1. Read Proverbs 3:5‑6. What is God’s promise? Any conditions?
2. Much‑of what we need to know is already in the Bible, as command or promise.
Ex: should I forgive someone who has hurt me? The answer is already in the Bible.
3. For decisions that are not specifically in the Bible:
a. List all the possible choices.
b. Cross off choices that are against a Bible command or principle.
Ex: dating someone who is married.
c. If you cross out all the choices, remember Luther’s saying:
“Sin boldly, but rejoice in your forgiveness more boldly still”.
Example: Killing an intruder versus allowing a loved one to be killed.
d. Importance of Heart attitude of trust and willingness to follow God’s will (Matt. 26:34)
(In other words, not: If I don’t like God’s will I won’t do it; but rather: I will do God’s will when I find it.
e. Colossians 1:9‑10 shows that guidance can be prayed for.
f. I recommend that you don’t tell God how to answer your prayer
(that’s called fleecing, which Gideon did in Judges, but it is hard to prove whether the answer you get is from God.)
g. God may answer in a number of ways, such as:
1) Open and closed doors, or changing the circumstances.
2) Advice of others. Give special credence to those in authority over you.
3) Something in God’s Word may strike you as applicable.
4) Your inner peace or lack of it (see Philippians 4:7)
h. If you do not recognize any guidance from God, and the deadline has arrived:
1) Go forward believing that God is allowing you to follow your growing desire to go in a certain direction.
2) Go forward believing that God is honoring your maturity and ability to gauge the pros and the cons.
Jim Found 1/10/99
WHAT IF GOD DOES NOT ANSWER YOUR PRAYER WHEN YOU NEED TO MAKE A DECISION?
1. In the Bible, God does not promise to tell you everything. So don’t be disappointed if He does not tell you something.
2. The Bible does tell us: even if you don’t know why something bad is happening to you, please continue to trust in God. God’s desire is that we trust Him more and more. When we don’t know the answers to our questions, then all we can do is trust Him. Sometimes, if we know all the answers, then we feel like we don’t need to trust Him.
3. God does make many promises. If we pray and ask for the things in these promises, we know we will get them. Here are two examples:
a. Romans 8:28 tells us that no matter what happens, God will bring about a good result for you.
b. James 1:5 says that God will give us wisdom. Notice: “wisdom” is not the same as’ “information”. If we are wise, then we know that we can trust God, even if we don’t know all the details about something.
4. God’s basic plan for you is NOT that all your plans will succeed. God’s basic plan for you is found in Romans 8:29 ‑‑‑ that you will be more and more like Jesus. Even if your plans fail, God’s plan for you will not fail. In fact, God will use your failures to make you more like Jesus. This promise will be fulfilled if we continue to trust. That is why I Peter says: when you are suffering, continue to do good and to trust God, because He is faithtul (that means, He will keep His promises). (I Peter 4:19).
5. If you take a bus to Chicago, you buy your ticket and sit down. You do not stand by the driver and bother him by asked him‑why he does everything. You relax in your seat, and you trust that you will arrive in Chicago. In the same way, God has given us a “ticket” to be with Him. The bus represents Jesus: we are “in” Jesus; that is why Jesus is called “the Way”. We can trust that we will arrive in God’s presence. Because Jesus knows all the details, therefore we do not need to worry about all the details.
6. When you need to make a decision, you should pray: “Lord, please guide me. Whatever your will is, I will accept it”.
7. God has many ways to guide you. You can feel a strong desire to do something. He can give you a special opportunity. Your friends can give you advice. Sometimes, when you are reading the Bible, you will find a place that gives you ideas about your decision.
8. God has given us the “church” so that we can share our‑problems with our friends. They can pray with us. They can give us advice. But it does not mean God will tell them the answers to our questions.
9. If you think God did not tell you what to do, that means he is giving you freedom. You can make up your own mind. (that means, you can make the decision according to what you think is best, as long as you do not choose to sin). It does not mean you are a bad Christian . In fact, just the opposite. God feels ,you are getting mature, and He can trust you to make a decision. In the Book of Acts, there are examples when God told Paul what to do, and there are other examples where Paul made up his own mind.
10. Sometimes, we have to make a decision where every possibility is a sin. In this case, you must pick one, trusting that God will forgive you.
11. After you make your decision, you might discover that you are not able to do it. This is called a “closed door”. When you run into a closed door , you , usually feel very upset.. But if you realize that God is using this method to guide you, you can thank Him. If God allows one door to close, it means He has a different plan for you. You will find an “open door” someplace else.
12. Why does God answer prayers? Because of Jesus. That is why we end our prayers with the phrase, “in Jesus name”. God does not answer your prayer because you “deserve” it; God answers your prayer because Jesus deserves it, for you. God does not answer your prayer because you are good. He answers your prayer because Jesus is good, for you. Of course God will prompt a growing Christian to spend time in prayer and Bible reading. But the purpose is not to get answers to prayer. The purpose is to know God, which will help us to trust Him more, and to understand more clearly that He answers our prayers because of Jesus.
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