When God Leaves the Decision Up to You: Choosing What Path to Take
It is funny how a comment made years ago can stick with you.
Over a decade ago, I was trying to make a big decision about something. It was probably about my career since the phrase what should I do with my life consumed my thoughts for most of my twenties. It was a moment when I wanted God to write His will for me in the sky.
God did not seem to have a strong opinion on which route I should choose, or at least He did not seem to want to tell me.
As I shared my dilemma with a dear and wise friend, her response was new and refreshing. She casually said that it sounded like God was leaving the decision up to me.
Basically, I get to choose.
I’ve thought about my friend’s comment off and on over the years. Even though God knows what we will choose, He sometimes lets us decide. He is more concerned with our obedience through the decision-making process and afterward than our choice of direction.
It is like God says You choose, and I will be with you.
Maybe all of those times that I didn’t know what to do with my life were really just God allowing me the freedom to choose because He would be in those places and moments with me. Whatever I choose, He gets the glory—He is already there before we choose anyway.
I know. It can be hard to wrap your mind around how God works. I think we make it too complicated, and that is why we freak out when we have an unclear choice to make, whether big or small.
I go back to Jesus’ words in The Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20.
All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
Make a decision and go love the people around you by telling them about Jesus. God is always with you.
Is it really that simple?
I have lived a lot of my life fearing that I would choose wrong. I have believed all of the lies that come along with that fear. The lie that failing is unacceptable was an internal motto I lived by. Then, there’s the paralyzing lie that we can step outside God’s will. I feared that lie the most. One wrong decision could screw it all up.
Jennie Allen wrote a great quote about the fear of screwing up God’s will for your life. I wish I could find the exact quote, but even Google could not help me find it. Jennie wrote that we are not powerful enough to mess up God’s will for our life.
We. Cannot. Mess. It. Up.
There is freedom and relief when we truly live with the sole purpose of going and telling others about Jesus above carefully crafted plans and perfect outcomes.
There are definitely times when God asks specific things of us. I knew the moment God called us to adopt. Without a shadow of a doubt, I knew it. God was not vague with Scott or me in that calling.
God wanted Jonah to go to Nineveh (Jonah 1:1-2). That was also very clear.
When God wants us to do something specific, we will know it.
But sometimes, maybe all He wants from us is to be faithful and obedient in our decision-making process, make a choice, and go.
I cannot promise that it will be easy, but God will be there all the way.
When was a time God left a big, life-changing decision up to you? How did it work out?
What has God taught you through the process of making a hard decision?
What are some daily practices that can give us peace while making decisions?