Looking at scripture, there are many examples of men and woman who made right decisions and they all seem to have one common characteristic. In 1 Kings 3:6-12 Solomon prayed for wisdom to “discern between good and evil” and became the wisest ruler that ever lived. Queen Esther fasted and prayed for three days to prepare to follow God’s will in Esther 4:16, then got up and boldly went out to see the king.
Nehemiah spent time praying before knowing what he was to do next (Neh 1:4-11). Paul in Acts 9:6 (KJV) prayed “Lord what do you want me to do?” and went on to be shown God’s next step by Ananias. Jesus himself prayed before going out to do the purpose for which God the Father has sent Him. (Mark 1:35-39) All of them prayed and sought the Lord in their decision making process. So here is the life principle to build your life upon:
No decision made, without prayer!
Why pray, you may wonder? Look at Rom 14:23 “He who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith, for whatever is not from faith is sin.”
These words are teaching the principle of not violating your conscience: it is knowing when to move ahead in full faith; when to hold back because your faith, confidence and clear conscience are not in place. Basically, believers that doubted in their hearts what they were doing, or were not sure, were told to then “not do it”, because in doing so they were violating their conscience and this was sin.
Paul applied this principle to himself in Acts 24:16 ”So I always strive to keep my conscience clear before God and men.” Job also followed this principle of a clear conscience in Job 27:6 “I will maintain my righteousness and never let go of it, my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live.” Deacons were required to live by a clear conscience in 1 Tim 3:9. “They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience.”
We are called to act in confidence – we are to be fully persuaded and confident that what we are doing is right. Prov 3:26 “for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.” Being so fully confident, allows us to be decisive and move ahead without any qualms or hesitation. If we are not confident, it lays the foundation for guilt, doubt and lack of faith.
We are called to pray for confidence – to be able to act confidently, you need to pray for God to give you confidence. You want to live and act with the assurance that you are doing the right thing, so whether it takes a day or months for that confidence to be yours, you want to be able to move forward with no doubt. Is 32:17 “The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.” Jer 17:7 “But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.”
We are called to enjoy peace of mind – when you pray and wait patiently for the Lord for His answer and direction, you will eventually sense a clear direction associated with peace. Prov 4:26 promises that with eyes fixed on the Lord, it will “make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm.”
You can move forward with confidence, pray with confidence, step out in faith with confidence all the way enjoying peace of mind because you know it is right.
Isaiah 59:8 “The way of peace they do not know, there is no justice in their paths. They have turned them into crooked roads; no one who walks in them will know peace.”
2 Peter 1:2 “Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.”
See, dear friend, there is peace of mind to be found for knowing you are walking right before the Lord.
James 4:17 “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.”
Do the right thing – proceed only with prayer, always.
Help me Father to take prayer during decision making seriously. Forgive me for the times I have prayed after I have made my decision, asking you to bless my plans and not consulting you in the process. Forgive me for the times I have gone ahead without a clear conscience and without a sense of peace. Please help me to be characterized by prayer during decision making.
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