DECISION-MAKING OR DECISION-DISCERNING
Dear Lord, help me to become less of a decision-maker and more of a decision-discerner.
My child, I have given you free will. You can make decisions. You can also turn decisions over to me to make for you. Every decision made by you tests your walk with me. Look at your motives behind the decisions that you make. That will reveal to you your true character.
Yes, Lord. It greatly informs me when I pay attention. Help me to pay closer attention please. And help me be less, so you can be more.
Dear friends, in our journey as Christ-followers, we daily find ourselves at the crossroads of many decisions. Some are seemingly innocuous. Will I brush my teeth first, or take my vitamins, and then brush my teeth. Some, seem like innocuous decisions, like what I will eat for breakfast, or will I skip this mean. That may actually be a profound decision, but I may not think so. And of course, some are very obvious that it is a critical decision. The “obvious” junctures can be overwhelming, especially when we think it is up to us to decide the right path. In reality, we don’t need to be the decision makers. Christ will do that for us if we ask. Our role, instead, is to be discerners—to tune into the gentle whisper of Christ as He guides us, and to discern the decisions He is making for us, because we have asked him to do so. We do have free will. We can make as many decisions as we want. Or, we can turn most of them over to Christ. He can be our Decision Maker. In my experience this process requires our GREATER surrender to the Will of Christ.
TWO LEVELS OF DISCERNMENT
Dear child, when you ask me to make decisions for you, I often do, but not always. Sometimes, I want you to have the experience of going through a process of weighing your motives, and looking at what is driving that decision you are trying to make. It gives you greater insight into your soul, and helps you to see where you are in your walk with me. Other times, I am willing to make these decisions for you. And seeking out my will also builds your character as a Christ-follower.
So Lord Jesus, what I am hearing is that I have to discern on two levels.
1. First, is this decision one that you will make for me, or do you want me to make this decision without your clear direction.
2. Secondly, if this is one you are willing to make, then what is your decision. When I think about this, it makes me realize I need to spend a lot more time in prayer and meditation on your Word, to discern all this.
There is a lot of listening that needs to occur.
Yes, my child. Generally, all my children would benefit from more listening to me, more asking me for my direction, and more waiting on me for guidance.
Well, for someone like me, that is hard.
Following me is not easy. But it is beneficial for your relationship with me.
Lord Jesus, help me to be a better listener, and more patient, waiting more on you for direction. Help me to be more discerning, and less impulsive. I am too decisive. I need to wait on you much more than I do.
This process will create more of a daily, moment-by-moment dialogue between us, and you will find that you will pray much more than you do now throughout your day with me. This will help you grow as a Christ-follower, and help you better follow me.
Thank you Lord Jesus. I aspire to do just that.
CHRIST THE DECISION-MAKER
Often, we grapple with the idea of decision making. We ask, “Should I take this job?” “Should I move to another city?” “Should I pursue this relationship?” But we forget that as followers of Christ, often our job is not to make decisions but to surrender to them. Much has been written on decision-making by well meaning Christ-followers. Some say we are under absolute grace, and can make all decisions, without even asking Christ what He wants. I used to do that, and the results were not desirable. It produced a character that was not Christ-like. The image comes to mind of Jesus Christ, in the garden before he was arrested and crucified, saying: “Not my will, but yours Father.” I believe that Jesus gave us that example, and many more like that, to teach us to go to Christ, and surrender our decision-making. Just because we CAN make decisions does not mean we SHOULD.
My child, come to me as often as you like, with as many decisions that you want to have help with. I am here for you. Always. Night and day. All the time.
Lord Jesus Christ, our Master, thank you. And thank you for having a divine plan for each of us. In Jeremiah 29:11, you declare, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” You are our ultimate decision-maker. You are the designer of our life’s blueprint. You have laid out our path before us. Our responsibility, then, is to surrender to YOUR will and let YOU guide us in making the right choices.
My child, I do fully and completely love you. I do have a plan for your life. Yes, I am a God of Grace and Mercy. Yes, I love you even when you are off making decisions that are not ideal for my plan for you. And yes, no matter what you do, I am still in control. I still get me way with you, as long as you surrender to me. However, the more you surrender to me, the more I can use you to bring myself glory. And, that is what I desire most, that your life bring me the most glory.
