I think to most Christians this question is more relevant than the Shakespearian version. When do I get the help of a union rep when I’m in a meeting with my boss about my future or do I just believe that God will ensure that His will, will be done? Do I continue encouraging my friend to do a course in beading or do I believe God will convince her? When am I an instrument of God’s will and when does He run the show on His own? When do I act on a prophecy, and when do I wait for God’s timing?
There is truth to the statement that God uses humans to implement things on earth and that He rarely just move on His own. I can understand that, since we have been given the authority to rule over the world (we gave it away when we sinned, but God has restored that with Jesus’ death on the cross, it is now our choice whether we exercise this authority or not) So God would in a sense be intruding if He “made things happen” But on the other hand how many times have you seen one door close and another open right in front of your eyes?
There are a few things I would take into consideration if I were to decide whether I am going to act or not. For this exercise let us assume I have decided to act. Firstly, Do I have peace in my heart about my choice to act? Ha! “Peace in my heart!” what a mysterious appearance. If you are one of those who have found “THE MAP” this may not be relevant to you, since I am sure your path is lighted with fairy dust and what not. To the rest, I have found in my own experience that the closer I am living to God, the easier it is to see my path ahead and thus have peace about stepping out because I see the next rock, even if it is just the next few steps. The closer your heart is pressed against His chest, the easier it is to feel in which direction His body is turning. So yes, here it comes: read your bible and pray more. But there is more you can do. You can discuss the situation honestly with God, for me it is easier to do this out loud (might be the reason there are doubts among my peers considering my mental state J). Honesty is key, if it means confessing fear and mistrust and confusion, God already knows what is in your heart so no point in hiding it, it usually acts as a good ice breaker. The other perk of reading your Bible (or someone else’s if you can’t find yours) is that your knowledge of Christ and other Bible characters develop. Sometimes a situation in the bible will reflect your situation, and you can gain wisdom in that way. Knowledge of bible verses will make it easier to know if a certain action goes against the word and thus Jesus, or whether it confirms your planned action.
The world has this funny method called “list the pros and cons” How many of your pros and cons will be based on earthly things for example “increase in salary” and How much of it related to living Christ like and according to God’s purpose for your life for example, “more time with my kids” I am not saying that such a list is not applicable to believers, but I am issuing a warning that it is important to list the correct pros and cons. It would be like measuring the weight difference between stones and bubbles, just because they have the same shape, does not mean they can be taken as the same. Worldly things are bubbles next to the Kingdom of God, no matter how many you have the boulders will always weigh more
My mother has a peculiar body shape. Her theory on shopping for clothes is that when you have to convince yourself that it looks good, it probably doesn’t. The same could be said for our decisions. If there is no voice of conscience in my head, then why the need to deafen it out?
Excitement about a big choice is usually from God. (Except if it is about getting a puppy or buying an ice cream truck)The cool part is that the excitement usually only comes after the choice is made. I have found that while in prayer I will feel uneasy about my choice if it is the wrong one or just more convinced if it was the right one. People say that going on your emotions is impractical and leads to bright green tutu’s with leopard print stockings. I disagree. God has made emotions. The devil abuses them, so usually when you react out of emotion instead of the emotion following the decision, you are playing with fire, or with your middle finger should you be on the road at the current time. I recently had to decide within five minutes whether I was to allow my husband to buy me very cute shoes. My intense feelings due to a low self-esteem drove my desire to buy shoes that at least make me feet look cute. Emotional choice, keep your head about it, no shoes! (They were honestly very cute). In short, evaluate the emotion behind your decision. Is it in line with what God tells us in His word? Excitement about shoes is Godly in my one friend (she has a brown and black pair…) while in me that same emotion stems out of insecurity.
A note on decisions and God’s will for our lives. Some people live in fear of making decisions; they fear that it will be against God’s will. That is absolutely true. Your choices may sometimes go against the better plan, but it is not a reason to panick and tear your garment. It is okay, It is like driving with a Garmin, when you take a wrong turn, He simply recalculates the path, He knew you would bugger up a few choices along the way, He has the changed route already for when the time comes. Another metaphor is that of a carousel. When there comes a time in your life when you need to make a big decision, for instance, what is God’s career choice for me? If you should choose the wrong one, God will bring the opportunity to choose around again, like a carousel.