How do you make decisions? Are you a shoot from the hip sort of person, or do you have more of the slow and methodical mindset? Our lives are full of moments where we are given the opportunity to act…moments when we ask things like, “what should I do,” or “what does God want me to do.”
So how do you prepare to make decisions? Many people employ what I would call the “wait then pray” approach. This approach allows us go about our daily lives and wait until a big decision comes our way. Wait and pray – Once a big decision is at hand you press pause and seek God in prayer asking that He would reveal His will. In other words we ask, “God please give me wisdom for what I should do.”
That approach is not bad. As we face a big decision we should run to God and seek His wisdom over our own limited perspective. But what if there is a better way to prepare for decisions?
There is a story found in the pages of the Old Testament that has always intrigued me, and it speaks directly to the idea of decision-making. The story is found in 1 Samuel 14, it is the story of Jonathan (son of the King) going to attack the Philistine army. I’ll let you read the full story on your own. The reason this story is so interesting to me is we see Jonathan making a life or death decision and there is no mention of him stopping to ask God for clarity.
Read through the story and you see Jonathan is victorious. Not just victorious, it is a non-metaphorical slaughter on top of a cliff. Jonathan was clearly walking in the favor of God – but how did he know God was in this? I believe Jonathan had an approach to decision-making that we all need.
Jonathan embodies what I would call the “pray then wait” approach to decision-making. Pray and wait – continually ask God to make you a wise person capable of making choices in alignment with His will. (click to tweet)
Seeking God is essential in our decision-making process, but I wonder if there is power in our ability to move from asking God for wisdom to asking God to make us wise. Don’t just ask God for wisdom for a decision; ask Him to make you wise and capable of good ongoing decision-making. (click to tweet)
King Solomon, often considered one of the wisest and most influential men in history had what I consider to be a life altering moment when he paused and asked that God would give him “a discerning heart.” He was setting a trajectory for his life by asking that God would make him wise for any decision that would come.
We would do well to echo his prayer, and ask God to give us a wise and discerning heart.