MAKING THE TOUGH DECISION
We all come to times in our lives when we need to hear God’s voice and discern his direction so we can make an accurate decision. The usual checkpoints as most of us know are as follows: alignment with God’s Word, internal peace, open or closed doors, and confirmation from Godly counsel. Yet, we often remain stuck in a quandry – a sort of spiritual paralysis. Allow me to offer two practical solutions:
JUST MAKE A DECISION
Once you have gone through your checkpoints, make a call. The Lord is not trying to trick you by making things difficult. He wants you to hear well and follow well. So do it – make the best call you can based on external and internal intel. I am told that expert decison makers in fields ranging from the marketplace to the military make high level strategic decisions when they have at best 70% of the needed input. Succesful fighter pilots, I am told, are young because of a healthy, impulsiveness. They process what they see quickly and make a gut level decision based on the best available information at hand. Past a certain age, many are removed from the cockpit because they become too cautious and take too long to make the right decision. The result? A missed target.
The truth is, almost never will you have most or all of the information you think you need. But you will have the right amount of information God thinks you need. And what you don’t have God will cover as you exercise faith in him. This brings a smile to his face, for faith, the bible says pleases God. (Hebrews 11:6)
SLEEP ON IT
That’s right. Go to sleep. Your mind will process the input through needed rest and healthy displacement. Brain science tells us that allowing intentional distraction from the decision at hand often will produce a sense of clarity. We’ve all had those “aha!” moments in the shower after thinking long and hard on an issue. Sleep activates that big time. Sleep deprivation, on the other hand, does the opposite, causing mental gridlock. So go to sleep. Be at rest, and let the Lord guide you as a shepherd from the prone position. (Psalm 23)
WHEN YOU AWAKE
If you retain a sense of peace after you awake, and that peace persists, you have almost assuredly made the right decision. If not, and there is a lack of peace within, God could be reversing your decision by wanting to change your direction.
A few years ago, a former University of Hawaii football star who had washed out of the NFL thought of retiring, but gave the Canadian Football League a try as a final shot. He had a breakout year, and was offered a chance to return to the NFL. His CFL team enticed him to stay by putting forth a highly lucrative offer. After much wrestling, he made a decision to go to the NFL, then slept on it. Upon awaking, he had no peace and made up his mind to stay in the CFL. Peace abounded. Many questioned his decision, but he stood firm, believing the CFL to be God’s will.
The decision would be history making. Chad Owens would set an all time pro football record of three consecutive 3,000 yard seasons capped off in 2012 with a Most Valuable Player Award and a Grey Cup championship (the CFL version of the Super Bowl) with the Toronto Argonauts. He has parlayed his success on the field into being an influence for his faith. The NFL keeps on knocking, but Chad keeps on staying. He’s not crazy as some believe – just obedient.