Senior Pastor Dan Hawn publishes a weekly article which is also emailed to members and regular attenders. Let us know if you would like to receive this weekly article via email.
Recently, I had the privilege of counseling someone who is considering a major decision. She explained that she had been presented a particular opportunity and was convinced God wanted her to do it.
I was thrilled by her desire to serve God and to follow His leading in her life, even at considerable cost. That’s the essence of the Christian life!
The only caution I had for her was to be careful about attributing her feelings about this decision to the Holy Spirit. While her feelings are real & meaningful, they are also subject to change and may have a source other than the Holy Spirit.
Since the Bible provides no explicit command regarding her decision (or opportunity), I suggested she focus on making a wise decision.
Theologian JI Packer defines wisdom as “the power to see, and the inclination to choose, that which is most spiritually profitable in a given situation.”
The question to ask then is: Which alternative is most spiritually profitable, beneficial or advantageous? In other words, as best as I can tell, which option or choice will enable me to bring the greatest glory to God?
A key verse in support of this decision-making strategy is Ephesians 5:15-16:
“Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.”
The great evangelist George Whitefield (1714-1770) began his ministry relying solely on intuition and feelings, attributing them to the Holy Spirit. By his own admission, this resulted in a certain arrogance & brashness that produced many foolish decisions. As he matured, he focused more on acquiring wisdom for his decisions big and small.
In his book Decision-Making and the Will of God, Garry Friesen offers four principles of decision making:
1. Where God commands, we must obey.
2. Where there is no command, God gives us the freedom (and responsibility) to choose.
3. Where there is no command, God promises to give us wisdom to choose well.
4. When we have chosen what is moral & wise, we must trust God to work all the