Here are 4 common signs that God is about to require you to make a difficult decision.
1. If You Are Faced with Two Good Options But You Will Lose Both Options If You Don’t Choose One Soon, This Is a Sign He’s Requiring You to Make a Decision
It’s not a hard decision when you are faced with one bad option and one good option. Difficult decisions arise when you are faced with two good options.
Perhaps you are single but you are in a phase of life where you are actively open to dating. Because of you openness, you’ve begone talking to different guys. You are not dating either one and neither of them have expressed interest verbally. But you know by their attention and their regular conversations with you that they both like you. You are struggling which one to pursue more though because they are both godly men, you could see yourself with either one, but you know things are getting serious so you need to pick one so you don’t lead the other one on.
Or maybe you are a single man who had a great relationship forming with a Christian woman, but she told you she needed some time to just focus on her relationship with God. You want to wait for her because she seems amazing, but you are also not sure if you are just wasting your time because she could never want to date you like you want to date her.
Or maybe your boss has presented you with an opportunity for promotion. You could really use the money but the position he offered you is not something you really want to do. You’d probably be happier every day in your current position but to advance in your career you might need to take this new role.
These are difficult choices because there are clear positives to each decision. Things get especially tricky when there is an expiration date on these options. I certainly can’t tell you which option is best for you, but it seems wisdom would lead you at least choose one so you don’t lose both.
While God certainly does want you to seek his personal leading, I believe it is biblical to also rely on wisdom when we are unsure of which option God is leading us take. Sometimes God won’t tell you what to do in an audible way, but he will guide you logically when your mind is saturated with Scripture.
As Proverbs 2:6 states, “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
2. If You Are Faced with a Choice that Is Clearly Correct But Which Is Also Emotionally Difficult to Actually Execute, This Is a Sign the Lord Is Going to Require You to Make This Hard Decision
Sometimes when we write down two options on paper and compare them, the right choice is glaringly obvious. But the human experience is not merely an exercise in logic and rationality. The human heart is full of many emotions and inner desires that often block us from easily choosing the correct options in life.
Perhaps you met someone at church right after you got done praying about your desire for a spouse. You two instantly connect and this feels like the answers to your prayer. But a few dates in, red flags start emerging. This person isn’t really walking with God, they don’t see the value in waiting to have sex until marriage, and they want to move way faster than you are comfortable with.
But because you met this person at church, because you met them right after you prayed, and because you had such a good first few dates, emotionally you are struggling to accept the obvious facts that this person is not who God wants for you.
It’s in these moments God will empower us to make the right decision (1 Corinthians 10:13) even though it’s the hard decision. Oftentimes the easiest decisions are the worst decisions we can make in life. Just remember, the longer you delay doing what you know is right, the harder it will be to do what you know you will eventually have to do anyways.
As James 4:17 explains, “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”
3. If You Know You Need to Start Pursuing Something that Will Take a Long Time to Receive, This Is a Sign You Will Be Required to Make This Hard Decision Soon
Sometimes a mountain looks so big we get frozen in fear before we even take one step forward. Mountains are not climbed through huge bounding leaps. Mountains are climbed through persistently putting one foot in front of the other over and over again until you finally reach the top.
This is often what is required to receive the things we desire most in life. Anything worth having almost always requires a massive amount of effort to receive. Nothing of great value comes without a great price. Yes, everything good God gives us is by grace. I’m not saying we must earn blessings from God. No, Jesus is the only one who could earn God’s grace for us.
But this truth does not contradict the principle that whoever gathers little by little is the one who gathers the most in the end. As Proverbs 13:11 explains, “Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.”
Do you want a better career? Perhaps you need a degree that will take years to receive. Do you want to become an expert in a trade? Perhaps you need to be apprenticed for years by an expert. Do you want to have a Christian spouse? Perhaps you need to rid your life of godlessness so you are mature enough to be in a holy relationship. Do you want to make more friends? Perhaps you need to invest the necessary time and emotional energy that you know you have been withholding.
Don’t let the length of the journey scare you from taking the first step. Every long journey always begins with that first step.
4. If You Know You Are Going to Have to Give Up the Life You Built for Yourself So You Can Receive the Life God Wants to Give You, This Is a Sign God Is Requiring You to Make a Difficult Decision
While I get the motive behind churches trying to make Christianity as accessible as possible to the culture, one danger in this is that we end up altering what Jesus actually requires for those who desire to be a Christian (Matthew 16:24-27).
If you are struggling to let go of the life you have built for yourself, this is a difficult decision to make. But when you weigh what you are giving up against what you are gaining in Christ, the decision becomes abundantly clear. As Philippians 3:7-9 (NIV) explains:
But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.”
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