Making Important Decisions (Part 3)

Allow me to supplement the articles on decision making by Neil Anderson, which I’ve shared the past two days, with some wise and typically God-centered counsel from John Piper on the matter. These complement each other in that Anderson’s articles simply unpack, in a very detailed and practical way, what Piper speaks about more generally. Reading these three articles over and over has helped me to get a macro- and a micro- framework for what a wise decision making process looks like. This is an excerpt from a sermon entitled, “The Goodness of God and the Guidance of Sinners”:

“If you face a decision, and there is no biblical command relating directly to that specific choice, should you wait for a dream or a vision or a voice in your head? Will there be some miracle in the circumstances to point the way? Well, I will not dare to say that God can’t use any of those means. But I think I can say that these are not his normal means of guidance in such cases.
It seems to me that the Bible describes the ordinary guidance of God as the development of spiritual sensitivity. In other words, the prerequisite of divine guidance is not the quest for messages, but the quest for holiness [Rom. 12:1-2]. Guidance is the product not of ecstatic heights but of spiritual depth.”

Let me try to put in a sentence how I think God normally guides his children… Normally God guides his children through alertness to circumstances, and through spiritual sensitivity to the present implications of God’s character and purposes revealed in his Word. In other words, God guides us by bringing our hearts and minds into harmony or sympathy with his own heart and mind so that when we study a situation we discern (you might even say intuit) what path would best accord with the character and purposes of God that we know from Scripture.

So, what we ought to be asking when we pray, ‘Lead me in thy truth, and teach me,’ is that God would create in us a spiritual and moral conformity to himself and that he would help us see all the relevant factors that relate to the decision we’re about to make. God teaches us his way by alerting us to significant facts of the situation and by awakening us to the implications of his character and his purpose.”

Click here to read the sermon in its entirety.

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One thought on “Making Important Decisions (Part 3)”

  1. i wonder if our desire to make decisions on everything comes in part by our societal influences. we have to let everyone know that we are in control with every aspect of our lives. has it always been like this? maybe it’s because we have so many options which necessitates decisions. i wonder if one way to minimize the risk of make the wrong decision would be to simplify our lives. as i thought about these articles and others like it i began thinking about our obsession with right decision making techniques. it is a good and proper thing to try to discern the will of God for our lives. if our lives were more simple wouldn’t we see stark contrasts in those things that are in the will of God and those that are not? these are just simple thoughts for a thursday. nothing set in stone – just pondering.

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