Faithlife Sermons

How to Make Wise Decisions

God uses several things to help us to grow. God’s Word… Holy Spirit… Circumstances. God allows circumstances into our lives so that we can learn to know him and depend on him more. All kinds of situations and problems will come into our lives that God wants to use to move you into a relationship with Jesus.
Last week we looked at getting back on track with God’s dream for your life. God gives each of us a dream or a vision for our lives. He has a plan for each of us. We are not put here by accident.
But a dream is worthless unless you choose to work on it. To work on it you have to make a decision and follow it. So today we will look at How to make wise decisions.
sometimes it seems that good decision makers are those who make fast decisions. They are not the same, and quick decisions are often wrong. Some times those decisions don’t work out too well.
How many of you beside me have made a bad decision… or an unwise decision. Doorbell ringing…
The Bible has a lot to say about making decisions so we want to learn tonight what it says about making wise decisions or choices.
James 1:5–8 NLT
5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. 7 Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.
Indecision is not good so if we are swinging back and forth between trusting god or not, we are heading for disaster and will miss God’s best for our lives.
Our decisions determine our destiny and our choices determine our character… for good or bad.
Let’s look at some decisions the heroes of the faith had to make,.

Moses -

God gave Moses the vision to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, but to do that, he had to confront the most powerful man in the world… Pharoah.

Noah -

God gave Noah the dream of saving the world from a flood, but to do that he had to decide to build an Ark.

Abraham -

God gave Abraham the dream of beginning a great nation, but to do that he had to make the decision to leave home and everything he knew and go somewhere he else.
Listen, until we can make these decisions we will not be able to experience God’s dream for our lives. Today we want to learn a Biblical framework that will help us make wise decisions in this crazy world we live in whether it’s about our families, our careers, our money, health… Some of you may be struggling with difficult decisions … could be whether to marry or not… or to step out of your comfort zone...
Everyone can make wise decisions by following these steps

Steps to Making Wise Decisions

1. Pray for Guidance

James 1:5 NLT
5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.
Before you ask anyone else or do anything else, ask God. Get His perspective on whatever the decision is. He will speak to you often through his word.
Proverbs 28:26 The Living Bible
26 A man is a fool to trust himself! But those who use God’s wisdom are safe.
Philippians 4:6 NLT
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
We all get crazy ideas in our heads from time to time. Most of the time, they are not from the Lord because they violate Biblical principles and truth. So we have to learn to base our decisions on Biblical Truth. That’s where God begins. He will never contradict his word.

God will often guide you through His peace.

His peace will not be there if you’re living outside of his Biblical Revelation.
Colossians 3:15 GNB
15 The peace that Christ gives is to guide you in the decisions you make; for it is to this peace that God has called you together in the one body. And be thankful.
Ask God what he wants you to do?
We need to find out what He wants in our lives.

2. Get the Facts

Too often people make rash decisions without getting all the facts. We have seen that publically over the last years especially when someone puts a partial video or a statement on social media without the facts and then has to back track.
Proverbs 13:16 NLT
16 Wise people think before they act; fools don’t—and even brag about their foolishness.
Think whatever you are deciding on through. Get all the facts.
Proverbs 18:13 NLT
13 Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish.
How many times have you posted something without getting all the facts? It happens all the time in this social media generation. We see a 15 second video and think we know the facts about what happened. We don’t and you don’t whe you see it. video of one of our deputies punching a drunk teen after Mardi Gras… Sheriff showed a longer video that showed him push the deputy after he had harassed a middle school band member. The sheriff’s video also showed people trying to grab this deputies gun… The viral video did not.
Did you know that 90% of all businesses fail in the first year? Then 90% of those that make it through the first year fail in the next 5 years. It happens because of uneducated enthusiasm. Someone has an idea they are excited about, but they don’t research it enough… don’t get all the facts.
We have to get all the facts so ask yourself, what do I need to know before I make this decision?

3. Ask for Advice

Talk to someone who has made a similar decision. Talk to friends who know your strengths and weaknesses. Talk to people who are where you want to be. Nurse - talk to nurses. me with Bible bookstore… talk to Jesse Guerra and he gave me wise advice.
Proverbs 24:6 NLT
6 So don’t go to war without wise guidance; victory depends on having many advisers.
Get advice.
Someone asked Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motor Company, what the secret to his success was. He replied “wise decisions.” They then asked him how to make wise decisions and he replied by making stupid decisions.

It’s good to learn from experience, but it’s even better to learn from other people’s experience.

You don’t have time to learn everything from experience.... don’t have time to make mistakes that you can avoid by learning from other people’s mistakes. Life is too shor tto learn everything by trial and error.
You don’t have to look at certain sins to know they are bad for you… you can see the results in other people’s lives.
If you are smart, don’t try to learn everything on your own, learn from other people’s experience.
Proverbs 20:18 NLT
18 Plans succeed through good counsel; don’t go to war without wise advice.
Most of the time, we would rather look wise than actually be wise. We get this idea that if we look like we don’t know something, we are weak and in-intelligent. Actually the opposite is true. Look what Solomon said...
Proverbs 13:10 NLT
10 Pride leads to conflict; those who take advice are wise.
We need to ask for advice and learn from Godly people if we ever want to be successful. All of us are ignorant… just on different subjects.

4. Count the Cost

There is a price tag for every decision, even small ones. Every time you spend a minute of your life on something, you just gave away a minute of your life. When you give your time to something, you are giving your life to it. You can always get more money, but you cannot get more time. We only have a certain number of days.
Every decision has a price tag. It will cost you time, money, reputation, talents, or resources.
Proverbs 20:25 NLT
25 Don’t trap yourself by making a rash promise to God and only later counting the cost.
Don’t trap your self by making decisions you have not through through. You have to calculate the cost of committing to something.
It’s ok when people pressure you to make a decision to say, I’ll get back to you. It’s not as important to make a quick decision as it is to make the right decision.
Here is a simple rule of life.

