Am I Making the Right Choice? – Steps for Confident, God-aligned Decisions

 In Blog, Practices

From Guesswork to God’s Work: Decision-Making Done Right

Decisions, decisions. We face them all the time, don’t we? Our usual way of tackling them often boils down to endless pros and cons lists, a lot of second-guessing, and the hope that we won’t regret our choices later. But what if there’s a way to make those decisions a little easier, a little more clear-cut, especially when the stakes are high?

A line from Acts 15 caught my attention during our Bible Project reading a couple of weeks ago: “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us.” (Acts 15:28) That’s an idea to pause on: Making decisions that not only feel right to us but also line up with God’s will. It’s a compelling thought, especially in a world where we often feel like we’re guessing the next right step.

I’m going to refer to Acts chapter 15 a lot so it would be good to have a Bible to hand or open in another tab as you read on. We find there that the early church was at a crossroads about non-Jewish believers. (Acts 15:1-5) They needed to decide if they should have to shoulder traditional Jewish laws and customs. Big decisions! The kind that could split communities apart. Yet, they found clarity and unity, a method that cuts through the noise. Their story gives us a step-by-step on decision-making done right, where consensus isn’t just about agreement among people, but also about aligning with the will of God. By unpacking what they did and how they did it, we might just find ourselves saying the same about our own decisions, big or small.

Discernment is a Communal Activity

The first thing I’d note, as we consider the passage is that discernment is a communal process.  In Verse 7 we see that there was “much debate” and what follows reveals a process where multiple people were involved in helping to discover how God was leading them. At Liberty, we believe that God has united us together as a family and because of that we don’t have to make decisions in isolation. Rather we can and should have the benefit of the advice, insight, and gifts of our church family as we navigate life’s decisions. This may be anathema to the world’s figure-it-out-yourself individualism, but the ways of God connect us in healthy dependency on each other.  

Application: Don’t make decisions in isolation but seek the counsel of your church family. This obviously involves the kind of deep, trusting relationships that can make that possible. If you don’t already have them, determine to cultivate these key relationships with others in the church. 

A Gospel-Shaped Perspective 

As we engage in decision-making conversations, it’s vital to carry a worldview shaped by the Gospel of grace. In Acts 15 we see Peter address the group. His contribution focuses on the grace of God. “But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will” (Acts 15:11). We see here that their understanding of the story of God that they find themselves in shapes their conversation and decisions. The grace of God is becoming the orbit around which they understand the world and make decisions. They begin to see others and the world around them through the lens of the love of Jesus. 

Application: As we make decisions we should seek to do so in light of the big picture of the story of God. We should ask each other questions like: What would grace look like in this situation? Or: How should the Gospel shape our actions? Or: What would Jesus do! 

Testimony Shapes Decision

In making big decisions, take some time to look back and trace the activity of God in the situation. In Acts 15 Peter tells the story of how God had added these non-Jewish people to the church. Similarly, Barnabas and Paul tell their stories of the miraculous things that God was doing among those they were ministering to. By doing so the group were able to discern the intent of God. Recognising what God has been doing as we listen to each other’s stories is a key element in reaching decisions that we are confident to say: “seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us”. The point is that we can and should draw from the experience and hard-won wisdom of others to help us gain a Godly perspective. 

Application: Take time to listen to the stories of those who have experience that relates to the decision you are making. Listen for what you can discern about God from those stories. Regularly share the stories of God with one another. You never know when your story will provide the answers to someone else’s questions. 

Anchoring Decisions in Scripture

The words of the Bible are not just historical records but living words that speak to our choices and deliberations today. In Acts (15:13-21), James addresses the group and quotes some lines form the Old Testament prophet Amos who spoke of a time to come when the Gentiles (non-Jewish people) would seek the Lord. James is convinced that they are living through what Amos prophesied. He directs them back to what God has said in his word as a basis for understanding what they should do in the moment. So, we see that scripture informs their decisions.

God has given us the incredible gift of his word to guide us. All our decisions should be routed through what we know of God through His word. 

Application: When making decisions turn to the word of God. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you as you read. Do so in community and avail of the combined gifts and wisdom of others as you open the word of God together. 

Moving Forward: Preparing for Good Decisions 

So, to summarise; when you’re faced with a tough choice, don’t go it alone. Talk it out with your church family, there’s wisdom in numbers and God has connected you with others for a reason. Ask, “What’s the way forward that aligns with the heart and grace of God?” and let that shape your decision. Look back at past lessons and listen to others’ stories of faith — these insights are nuggets of gold for your present decisions. And of course, do all of this with your Bible open. God Speaks through His word. 

Finally, can I encourage you to make these practices part of the everyday rhythms of your life. They’ll not only be helpful when big decisions come but also help with everything else! 

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