Talk 3 from the Midlands Students Conference, 25th March 2017
How do I decide?
The necessity of making decisions
At every stage of our lives, we will find ourselves needing to make decisions. Whether it’s about a job, a spouse, a house, or something else, it’s right that we want to include God in our decision-making and that we want to do what pleases Him. But we don’t need to wait for God to reveal His plan for our futures.
“God does have a specific plan for our lives, but it is not one that He expects us to figure out before we make a decision.” Kevin DeYoung in Just Do Something, p22
When we’re weighing up options for our futures, we need to make sure that we are prioritising the right things. Laying down good foundations for decision-making now will set us up for a lifetime of choices.
The priorities in making decisions
· How can I most glorify God, using the gifts that He has given me?
Matthew 6 v 31-33
There are all sorts of factors to consider when making a decision. Some are more important than others. What God asks, first and foremost, is that we seek the extension of His Kingdom and that we look to grow in godliness. God’s desire is that we might be conformed to the image of His Son.
Many of our decisions about the future are ‘non-moral’ choices. Our question should be, “With the set of gifts and abilities that the Lord has given me, in the circumstances in which I currently find myself, how can I most glorify God in the decisions that I have made?”
· Where will I be best discipled in my walk with the Lord?
1 Thessalonians 4 v 1-3
If we are to grow in godliness then we need to ensure that we’re in an environment where we will be built up and encouraged in the Gospel of God. If God’s long-term aim in our lives is our sanctification then where we’re going to receive our spiritual input, support and challenge from is a crucial decision.
· In what ways can I most usefully contribute to the making of disciples?
Matthew 28 v 18-20
The role that the Lord asks each of us to play in making disciples may develop and change over time. For some it will mean set-apart ministry now, for others it may mean further training or experience before beginning set-apart ministry and, for others, it may mean fruitful partnership in the Gospel with those engaged in set-apart ministry.
The practice of making decisions
Romans 12 v 1-2
Making decisions should be an everyday activity for most of us. We want to be able to trust our decision-making without having to wait for a special sign from God. In practice, this will mean that we do three things:
o Read the Bible
o Seek wise counsel
The Gospel is one of grace and freedom. We don’t need to worry about making the ‘right’ decision; we simply need to ask God to help us think through what it will look like to serve Him and His people, wherever we end up.
“So the end of the matter is this: Live for God. Obey the Scriptures. Think of others before yourself. Be holy. Love Jesus. And as you do these things, do whatever else you like, with whomever you like, wherever you like, and you’ll be walking in the will of God.” Kevin DeYoung in Just Do Something, p120
Questions for discussion
Q. Where were you up to in your decision-making process before today? How about now?
Q. What are your priorities as you look to the future? Do they need to change?
Q. How do you think God might best be able to use you to make disciples and extend His Kingdom? How will you be discipled as you seek to do that?