How do I make a decision when it looks like both decisions are good options? I’m weighing both choices and I don’t think either of them are a “bad” or “disobedient” way to go. I’m trying to listen, but what if I don’t feel like I hear God? -J
Dear J- thanks for taking the time to send in your question! I am smiling just thinking about how much I identify with you. I don’t like choosing when I don’t feel confident. I’m the person that doesn’t even like picking the restaurant. My husband will quickly tell you that he tires of hearing me respond, “Wherever you want to go is fine with me.” I’m not indecisive I just don’t want to make the WRONG choice. I want everyone to be happy, and that includes my Heavenly Father.
So what happens when the choices become weightier than picking Italian food? Think about the importance of the sort of questions listed below.
What do I do with my summers?
How do I pick a school?
What should I major in?
What do I do with THE REST OF MY LIFE?
Should I move or stay?
Is this guy THE guy?
Do I stay in this job or look for another one?
Should I buy this house?
Each of these moments held (at least for me) a healthy dose of trepidation and a desire to know God’s Will. I was desperate to know EXACTLY what He wanted me to do. I want to get it right.
My senior year of college I was tied up in worry knots. I kept asking that God would show me exactly what to do after graduation. I felt like I had endless options, but I only wanted one… His best. So I made a plan. I wasn’t hearing God audibly, so I decided to take a lesson from Elijah. In 1 Kings 19 Elijah expects to find God in the storm, in the fire, and in the earthquake. Instead, God reveals Himself in a gentle whisper.
I wanted to hear that whisper so I did the only thing I knew to do. I quieted myself. I tried driving my car out into the middle of a field, opening the sunroof and gazing at the stars. I only heard the crickets and the sound of distant cars rumbling by on the highway. I tried going in my closet, opening my Bible, closing my eyes and pointing at random verses… but I didn’t really get an answer.
I even went to the building known as “The Quiet Place” on campus and locked myself in a room. I laid on the floor and tried to even quiet my breathing… but I only heard students working on a group project. I felt desperate. I had tears rolling down my face as I begged, “GOD, JUST TELL ME WHAT TO DO!
I finally went and made an appointment with one of my favorite professors. Through tears I explained to her my deep desire to know Gods will for my future. I listed all the reasons why He should tell me exactly which job to take: I could obey Him quickly, I could stop worrying about this, I could spend more time praying about other things, etc. When I finally stopped talking she met my gaze and asked “But what takes more faith – an arrow that says “go right here” or taking steps each day to draw closer to Him? Your desire is to honor God with your heart, gifts, and talents. Where can you possibly end up in this world and not be able to do that?”
My tears stopped and my head cleared. Hebrews 11:1 became my mantra each day. “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
Is God able to tell us exactly where and when to go? Absolutely? He does this countless times in Scripture and even does so audibly. But does that mean He will speak to each of us that way in every situation? Probably not.
If your heart is attune to Your Father and His given commands in the Bible, then step forward in faith even when you can’t see or hear his answer. You have the Holy Spirit inside of you and His Word to guide you: make a decision and go.
Is it alright if we continue this question for the next couple of days? I have a few more thoughts and stories that I think would directly and aptly apply.
Praying for you J – that you would have the faith to go in confidence.
P.S. Check out the story of Jonathan and his armor bearer in 1 Samuel 14:1-23.