It’s always easier to get into something than it is to get out.

Kelly’s heroes… His tank would go faster in reverse than in forward… because he wanted to be able to get our of trouble faster than he got into it.
If only it were that easy. It’s much easier to get into the wrong relationship than to get out. It’s easier to get into debt than to get out. It’s easier to fill up your schedule than it is to fulfill your schedule. Always count the cost.
Jesus said that a wise person doesn’t build a tower without counting the cost. A king doesn’t go to war unless first making sure he can win.
Is the decision worth it?
HL Hunt said this...

There are only two keys to success in life. One, decide what you really want. Two decide what you are willing to pay for it.

Count the cost because there is a price tag on every decision.

5. Prepare for problems

Successful people have often said, expect the best but prepare for the worst.
That’s not bad advice. In faith, expect the best… prepare for the best but also be prepared for the problems that will come as you pursue God’s best.
Proverbs 22:3 GNB
3 Sensible people will see trouble coming and avoid it, but an unthinking person will walk right into it and regret it later.
The wise person knows that there will be problems along the way and prepares for them. Even the Bible knows about Murphy’s law.... If anything can go wrong it will. You can’t ignore problems because they will not ignore you. Problems are an inevitable part of life, so we must prepare for them.
Ask, what could go wrong? What happens if it does?
There is a difference in preparing for a problem and problem solving. Don;’t confuse the two. If you have to solve every problem before you make a decision, you will never make a decision.
Spiritually speaking this means that you don’t have to know the answer to every spiritual mystery or question before you make a commitment to Jesus. You just tell Jesus that you give all you know of yourself to all you know of him. You will be learning about yourself and him for the rest of your life.
Mark 9:14–24 NLT
14 When they returned to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd surrounding them, and some teachers of religious law were arguing with them. 15 When the crowd saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with awe, and they ran to greet him. 16 “What is all this arguing about?” Jesus asked. 17 One of the men in the crowd spoke up and said, “Teacher, I brought my son so you could heal him. He is possessed by an evil spirit that won’t let him talk. 18 And whenever this spirit seizes him, it throws him violently to the ground. Then he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast out the evil spirit, but they couldn’t do it.” 19 Jesus said to them, “You faithless people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.” 20 So they brought the boy. But when the evil spirit saw Jesus, it threw the child into a violent convulsion, and he fell to the ground, writhing and foaming at the mouth. 21 “How long has this been happening?” Jesus asked the boy’s father. He replied, “Since he was a little boy. 22 The spirit often throws him into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.” 23 “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” 24 The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”
You just give Jesus all you can to all of him that you know now… He will do the rest. You don’t have to solve all of your questions before committing to the Lord.
Many people are afraid of failing. A business man who was terrified of failing constant read Psalm 91. He said this, "God says, Because He loves me, I will rescue him. I will protect him for he acknowledges My name. He will call upon Me and I will answer him. I will be with him in trouble. I will deliver him and I will honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him My salvation."
We all face fear at some level. That leads to this finals step.

6. Face your fears

Usually fear is at the root of our indecision. It’s the fear that we will make a mistake and embarrass yourself. It’s the fear of making a commitment that we can’t keep. It’s the fear that someone will laugh at me or reject me if they know I love Jesus. It’s always fear that makes us indecisive.
We are not alone… Moses said, I can’t speak. Abraham said I’m too old. Gideon said, I’m too young. Which excuses have you used?
God has a dream for your life and Jesus Christ wants to be a part of your life. Some of you are saying "I don't have the time, I don't have the money, I don't have the experience, I don't have the education, I don't have the contacts, I don't have the resources, If only I were married, If only I were unmarried, If only I were older, or younger, in another country, in another year....." It's fear that's keeping you from making the decision that God wants you to make
Ecclesiastes 11:4 The Living Bible
4 If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.

Perfectionism paralyzes potential

God has always used imperfect people in imperfect situations to get His will done. Always. If you're waiting for that perfect person to come along -- they're not coming. If you're waiting for that perfect situation, things to be just right, or certain things to get over before you really get committed to Christ -- it's not going to happen. The basic commitments of life must be made in the middle of the stuff of life. Life goes on.

What’s the solution to fear?

Romans 8:31 NLT
31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?

God is on your side

You just trust God and start moving. Joyce Myers said to walk towards what you think God wants you to do and allow ?God to open the doors. She also said, do it afraid.
In spite of the problems, fears, doubts. The secret is that you move against your fear, do the thing you fear the most.
If you know it's God's will and God's given you a dream, you make the decision and you move against the fear and you watch the Red Sea open up and you watch the manna be provided and you watch God do the miracle in that relationship, in that problem, your finances, whatever it is.
When I don’t have the faith to do something I know God wants me to do, I go ahead and do it afraid and let God give me the faith.
What decision do you need to make?
Don’t just waste your life. Don’t live just getting by… don’t just exist. Make the decisions that will determine your destiny.
Here are four life changing decisions every person needs to make.

Four life changing decisions every person needs to make

1. To commit my life to Christ and become a part of His family.

You need to commit your life to Christ. If you haven't done that, what are you waiting on? Not to decide is to decide

2. To make a decision to commit to the habits that will help me grow spiritually.

Don't be a wishy-washy, Luke-warm, shallow Christian. Go head on. Be all that God wants you to be. Squeeze out of life everything He wants you to squeeze out.

3. To use my talents, gifts, shape, abilities in serving God and others.

Some of you have been setting on the bench and it's time to get in the game.

4. To share Jesus Christ with others.

Once you know the good news, you're to become a carrier, an ambassador, a messenger.
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