Applying Wisdom to the Course of Life
Some are big, some are small. We begin making decisions from the moment we open our eyes in the morning: what am I going to wear? What am I going to eat for breakfast? Should I do my grocery shopping this morning or this afternoon? Other decisions are much more weighty than that, and have a great significance, sometimes even changing the direction of our lives. Where do we turn when those decisions come?
The Word of God doesn’t have specific examples for every circumstance we may find ourselves in having to making a life-changing decision. Yet, it is incredibly clear that as we abide in Him and choose to align ourselves with His truth, He will lead us in the way we should go.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not on thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
How that looks practically can look different for each individual or circumstance. Here are some ways we on the Set Apart Girl® team approach those decisions as we are seeking the Lord and desiring that His glory be brought to bear in and through our lives.
Through many wrong decisions, and the consequent regret and heartache, I’ve come to realize that the best way to know God’s will, is to know God first. It is not so much seeking to know His will as it is seeking to know Him, that will give us the wisdom we need for every decision before us. Scripture says that “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” are hid in Christ (Col. 2: 3). All the wisdom and knowledge you need to make wise and God-honoring decisions, is found in the person of Jesus Christ. Don’t just seek God’s will and wisdom when you are faced with a difficult decision, build your life around becoming intimately acquainted with His heart. Then, when faced with tough decisions to make, you will have all you need in those moments.
We often neglect the command of Scripture to “be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer…” (Phil. 4:6). God makes it clear that everything we do, every decision we make needs to be soaked in prayer. I’ve all too often used prayer to try and remedy a wrong decision, instead of turning to prayer in the first place. Prayer should be our steering wheel, not our spare tire, as Corrie ten Boom stated! Let’s us not forfeit the joy of good and wise decisions, simply because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.
Proverbs 12:15 says, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.” One of the things that greatly helps me in making decisions is seeking the advice of others, especially older, godly men and women. Because of their spiritual maturity and years of practical life experience, they are often able to pick up different aspects of a situation that those who are walking through it might overlook.
There is nothing necessarily wrong about seeking the advice and counsel of peers if they have shown themselves to be spiritually mature and sensitive to the Lord. The Bible gives an example in 1 Kings 12 of King Rehaboam, King Solomon’s son, who forsook the counsel of the old men and chose instead to listen to the young men, his peers. What was the result? Instead of the Israelites submitting graciously to him as their king, they rebelled against him and he fled for his life. We who are younger in years tend to me more heedless and impulsive than those who have lived longer. If the counsel of our peers is opposed to that of those who are older and wiser, we need to be very cautious about heeding it.
Ultimately, no matter whose advice we seek, it is of absolute importance that we test it against the Word of God to be sure that it is wisdom that comes from Him. Proverbs 19:21 says, “There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.”
My heart had been prayerful, the counsel I sought was wise, and the leading of the Lord had been certain. What now then, when the path before me took an unforeseen turn?
As that cold February night came to a close, I sat on my bed in the haze of wonderment. My Dad, though a man of few words, was armed with timely wisdom to faithfully guided my heart. Tenderly and firmly, he said, “Mandy, if you’re going to walk by faith, you have to walk – by faith.” It was a simple truth that I knew by heart but had lost sight of in the moment. The way before me was no longer clearly defined as it had been hours before, but the command to continue on walking in surrender, trust, and confidence in God remained the same.
Through the changes, challenges, and decisions that each season of life brings, God’s truth remains steadfast and sure. It doesn’t matter what we are going through, obedience and faithfulness to God’s Word is the requirement. What comfort and strength is readily available for our souls if we simply take God’s Word to heart!
Through many different seasons, one of the greatest encouragements to my heart has been meditating upon the words from Psalm 84:11, “For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.”
Remembering that God only gives what is best to His children is an amazing promise. When He gives a gift or allows a circumstance in my life, I can fully trust that from His heavenly perspective, this is a “good thing”. (See Psalm 34.8-10.) When He withholds something from my life, it is never to harm me, but only to withhold that which is not His best. Forfeiting my own way of faithless walking is no sacrifice, but only brings me to discover the riches of walking this road of faith!
Next time you are faced with making a decision, I encourage you to refocus your lens of faith. Fully surrender the decision and your life into His hands anew, refresh your trust by meditating upon His priceless promises, and confidently wait for God to guide you with His unfailing, fatherly hand!