Is it possible to get better at trusting God in making decisions? Does God care about every decision you make? When making decisions, can you learn to release control and believe God will guide you? When making decisions is there more than one choice that could be right?
Most of us probably circle around these questions, especially when making a decision, and we all make decisions—all of the time.
There are situations where we make decisions easily and automatically but other situations require time and analysis. Some of us love decision-making while others avoid making even the simplest of decisions.
I don’t ask God about every decision I make, although some people do. But there are still many opportunities for me to practice trusting God in making decisions.
Recently while renovating a bathroom, making decisions took center stage. Who would think that picking a white paint color for my cabinets required thorough analysis and way too much time? (I may have become a little too invested in the process!)
I don’t think God cares what color I choose for my cabinets, but maybe He does! Making these types of decisions is fun for me.
Where I tend to get stuck trusting God in making decisions is when there is more at stake with significant consequences.
What about you? Do you enjoy decision-making? Do you pray about your decisions? Is it easy to trust God in making decisions?
“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God!”
Proverbs 3:5-6 MSG
How to Make Godly Decisions
Because decision-making requires sifting through opinions and choices, we won’t agree on how to make Godly decisions in every situation.
However, you can focus on your own decisions and help those around you when asked.
“When making a decision, we form opinions and choose actions via mental processes which are influenced by biases, reason, emotions, and memories. The simple act of deciding supports the notion that we have free will.
We weigh the benefits and costs of our choice, and then we cope with the consequences. Factors that limit the ability to make good decisions include missing or incomplete information, urgent deadlines, and limited physical or emotional resources.”
When learning how to make Godly decisions, it is important to learn how to harness fear. Fear serves a valuable purpose in decision-making to keep us safe from harm.
But too often fear is the only reason we say no to choices that may be right for us.
One of the ways to address fear is to ask yourself if fear of an outcome is the only reason you are saying no.
Asking God and others for guidance can trump the power fear has over you and help you trust God in making decisions.
3 Ways to Make Godly Decisions:
- The choice is clear and you feel confident making a decision.
Sometimes you get complete clarity when making a decision.
When my husband and I had been married for a couple of years, I had to decide between a new career or starting a family. I did not have the emotional resources to launch both at the same time. I began praying for God to guide me and direct my path. One day while driving, I felt a strong sense of peace to start a family and put the career move on hold for a while.
I still remember the strong sense of God’s presence guiding that decision, and the choice became clear.
A feeling of complete confidence and peace when making decisions does not always happen but when it does, trusting God in making decisions seems easier.
- The choice is muddled or hazy so you postpone making a decision.
Sometimes you can’t find peace when making a decision and have to wait.
My husband called from the car dealership, “I found the perfect car!”. As he began to explain the fancy features of the blue SUV, I became excited too. However after further analysis, we realized the car had too much mileage for the price. We had just started searching for a car replacement and had time to decide. We asked questions, analyzed data, and decided to wait. Eventually, we found a much better match.
Many decisions require us to wait even when we don’t want to. But if we feel unease, don’t have a clear direction, and can wait to decide, it may be the best way to trust God in making decisions.
- The choice is unclear and you have to decide before you are ready.
Sometimes you are required to make a decision and jump in trusting God with the outcome. You partner with faith and logic so you can make the best decision. You manage your emotions and make the best choice with the information you have at the time.
Unfortunately, when making decisions, unknowns often surround your choices; a quick decision has to be made and you feel unconfident with the choice and the changes.
But moving forward aware of your own weakness is when trusting God in making decisions is important. This is when your faith grows and you become aware of God’s abiding presence.
As the taxi pulled up to the curb the driver smiled and said, “Hop in ladies, where are you headed?” Most New Yorkers would probably not think twice about jumping in, but my friend and I were visitors headed to the airport and very unsure of this decision. We hesitantly jumped in because we had to catch our flight and knew the traffic in Manhattan could cause delays.
Aretha Franklin’s “Freeway of Love” blared as we sped through the streets. We gripped the vinyl seats as our chauffeur cheerily hummed and used the lyrics, “Drop the pedal, let’s go” as his theme song. We let out a sigh of relief when we reached the airport safely; it had never looked as welcoming as it did that day.
