more important than the choices you make.
You get that?
Trusting Jesus with the decision is more important than the actual decision you choose to make!
Now, I’m not saying that if you ask God he won’t share his opinion with you. He’s offered several to me over the years. What I am saying is that his objective is always to grow our faith, to expand our hearts, to know his love more and more.
For us to know he is faithful.
No matter what.
So here is a little advice: the next time you have to make a big decision: talk to God about it; ask his advice; make the decision that you think he would want you to make; and if that is too tough, make the decision you want to make; and if that’s too tough, just make a decision; and trust him. That’s the thing: you can’t go wrong when you put your faith in him.