God, what should I do?
Updated: Apr 25, 2020
As college students and young adults, we are forced to start making a lot of decisions on our own. Where should I go to college? What should I study? What career path should I go down? Where should I live? Who should I live with? What job should I apply for? Who should I date? When should I get married? Who should I be friends with? What should I dedicate my time to? The list goes on, and on, and on. As the years pass by, the responsibility of making decisions becomes greater, and so the decisions themselves become greater as well.
As followers of God, in some ways, decision making can feel even more complex. Over our own thoughts and desires, we must take into account what God wants for our lives. Our lives are not our own, they belong to Christ. Above all, God calls us to continually pursue knowing Him and making Him known to others. Therefore, there are many factors that go into decision making and many times it can feel like an endless toss back and forth between "What is God asking of me?" and "Is what I want in line with what God wants?". So, how do we make decisions with God? And, if He is in ultimate control of everything, how much of a decision do we truly have? And why can't God just tell us everything He wants for our lives so we can all just rest easy?
I know. These are all the thoughts that go through my head too. Making decisions are not easy. For myself, sometimes I cannot even decide what pair of pants to wear, let alone make a confident decision about what I am going to do with my life when I graduate college.
As Christians, I’ve found that it’s easy to fall into this trap with decision making where we can rely too much on God to just "tell us everything we need to know and exactly when to do everything". This, my friends, is not obedience to God’s voice, it’s downright laziness. If God speaks to us clearly as we seek guidance, we should be obedient and do as He asks, But if God doesn’t speak clearly to us about a matter that is right in front of us, we must ALSO be obedient. How? By seeking wisdom and counsel and MAKING A DECISION! So, what’s the difference between obeying God’s voice and stepping out in faith?
As Christians, we have the promise of the Holy Spirit that floods us with God’s wisdom. With the Spirit, sometimes God very clearly speaks to us about a variety of different matters. Through discernment, reflection, prayer, and wise counsel, we may find much confirmation in what God is speaking to us. But, sometimes it can feel that God just isn’t being clear with us about particular matters. Well, guess what...
It’s because he probably isn’t.
God doesn’t always give us the answers. You may ask, “But why not? If He knows best, why doesn’t he just tell me?”. My first response to that is this: We are not robots! When God created us, He specifically gave us free will. Free will to make our own decisions. Let me ask you something: If you are a genuine follower of Jesus, did Jesus tell you to make the decision to follow Him? No! YOU made that decision yourself, which happens to be the biggest decision of your life! And did you know exactly what to expect when you decided to follow Jesus? Absolutely not! Well, either did the disciples in the Bible.
When Jesus was gathering the twelve disciples, He simply told them to leave everything behind and follow Him. So they did! But they didn’t have to, they CHOSE to. Did the disciples know what life was going to look like? Absolutely not! Did it require them to leave their comfort zones? Oh yes! Was it worth it? A hundred percent! (Don’t take my word for it. Check out their personal testimonials of following Jesus in the Bible.) Following God requires stepping out in faith, it requires courage, it requires leaving our comfort zones. We cannot do that if God just gives us all the answers.
So why does God give us freewill to make decisions? Well, if we didn’t have to make any decisions on our own, there would be no point to having faith in Jesus. Following God ultimately ties to our faith in what is yet to be revealed, to what we are all longing for; An eternity in the presence of Jesus Christ our King. “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1: 8-9). If our lives as Christians reflect faith in a God who is yet to reveal all the glory of our promised eternity, then in all smaller matters of life we should reflect our faith.
Making decisions tests our trust in God’s promises. He promises to never leave us. He promises to work all things together for the good, for those who Love Him and are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28). When we live for God, He promises that His goodness and love will follow us all the days of our lives (Psalm 23: 6). The testing of our faith is vital, it produces perseverance. (James 1:3).
Sometimes God doesn’t give us all the answers because He has already given us His Spirit. His spirit gives us guidance to make decisions on our own and to trust God with the results. Sometimes God doesn’t give us all the answers because he wants us to be courageous.
In the midst of decision making when you feel like God isn’t speaking, he may still be speaking. He may be telling you to step out in faith, to be courageous and to trust Him with the results of your decisions, because he is faithful.
God always can be trusted.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” - Joshua 1:9