We decided before we were ready and trusted God would protect us; He did and we will forever be reminded when we hear that classic song of a crazy ride through the streets of New York City!
When you ask God to help you make the best decision under the circumstances, you have to surrender, step out in faith, and decide. You make what you think is the best choice knowing that if you make a mistake, God is beside you and will help redeem the consequences.
Trusting God redeems mistakes will encourage you and others to live out in faith and not in fear.
If you do not become a courageous decision-maker, you will become confused, discouraged, and struggle to live out your identity in Christ.
How do I Ask God to Make the Right Decision
When wondering how do I ask God to make the right decision, three helpful steps are prayer, reading the Bible, and seeking advice from wise people. These steps are particularly significant when a big decision is weighing on your spirit.
Following a process of prayer, reading scripture, and seeking counsel will help you trust God in making decisions.
3 Ways to Ask God to Make the Right Decision:
Pray When Making a Decision
We can pray specifically to make the best decision. When making decisions we can ask God to reveal the right decision through a sense of peace, or a confirmation of some kind. Confirmation can come in many ways but is usually paired with the next two steps; scripture and wise counsel. Sometimes the choice is made clear but other times the best choice is to wait.
“This is God’s Message, the God who made the earth, made it livable and lasting, known everywhere as God: ‘Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.”
Jeremiah 33:3 MSG
“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”
Philippians 4:6-7 MSG
Read Scripture When Making a Decision
Reading scripture when making decisions brings peace. We can read specific verses about seeking guidance on a decision, read how others made decisions, or immerse ourselves in comforting and encouraging scripture. Either way, God is available to speak to us through His words.
“True, the grass withers and the wildflowers fade, but our God’s Word stands firm and forever.”
Isaiah 40:8 MSG
Seek Advice When Making a Decision
When seeking advice, it is important to get counsel from the right people. Who are the right people? People who live a life honoring God and demonstrate the fruit of the spirit. People who provide an unbiased perspective. People who care about what is the best decision for you without an agenda or manipulation of the outcome.
In Job’s prayer, he beautifully summarizes why God is the best place for advice:
“You told me to listen while you spoke and to try to answer your questions. In the past, I knew only what others had told me, but now I have seen you with my own eyes.”
Job 42:4-5 GNT
On the flip side, when we observe others making decisions, it is tempting to insert our opinions even when we are not asked. With our spouse, children, and close friends it is particularly difficult to consult without control.
But boundaries are important when trusting God in making decisions for everyone involved.
We cannot know every side of a decision except when the decision is ours and even then we may not know everything. But when we are confident in our identity in Christ we have the strength and peace to ask God to help us make the right decision.
“Without good direction, people lose their way; the wiser counsel you follow, the better your chances.”
Proverbs 11:14 MSG
Examples of Decision Making in the Bible
Here are three examples of decision-making in the Bible that give us insight into how to trust God in making decisions.
The Story of the Prodigal Son
The story of the prodigal son in Luke 15 features three characters who had to make decisions; a father and his two sons.
Similarly, in our lives, many of our decisions weave amongst others. Rarely does making a decision impact only one person.
“Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons. A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living.”
It is safe to assume that the younger son was not trusting God in making decisions. Once he squandered his wealth, he returned home to face his father. It is also safe to assume that the father was trusting God in making decisions when he chose to forgive and welcome home his wayward son.
“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.”
The older brother was discouraged and disillusioned but had to decide if he would forgive his brother and his father. I can understand his anger but Jesus’ point in telling this story is forgiveness and acceptance are decisions you make despite what you think is fair or justified.
“The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him, but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends.”
Trusting God in making decisions does not always make us feel happy or vindicated but Godly decisions bring peace, draw us closer to Jesus and enrich our lives. When we honor God with our decisions, He is faithful.
The Story of Gideon
I love the story of Gideon in Judges 6-8. It is the tale of a timid ruler and prophet who accomplished extraordinary things because he trusted God in making decisions.
Gideon sought God during every step of fulfilling his call to lead the Israelites into battle against the Midianites.
He decided to be obedient and trust God that 300 men were enough to achieve victory against an extremely powerful Midianite army.
