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Decision-making and providence (2)

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People need guidance from God about how they should make up their minds on difficult issues. God gives them this through the Holy Spirit, the Scriptures, individuals, groups and other external means.


Decisions should be grounded in a relationship with God

Proverbs 3:5–6 NASB95
Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.
See also Ps 23:1–3; Ps 25:4–5; Ps 25:8–9; Ps 25:12; Pr 9:10 Wisdom involves making right moral decisions; Mt 6:31–33

God guides decision-making

Through Scripture

2 Timothy 3:16–17 NASB95
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
See also Ps 19:7–11; Ps 119:9; Ps 119:11; Ps 119:98–100; Ps 119:104–105; Ps 119:130

The temptation of Jesus Christ is a good example of how Scripture can inform decision-making:

Mt 4:4; Dt 8:3; Mt 4:7; Dt 6:16; Mt 4:10; Dt 6:13

Through supernatural intervention

Acts 18:9 NASB95
And the Lord said to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent;
See also Ge 28:10–15; 1 Sa 16:6–7; 1 Sa 16:12; Is 30:19–21; Je 32:6–9; Ac 9:10–16; Ac 10:9–16; Ac 11:27–30; Ac 21:10–11; Ac 26:19; 1 Co 14:29–30

Through prayer

James 1:5–6 NASB95
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.
See also 1 Ki 3:9–12; Pr 2:3–6; Mt 7:7–11; Mt 21:22; Eph 6:18

Through circumstances

Acts 6:1–4 NASB95
Now at this time while the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food. So the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables. “Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task. “But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
See also Nu 13:1–3; Dt 32:28–29; Jos 2:23–24; Ru 2:2–3; 1 Ki 3:26–28; Ac 15:19–22; Ac 16:3; Ac 20:3; Ac 20:16; 1 Co 16:8–9

The work of the Holy Spirit in decision-making

John 14:16–17 NASB95
“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.
See also Jn 14:26; Jn 16:13–15; Ac 8:29; Ac 10:19; Ac 13:2; Ac 15:28; Ac 16:6–10; 1 Jn 2:20; 1 Jn 2:27

Motivation in decision-making

Mt 6:33; Col 3:17
See also Ps 139:23–24; Mt 20:25–28; Mt 23:23; Ro 12:1; 1 Co 10:31; 2 Co 5:9; Php 4:8–9; 1 Th 4:1; 1 Th 5:8; 1 Pe 2:12; 1 Pe 4:11

Humility is essential for divine guidance

Psalm 25:9 NASB95
He leads the humble in justice, And He teaches the humble His way.
See also Dt 10:12–13; Ps 25:14; Ps 34:9–10; Ps 73:1; Ps 84:11; Is 58:9–11; Da 9:20–23

The need to test guidance

1 Thessalonians 5:19–22 NASB95
Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.
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