Divine Direction: Bringing God into
Your Big Decisions
By Pam Palagyi
“Lindsey, you look like the weight of the
world is on your shoulders,” observed Lori with real concern
in her voice.
“Yes, but I’m not Atlas!” Lindsey replied
wearily. “I’m still not sure what to do, Lori. Paul
and the kids are willing to move, but I don’t know. Still
just doesn’t feel right, you know?”
Lindsey had spent the last two weeks struggling with a decision
that would alter the course of her family’s life. The Fortune
500 Company where she worked had downsized; many of her friends
were laid-off, and other co-workers simply lost their job. After
seventeen years, Lindsey had been given a choice—relocate
or look for other employment.
But she was no longer the carefree risk taker she had been
in former years. When Lindsey looked in the bathroom mirror, a
forty-four year old middle aged woman stared back. How was she
going to start over at this stage of life?
As the question plagued her mind, fear began to grip her
heart. Which course should she take? How would she know if she
made the “right” decision?
Standing at the brink of a life-changing decision, Lindsey must
wrestle with the pros and cons of her subsequent actions. How
will she sift the relevant factors from the irrelevant? What role
will her value system play in her final evaluation? Is she prepared
to tackle a decision-making process of this dimension on her own?
Traps to Avoid
Decisions of this magnitude are not easy, and, unfortunately,
the majority of people regard outside indicators as their internal
rudders. Most allow impressions, emotions, or other pressure-packed
forces to influence them.
The book Wharton on Making Decisions by Stephen J. Hoch,
Howard C. Kunreuther, and Robert E. Gunther identifies several
attributes that contribute to poor decisions. They list blinding
emotions, an over reliance on intuition, and an emphasis on speed
instead of timely consideration as negative factors.
Stephen P. Robbins, Ph.D., author of Decide and Conquer:
Make Winning Decisions and Take Control of Your Life, offers
these additional insights into the bias and errors made in decisions.
He lists overconfidence, procrastination, immediate gratification,
and limiting the search for viable answers among the culprits
that misguide one’s choices. Robbins also notes that many
individuals place great emphasis on another’s advice that
validates their preferred choice. This only reinforces what could
be a bad decision.
So, how do you make a solid, reliable decision without these
kinds of negative influences? What is the missing component that
would provide a sound basis for your decisions? The answer is
found in the pages of Scripture. It is called wisdom.
Wisdom might be defined today as “knowledge, the ability
to discern inner qualities and relationships, insight, and judgment.”
Biblical wisdom, however, was described by the Hebrew word chakmah.
It was more than common sense and was characterized by skill and
craftsmanship, cleverness and cunning, and prudence in everyday
matters. Wisdom graced the lives of many biblical figures—Daniel,
Ezra, Joshua—and brought them great success.
How do you find wisdom today? Where do you go to have your problems
solved and questions answered? The answer is to go to the source
of all wisdom, God Himself. He is the one who created you—He
has placed His gifts and callings within you and understands their
worth. Certainly, He is a good steward of His gifts and will develop
them to their maturity.
God is also the one who understands your past and future—He
has intrinsic knowledge of your weaknesses and strengths. The
Lord will protect you, yet challenge you to grow in your Christian
Finally, God will lead you along a path that will fulfill His
plans for your life. He is the one who knows the direction you
are to follow and will lead accordingly.
So, how do you begin? Here are five basic steps for receiving
wisdom from God.
1. Acknowledge that God has the answer. God is
the source of wisdom for all things. Realize that He not only
has the answer, He is the answer. Proverbs 2:6 and 9 states, “For
the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding…
Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every
2. Pray and ask for God’s wisdom. How
can you be sure God will answer when you ask Him? James 1:5 says,
“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives
generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given
to him.” So simply ask for
God’s help and then…
3. Believe He will guide you. Faith is an important
component to accepting God’s wisdom. You must recognize
the fact that God wants to communicate with you. Proverbs 4:18
says, “The path of the righteous is like the first gleam
of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.”
God’s direction in your decision will become clearer and
more distinct as you continue to pray and ask for His help.
4. Get in motion. You have probably heard the
saying “It is hard to steer a parked car.” Begin to
do your part and research your vocational options. Travel with
your family and investigate the prospective area first hand. Explore
the housing market, recreational opportunities, and cost of living.
Your move could be a blessing in disguise, allowing your family
greater financial freedom.
5. Check your decision against God’s Word. James
3:15-17 provides the characteristics of true godly wisdom: “But
the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving,
considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial
and sincere.” Have the courage to ask yourself whether your
choice meets these qualifications for God’s wisdom, or whether
there are still any outside influences directing your path.
If you sense any anxiety or confusion, keep praying. God’s
wisdom will direct your paths in a peaceful manner.
God is the source of all wisdom. Only He views your life from
an eternal and comprehensive perspective. Allow Him to become
part of your decision–making process and guarantee yourself
a lifetime of success.
About Pam Palagyi
A gifted writer and speaker, Pam is founder and director of Arise
Ministries, which draws its vision from Isaiah 60:1, “Arise,
shine for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises
upon you.” The goal of Arise Ministries is to awaken
the hidden potential of believers in their individual spheres
of influence so that they can truly shine for Christ.
Pam earned her Master of Divinity in Practical Theology from
Regent University. Pam is a contributor to Life in the Spirit
and In Touch magazine. She is also author of Altar
of Grace: Introduction to Practical Ministry and The
Word Became Flesh: Studies in the Gospel of John. Pam and
her husband, Paul, have been married 30 years and have two adult
daughters, Lisa and Laurie.
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