“The Lord told Gideon, “With these 300 men I will rescue you and give you victory over the Midianites. Send all the others home.” So Gideon collected the provisions and rams’ horns of the other warriors and sent them home. But he kept the 300 men with him.”
Gideon prayed fervently through his crisis, listened to God, and bowed in worship.
“I had this dream, and in my dream, a loaf of barley bread came tumbling down into the Midianite camp. It hit a tent, turned it over, and knocked it flat! “His companion answered, “Your dream can mean only one thing—God has given Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite, victory over Midian and all its allies!” When Gideon heard the dream and its interpretation, he bowed in worship before the Lord.”
“But Gideon replied, “What have I accomplished compared to you? Aren’t even the leftover grapes of Ephraim’s harvest better than the entire crop of my little clan of Abiezer? God gave you victory over Oreb and Zeeb, the commanders of the Midianite army. What have I accomplished compared to that?” When the men of Ephraim heard Gideon’s answer, their anger subsided. Gideon then crossed the Jordan River with his 300 men, and though exhausted, they continued to chase the enemy.”
Although Gideon sought God’s guidance and prompting for each step and obeyed the call, he probably did many things afraid.
Isn’t that how it is for us too? We feel confident in our choice but are still afraid to proceed. Trusting God in making decisions strengthens our resolve and helps us face obstacles courageously.
The Story of David and Goliath
The story of David and Goliath is a favorite bible story; how a small shepherd boy conquers a threatening giant and saves a nation. But David had to make three important decisions. You can read the full story of David and Goliath in 1 Samuel 17.
How David trusted God in making decisions:
- David decided to listen and obey his father and approach the battle zone.
“Early in the morning, David left the flock in the care of a shepherd, loaded up, and set out, as Jesse had directed.”
- David decided to fight the giant using his gifts.
David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”
- David decided to analyze the situation, figure out the best course of action to proceed, and confidently speak up.
“I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag, and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.”
These were huge decisions for a young boy to make but each decision serves as a model for us when we are trusting God in making decisions.
We can listen to God, approach our decision cautiously, and not be swayed by feelings of vulnerability and fear.
Scriptures for Making Decisions
There are many scriptures for making decisions that you can meditate on especially if you don’t have clarity making a decision.
Scripture is a powerful way God speaks to us. Reading the Bible is a critical element to know how and when to make decisions.
10 Scriptures to Help you Trusting God in Making Decisions:
- Psalm 32:8 TLB
I will instruct you (says the Lord) and guide you along the best pathway for your life; I will advise you and watch your progress.
- Proverbs 3:4-5 TLB
If you want favor with both God and man, and a reputation for good judgment and common sense, then trust the Lord completely; don’t ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.
- Proverbs 13:20 MSG
Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.
- Proverbs 12:15 NLV
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to good teaching.
- Isaiah 41:10 NLT
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
- Proverbs 15:22 MSG
Refuse good advice and watch your plans fail; take good counsel and watch them succeed.
- Jerimiah 29:11 TLB
For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and hope.
- James 1:5-8 MSG
If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.
- James 3:17 AMP
But the wisdom from above is first pure [morally and spiritually undefiled], then peace-loving [courteous, considerate], gentle, reasonable [and willing to listen], full of compassion and good fruits. It is unwavering, without [self-righteous] hypocrisy [and self-serving guile].
- 1 John 5:14 NLT
And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him.
Trusting God in Making Decisions
Trusting God in making decisions can be difficult because we naturally want to maintain control.
But trusting God in making decisions grows as your faith strengthens. As your trust grows in who God says He is, what He can do, and who God says you are, you learn to release the grip on the unknowns that surround decision-making.
You can learn that trusting God in making decisions is far superior to decisions fueled by emotion and random sources. Our voices are powerful so what we say and what we hear have a profound impact on us.
How are you trusting God in making decisions? It is not always easy but it is the best way to persevere, move forward, and on purpose in our lives.
Would love to hear from you in the comments!
Mary Rooney Armand
Mary is the creator and writer for the faith-based blog ButterflyLiving.org. Her writing is featured on multiple Christian websites. She is the author of the book, “Identity, Understanding, and Accepting Who I Am in Christ” and Life Changing Stories. a collaboration with 34 authors available on Amazon.