The important thing in any major decision is to seek to know the will of God. Here are a few principles from the Bible which you can use as a start to help you determine God’s will:
1. Want to know the will of God. “If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own” (John 7:17). If I want to be in the will of God, and God wants me to be in His will, there is no way I will miss it.
2. The desires of your heart. “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). Your desires are not necessarily wrong. If you delight in the Lord, He will give you your desires.
3. The witness and leading of the Spirit. “Because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (Romans 8:14). “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law” (Galatians 5:18). “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).
4. The Word of God, both in general principles and specifics. Here is Jesus’ specific statement to the rich young ruler: “Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ he said. ‘Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me’” (Mark 10:21). This is not general. If it were, everyone would have to do it.
An example of the Word of God in general is, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people’” (2 Corinthians 6:14-16). This text applies to all believers all of the time. We do not need to seek guidance about marrying an unbeliever. We already have the direction in the Word.
Here is another general statement that applies to all Christians: “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them inthe name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age’” (Matthew 28:18-20).
5. Circumstances over which you have no control. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, whohave been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
6. The counsel and opinions of your father
7. The counsel and opinions of mature Christians. Do not seek the counsel of close friends. They are too likely to agree with you.
8. Get underway in a certain direction and watch God open or close doors.
Next, make a list of the pros and cons for each of your options. This will help you think in a straight line.
Lastly, here are a few questions to consider:
· Have you been effective in evangelism?
· Would you rather build up believers or evangelize the lost?
· Do you want to be holy?
· What is your present profession?
· Do you care what the world thinks?
· Do you care what the saints think?
· What are your spiritual gifts?
· What are your natural gifts and training?
*Excerpted from Being Christian. To purchase, visit ccmbooks.org/bookstore.