"How To Make Godly Decisions With The Holy Spirit" by Eleanor Carpenter
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just desperately want a writing-on-the-wall kind of a moment, where God just shows up and tells you exactly what to do. Now I’m sure that would be great—and probably equally as terrifying—but what do we do when God doesn’t give us a clear direction? How do we actually make godly decisions with the help of the Holy Spirit?
God has gifted us his Holy Spirit to lead and guide us into all truth (John16:13). He’s not given to us to dictate or force us into making any decisions, but rather he lovingly invites us into relationship with him and allows us to be co-workers with him (1 Corinthians 3:9), in the work that his is already doing.
If you are struggling to make a godly, wise decision, here are four ways the Holy Spirit can help you.
Surrender Your Decision to God
Before we get to the decision-making part, I want you take a moment to consider if you are actually ready for God’s answer? Are you fully surrendered to what he has to say? Do you trust that God loves you and has the best for you?
Because our depth of trust in God, and faith that he has a beautiful plan and purpose for you (Jeremiah 29:11), determines our response to his answer.
Sometimes our own selfish desires are the very things stopping us from hearing God’s voice clearly. So, before you even ask him for anything, invite the Holy Spirit to search your heart (Psalm 139:23).
Consider why it is that you want to know his will. Are you just wanting to ‘do the right thing,’ or do you genuinely believe that God has a plan and purpose for your good?
Surrendering our own desires to God makes room for us to hear his voice more clearly.
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 straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
Seek God’s Wisdom
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5 ESV
God invites us to ask for wisdom and his wisdom is far greater than earthly wisdom. To put it simply, earthly wisdom is wisdom without God. It is often centred around our own selfish desires and self-promotion and relies on our own ability to get to where we want to be. However heavenly wisdom relies on God’s divine and sovereign power and works to bring about his plans and purposes on earth.
James describes heavenly wisdom as ‘first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere’ (James 3:17). So, I encourage you to lay down the logic and ways of the world and sincerely seek God’s wisdom.
The Word is a great place to start when seeking godly wisdom. His Word is ‘alive and active’ (Hebrews 4:12), and ‘is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives’ (2 Timothy 3:16 NLT). God’s solutions will always align with his scripture.
The Word helps us understand the nature and character of God, which helps us better discern his leading and promoting when making decisions.
Some decisions are a little clearer cut, like when one option doesn’t align with God’s Word and isn’t consistent with his character. But what about when both options seem like a ‘good’ option?
Just as I’ve mentioned above, we can pray for God’s wisdom, read the Scriptures, and in addition, we can also look back over the promises and testimonies of his faithfulness in the past.
Take a moment to go back over your journals or ask God to bring memories to mind of things he has spoken to you about in the past. It might be Bible verses, prophecies, or previous answered prayers. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal anything that may help you make your decision.
Prayer with Others
The Holy Spirit can speak through people in different ways.
People can intentionally speak wisdom, truth and direction into your life. Like through a preacher giving a sermon on a Sunday morning or a podcast you're listening while you go for your afternoon walk. Listen carefully to what God is specifically saying to you in these moments, too.
People can also intentionally listen to the Holy Spirit with you. A prophecy or a word that is given to you can be such a powerful way to hear the Holy Spirit through others. Ask a trusted friend or mentor to pray with you about the decision you are trying to make (Proverbs 19:20). God has given us different gifts to help build up and encourage the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-13) and praying and seeking godly counsel with others may help you make your decision.
The Holy Spirit also speaks through people, even when they aren't intentionally trying to. For example, he may highlight something someone says, a story they share may resonate with you or they may even echo words that the Holy Spirit has already spoken to you.
Just like any other way the Holy Spirit speaks to you; you should always ask him to confirm that what someone says to you is true.
Start Moving in Faith
Sometimes we just need to move, even when we don’t have the full picture or the exact response we are wanting.
Philip is a great example of someone who trusted the Holy Spirit and listened and responded to his leading. In Acts 8, he is told to ‘rise and go south’ (v. 26), with no direction about what will happen there or why he should go. He just simply follows the Holy Spirits prompting. When he gets there,
he meets an Ethiopian Eunuch, who he shares the Gospel with (v. 35) and baptizes him in nearby waters (v. 38). Philip didn’t know the full story, but he trusted in the Author of the story.
Listen and Respond to the Holy Spirit
As you’ve been reading through this list, has anything caught your attention? Has the Holy Spirit already been prompting you? Maybe you should start there.
Following the Holy Spirit’s leading can feel scary as we learn to let go of control, but there are grace-filled adventures that he has lined up for you! We can continue to do things in our own strength, or we can live life to the fullest and embrace a Spirit-led life, as we learn to listen and respond to the Holy Spirit.
There is no cookie-cutter way or perfect five-step method to making godly decisions with the Holy Spirit. He speaks and guides us in unique and personal ways. So take a moment to take the pressure off finding the ‘right’ decision, and surrender it all before God, listening attentively for his kind, tender voice.
Eleanor Carpenter is a mother, wife and number one hype girl for women discovering their identity as daughters of the King.
Unafraid to talk about the real and raw moments of life, she empowers women to embrace being fully known and loved by God.
She is the founder of Fully Loved, which is a community that equips and empowers women to live spirit-filled lives to the fullest.
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