I’m sharing a picture of the most confusing sign I think I’ve ever seen! It directs local traffic from a freeway off-ramp into roundabouts on both the east and west sides of the freeway. This sign reminds me of the confusion we often feel about decisions in life. “Which of these four jobs should I pursue? Or none of them?” “Should I marry this person?” “Be involved in this ministry?” “Move?” “Or something else that I don’t know of and haven’t thought of yet?!”
We’re often worried and ask what God’s will is when it comes to big decisions in life. We tend to be aware of the impact these have on our lives. They are stressful and fill our thoughts in the night. But what about the impact of small, daily decisions? How concerned are we about these? My favorite verse about God’s will is this:
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. ~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)
Scripture is full of God’s general will for our small, daily decisions. These “small” and repeated decisions are what truly shape who we are and how we see life. The “small” things of daily life are where my real values are revealed and where I learn to listen to the Holy Spirit guide me. Do you notice how the verse above focuses on daily practices of prayer, joyfulness, and giving thanks being God’s will for us? Think a moment about constant prayer, an attitude of joy, and being thankful – how do each of these “small” decisions shape how I might handle “big” decisions when the time comes?
God’s general will for us is everywhere in scripture. Last week’s post, Wisdom for Your Path from Proverbs, includes examples. Other examples include: confessing sin to God (James 4:8), don’t grumble (James 5:9), speak encouraging words (1 Thessalonians 511), choose our thoughts (Philippians 5:8), consider other’s interests (Philippians 2:4), teach our children (Deuteronomy 6:7), be courageous because God is with you (Joshua 1:9).
A close relationship with Christ and a God-honoring way of living prepares us for making decisions. It positions us to trust God and be led by Him. When our life is aligned with God’s general will in daily living we are more ready to listen and understand His specific will. Next week, we’ll consider some practical ideas for working through big decisions.
Which of these do you need to lean into most: praying frequently, choosing an attitude of joy, or expressing thanks? How will you do this?