When we are at life’s crossroads, we often wish we knew what God’s will for us is so that we can make the right decision. Scripture speaks of God’s will in two ways. First is God’s sovereign will whereby He has decreed all things to happen according to His counsel. This was what Christ submitted to in Gethsemane. It includes the evil that men had committed to crucify Christ. God’s sovereign will is for our final salvation, to sum up all things in Christ for His glory (Eph 1:10).
The second is God’s will of command where He calls us to be holy. Christ reminds us in Matthew 7:21 that only those who do God’s will can enter His kingdom. Roman 12:2 says the secret to obeying this will of God’s command is a renewed mind not conformed to the pattern of this world, which by testing, may discern God’s will. This renewed mind requires us to know the Scripture and apply it rightly and wisely to our decision-making.
This is why God forbids divination. Neither should Christians land on a random page of the Bible to find God’s will. To rely solely on logical thinking without seeking God in our decision-making is also unchristianly. Joshua 9:14 is one such example. There is also a line between waiting on God and procrastinating our decision since no decision is a decision in many situations.
What principles then should guide our decision-making at key junctures? Our decision should not contradict Scripture. Yet due to our sin and depravity, our hearts often deceive us. We are prone to act from self-seeking, self-preserving, or self-glorifying motives. The prayer in Psalm 139:23-24 is helpful. For Jesus reminds us that we speak that which fills our heart.
We should also seek the counsel of others, especially those who know us, as we don’t have all-round perspectives on every situation. Bringing the matter to our discipleship group to ask for prayer, accountability, and support will provide an added safety net. This is why God puts us in a faith community.
Thankfully, many decisions in life are inconsequential such as the shirt we choose to wear today and the choice of tea or coffee for breakfast. They fall within God’s permissive will. Even so, we are to eat and drink to His glory. This happens when they flow from a Christlike heart and character which is God’s ultimate will for us in Christ. This is also the goal of Romans 12:2.