Our family made a big life change this year. Coming to a final decision was not easy. We labored over our choices, exploring our options, praying earnestly, and seeking Godly counsel.
The months leading up to the decision were excruciating. I felt sick, not knowing the best option for our family in this season. Admittedly, I am an over-thinker. I think and think and think some more, turning the situation over in my mind a million different ways. I play out scenarios and look at the positives and the negatives, weighing each against the other.
Through this process, I was reminded that for us to make the best decisions for our families — or in life, really — three things need to be true about us — three separate components working in unity in our minds and hearts.
To make better decisions for our families, we need to be:
In the Word
The Bible is living and active, telling us not only what God has done in the past and what He has planned for the future, the Bible is God’s Word — a very means in which God speaks to us!
Do you want to know God? Do you want to know His plan for you and for your family? Get in the Word!
Romans 12 tells us to be transformed by renewing our minds. We can do that by clinging to God’s Word the Bible. We must allow God’s Word – God’s truth – to form our thoughts and guide our decisions.
Through His Word, God speaks to us and reveals His will for us. God uses the Bible to “teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NLT).
Spending time regularly in the Word of God will help us to make better decisions for our families.
Once we have developed the habit of regular Bible reading, how easy it is to spend an hour in the Word, only to walk away intent on our own purposes. We must remember — spending time with God is not a means to an end, and it’s certainly not Christian karma – if I do my devotions then God will bless me.
Neither is prayer.
“We look upon prayer as a means of getting things for ourselves; the Bible idea of prayer is that we may get to know God Himself” (Oswald Chambers).
How will we know God’s best for our family if we don’t know God? Prayer is an invitation to meet with God. As we spend time with Him, He does a deep work in us, leading, guiding, and changing us.
If we want to make better decisions for our families, we must spend time with the Lord in prayer. How different our lives would be if we regularly sat in the presence of God, surrendering ourselves to Him and listening for His voice!
We don’t spend time with God to manipulate God. We spend time in the Scriptures and in prayer to know God better, to hear Him speak to us, to join Him in the work HE is doing.
We don’t pray, “God, I am doing this. Please make it work out the way I planned.” Rather, we pray, not my will but Yours be done. Your kingdom come. Your will be done.”
Once we’ve done that, however, we must obey. When God presses a matter on our hearts, we need to obey! Far too often, we reason away His leading and we miss out on an opportunity to grow our faith or to be used by God in someone’s life or to be blessed our selves!
If we continue to ask God to show us His ways, but then refuse to obey, we will silence the Spirit’s voice in our lives!
“You cannot think a spiritual muddle clear, you have to obey it clear. … Spiritual muddle is only made plain by obedience. Immediately we obey, we discern” (Oswald Chambers).
If your mind has been muddled or your thinking confused:
- Get in the Word
- Spend time in prayer
- Act in obedience
God does not try to hide His will from us. Rather, He invites us to come, promising that when we seek Him, we will find Him (Matthew 7:7-8). When we ask for wisdom, He will give it (James 1:5).
We can make better decisions for our families, and it starts with our relationship with God.
Growing with you,
Erika // erikadawson.com
Question for You:
Which of the three challenges above do you struggle with most? How can you begin afresh this week?