Stepping out on Faith - How to Discern and Make a Decision
Have you ever felt like God was telling you to do something huge, something that would require a lot of faith? Have you ever struggled to have the courage to go for it? I have.
I’ve struggled with stepping out on faith more than once and all I wanted was to be 100% sure I was not making mistake before I took the first step. In the past my go to was asking God for confirmation or a sign. Sometimes I received them but other times I didn’t. I recall a time when I was unemployed and applying for jobs. I got an offer but I wasn’t excited about the position. I was, however, broke. I felt torn and wanted God to give me an explicit answer…but He didn’t. Instead, He told me I needed to learn to decipher His voice through the noise.
I think we desire for God to give us a clear yes or no because we want what’s easy. We don’t want to deal with the risk of the unknown. But If we knew how everything would play out beforehand, it wouldn’t require faith. And if God simply dropped signs out the sky every time we asked, how would we learn to discern His voice? We’d be too dependent on what we could see. Hebrews 11:1 tells us,
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”.
In the last five years I’ve taken many leaps of faith from moving to new cities to changing career paths to starting this blog. I know how scary it can be and how quickly the anxiety rushes in when you think of what could go wrong. Here are some principles that help me push past fear and step out on faith.
1. Focus on What You Could Gain, Not Lose
When I felt God tell me to move to Tampa, I immediately questioned it. I thought of at least 10 reasons not to go. But through all of my doubts one question remained - What if I miss out on what God has for me? Is being comfortable worth that sacrifice? My history in Christ told me no. I looked back on all the things I’d done in obedience for God and realized it always ended up better than I could’ve imagined. The roads weren’t always easy, but they were worth it. If God’s leading you somewhere, know that it will be good because He is good. His will is good, pleasing, and perfect ( Romans 12:2) for our lives.
2. Rely on the Holy Spirit More than Signs
As we mature in Christ, we should be able to make certain decisions without God telling us exactly what to do. Think about like this. Babies need their food prepared because they are helpless. They’re still learning how to control their motor skills. But a 13 year old doesn’t need you to cut their food. They are fully capable of using the tools (knife and fork) if you give it to them.
The same is true for a believer in Christ. As we spend more time with God and go into deeper relationship with Him, we will have the tools to make the right decision. We should know when a situation is directly against God’s will (I.e. dating or marrying an unbeliever). And when it comes to gray areas, we should be close enough to the Holy Spirit to hear his whisper. We don’t need signs, we have access to God’s wisdom.
“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. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt…” - James 1:5-6
(Know that God will never instruct us to do anything contrary to His written word. If you’re not sure what the Bible says about a topic, do a study and look up multiple verses AND their context.)
3. Seek God’s Counsel Before Other’s Opinions
When faced with a decision is God the first person you turn to or the last? As well-meaning and wise as our loved ones, mentors, and close friends are - they aren’t God. They don’t know the future or God’s explicit plan for you life. Only He does. Moreover, not everyone will support what God’s telling you to do. Faith moves often seem crazy. People can talk you right out of the will of God using a logical argument.
Let your counsel be a few trusted, God-centered people, and let them be your second resource. Some things even they won’t understand. God won’t always reveal to others what He’s revealed to you. Always choose God’s instruction over people’s wisdom. Jesus knows where you’re going and how to best get you there. It may not make sense or follow your timeline but remember, we’re living for Christ. If it were easy or followed human logic - how would God get the glory?
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. - Romans 11: 33-36
Prayer: Father, help me to know and trust your character so that I may trust the plan you have for my life. I pray against fear, doubt and anxiety and I ask for your peace to guard my mind and heart. Help me to be courageous and follow wherever you lead. You’re a good Father and I know your plans for me are for my good and your Glory. Amen.