“Show me your ways, O LORD,
teach me your paths;
guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.”
The road of life is full of forks. Some choices are obvious. Like, “Should I take the path to inner freedom and forgive _(name)_, who wronged me OR should I take the road to corroding bitterness and cling to my resentments?” (Remember, I said obvious, not easy!)
Others forks can induce an uncomfortable condition I call “indecision indigestion” – the nagging angst of not knowing with certainty which path to take.
Recently I came across a useful, Biblically sound approach to decision making. It was written by an amazing Christ-follower, German-born George Mueller. Mueller became one of the most powerful evangelical leaders in nineteenth-century England and is best remembered for his groundbreaking work with orphans. No doubt, Mueller stood at many uncertain crossroads of decision in his life and ministry.
In his later years, Mueller articulated 6 principles he followed when seeking the Lord’s will: (they’re worth reading!)
- I seek at the beginning to get my heart into such a state that is has no will of its own in regard to a given matter. Nine-tenths of the trouble with people is just here. Nine-tenths of the difficulties are overcome when our hearts are ready to do the Lord’s will, whatever it may be. When one is truly in this state, it is usually but a little way to the knowledge of what his will is.
- Having done this, I do not leave the result to feeling or simple impression. If I do so, I make myself liable to great delusions.
- I see the will of the Spirit of God through, or in connection with, the Word of God. The Spirit and the Word must be combined. If I look to the Spirit alone without the Word, I lay myself open to great delusions also. If the Holy Spirit guides at all, He will do it according to the Scriptures and never contrary to them.
- Next I take into account providential circumstances. These often plainly indicate God’s will in connection with His Word and Spirit.
- I ask God in prayer to reveal His will to me aright.
- Thus, through prayer to God, the study of the Word, and reflection, I come to a deliberate judgment according to the best of my ability and knowledge; and if my mind is thus at peace, and continues so after two or three more petitions, I proceed accordingly. In trivial matters, and in transactions involving more important issues, I have found this method always effective.
Are you facing a difficult fork in your road today? God waits to show you his way, teach you his path, and guide you in truth as you hope in Him all day long.
If your kids are in the midst of a tough decision (what activity to join, sport to play, class to take, classmate to endear, college to pursue…), this is a great passage for them to have in their hearts. One of the greatest things we can teach our children is how to turn decisions over to the Lord and discern His will. Share Mueller’s wisdom with them in words they can understand. And then work/pray through the path-choosing process with them. Only God can safely navigate us through every challenging fork in our road. And as our Creator and Savior, we couldn’t be in better hands!
“Show me the path I should walk, O LORD;
point out the right road for me to follow.
Lead me by your truth and teach me,
for you are the God who saves me.
All day long I put my hope in you.”
New Living Translation