Are You Choosing God's Path?
by Michelle Graham
It is often difficult for me to wrap my head around the ideas of free will and praying about every decision I make. We are free from “the law of sin and death”, as it says in Romans 8:22, but that doesn’t mean we are also free from the burden of decision. We face tricky choices every day, and the whole time we just keep asking God to show us what he would choose. Every time I have a staggering decision to make, I think of Psalm 37:4 – “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
It would have been nice if someone had explained this verse to me ten years ago, instead of only recently.
The thing is, too many people think that verse from Psalms is about asking and receiving, wishlist style. I’ve met a large number of church-going friends who are incredibly confused – they pray and volunteer and are very nice to everyone. So why aren’t their lives perfect? The quick answer? It’s not about getting what you want, it’s about choosing what God wants.
As I’ve tried to work things out for myself, I’ve realized that free will and yielding to God’s will represent only one type of decision: Which version of yourself do you want to be? It’s not about choosing between political candidates or picking the perfect mate. It’s about being the person God built you to be.
When I begin to make a decision, I spend more time thinking about the consequences than I ever have before. If I make a choice, it’s because it leads to the kind of person I want to be – which is, in the end, the person God designed me to be. I wish – truly and totally – that every decision could be an obvious battle between good and evil. I don’t want to have a growing pile of options that all could possibly result in God-ordained joy. I want one God-planned option lined in gold and another that shows up wearing horns and carrying a pitchfork.
Proverbs 4:5 tells me to “get wisdom”, and the subsequent verses promise that being insightful will lead to good things. Yet even when I pray and fast, often all I hear God say is, “Well, go ahead and choose.” This used to frustrate me to no end. “But you have to answer me!” I would yell back, completely ignoring the fact that he had answered me (just not in the straightforward way I wanted). In reality, those moments of not having a detailed map are the times that God wanted to see just how well I would use his gift of free will. He wants me to make godly decisions because they are the desires of my heart, not because I feel forced into them by a pile of misinterpreted Bible verses or pushy people.
In life there are bad decisions, like getting fall-over drunk or cheating the elderly. There are good decisions, like going to school and calling your mom every few days. And then there are the choices that don’t really fall into either category. Some people might argue with me and say that God will always tell me exactly what to choose, but I’m not sure if that’s true (though it could be 100% true for them). Whether it is or isn’t, my focus isn’t always on what the final decision is, but why. As long as my goal is to follow the route God has set out for me, I know he will make all the pieces of my life fall into place.
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Wyatt Fisher, Psy.D. is a psychologist and faculty member at Liberty University. His blog can be found at http://www.christiancrush.com/relationship/
- See more at: http://www.christiancrush.com/relationships/why-am-i-single.html#sthash.0MKwwLDv.dpuf
Dr. Wyatt Fisher is a faculty member at Liberty University and owner of ChristianCrush.com, which aims to be the most authentic platform on the web for believers to connect and develop God-honoring relationships.
How do you discern God's will in your decisions?