Got it. This is not about me and my glory. My plans. My life. This is about you, your glory, your plans, and your life in me. I belong to you. I need to fully surrender ALL of me, daily, to you. So, this is what I am hearing – please tell me if this is accurate: “The bigger the impact our decision will have, the more prayer needs to go into that decision, and the more surrender to Christ and your Will is needed.
Yes, child. I deeply care about EVERY aspect of your life. I care about ALL your decisions. And, I want to be involved in EVERYTHING. That does not mean that ALL decisions need to be made by me. You have FREE WILL. However, I want your will completely and fully aligned with my will for you.
Jesus, my Lord, Savior, and best Friend, that is what I want too.
OUR ROLE AS DECISION-DISCERNERS
The concept of being a decision-discerner instead of a decision-maker can seem confusing at first, but it is essentially a posture of trust and submission. This role involves turning to God in prayer, seeking His wisdom and guidance, studying His Word, and being attentive to His voice. We discern God’s decisions by developing and nurturing a deeper relationship with Christ and aligning ourselves with Christ’s will. James 1:5 advises us: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” This divine wisdom is accessible to all Christ-followers and allows us to navigate the complexities of life. Discernment is an active, not a passive process. We actively seek God’s wisdom and His will, spending time in His presence, learning His word, and being more than open to His direction. The only way to do this is by spending time with Christ. If I am too busy “running my own life” I will continually miss all that Christ has for me.
Dear child, this is true. I desire to have a moment-by-moment dialogue with you. Conversations throughout your day. Not just in the morning during your daily quiet time. I am pleased that you have this time with me. That is a beginning. Now I want you to extend this time throughout your day, taking me into all your impactful decisions. And don’t forget to end your day with me. You will sleep better as you end your time in prayer and meditation on my Word.
Jesus, that is great wisdom you have given today. The bigger the impact, the more I need to seek you out for decisions, and the more I need to surrender to you. The greater the impact of decisions, the more I need to surrender. Got it!
Yes, my child. I am God of the Smallest Details. There is nothing that you can bring to me that I will think is insignificant. However, the size of the impact on yourself and others, in relationship to me and my purpose for you matters greatly. You are here to glorify me. Remember that. That is your life’s purpose. Surrender to that purpose and you will have greater love, joy, and peace in this life I have given you.
THE POWER OF SURRENDER TO CHRIST
Surrender to Christ and His Will is not a sign of weakness or defeat but of strength and trust in the Lord. It is recognizing that we do not hold all the answers and that our limited understanding can’t compare with Christ’s perfect knowledge and wisdom. When we surrender our will to Christ, we’re saying, “Lord, I trust in your plans. You know what is best for me, and I accept whatever decision you have made for my life.” This act of surrender creates a profound transformation within us. We begin to see life more from God’s perspective, allowing us to navigate life’s highs and lows with greater courage, resilience, and unwavering faith.
As followers of Christ, we are MORE OFTEN called not to be decision makers but decision discerners. We are to MORE OFTEN surrender our will to God’s, trusting in His wisdom and His plans for our lives. This is not a passive act but an active journey of growing closer to God, understanding His word, and FULLY aligning ourselves with His will and His purpose for our lives. So the next time you’re facing the need for a decision, remember that your role is not NECESSARILY to make the decision but to discern it. Take a moment to pray, dive into God’s Word, and listen to His guidance. By doing so, you’ll experience a life led by Christ’s wisdom. Doing this will yield more concrete hope, more true prosperity, and more of a greater future beyond what you or I could ever hope or imagine.
Your aspiring servant,
19 June 2023
POSTSCRIPT: Dear friends, if this daily, transparent conversation with God blesses you, please go to www.SOLIDpastors.org, where you will find these posted, and a repository of all, in English and Spanish. If you ever want to chat, reach out at Daniel@SOLIDpastors.org. May Christ bless you richly as you have your own intimate, daily Conversations with God.