This is the 2nd post in a series on what to do when we don’t have definite direction through the scriptures, God’s character, and prayer.
What do we do when we face uncertainty about God’s will and need to make a decision? In the early church the apostles dealt with a conflict about feeding widows. What do we learn from them beyond what we saw in Principle 1?
“So the twelve called the whole group of the disciples together and said, ‘It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to wait on tables. But carefully select from among you, brothers, seven men who are well- attested, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this necessary task. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.’ The proposal pleased the entire group, so they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a Gentile convert to Judaism from Antioch,” (Acts 6:2-5).
The congregation chose men to serve the widows according to certain guidelines. Although the apostles agreed that a group was needed, God didn’t give them a list, so they trusted the counsel of the people. Knowing that Holy Spirit resides in all the believers, they trusted God to lead the group.
This brings us to principle #2: listen to the wisdom of other believers.
Proverbs 11:14 says, “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in abundance of counselors there is safety.” Of course the verse deals with nations, but the principle is true for individuals and churches. (See also Proverbs 15:22; 20:18; 24:6.)
When you are in limbo waiting for an answer, God’s Spirit can speak through other believers. Seek out counsel from wise Christians. When I was stuck last week with what to say on my topic for the women’s study, I talked to two wise and mature friends. Just discussing it with them helped direct me. They didn’t have a specific answer, but the conversations became part of my thinking process.
A couple of weeks ago I met with a friend who described her opportunity to speak to a group. She mentioned two options for sharing her story and asked what I thought. When I told her I didn’t think there was any doubt about it, she looked at me and said, “Ugh! You were my last hope to do it the easy way. Everyone else has given me the same answer that you have!” She wisely asked for input from several mature Christian friends.
If we don’t get our own hearts to a place where we are open to go in any direction, however, the temptation is to keep asking different people until we find someone to agree with us. Or we totally avoid asking a particular person who would likely disagree!
Where do you find these wise counselors? They may be in a Bible study small group, among your family or friends, or involved in a ministry with you. Perhaps your church staff has a woman who could speak into your situation. Put yourself in a position to get to know such people and seek them out when you find yourself wondering which direction to go. God’s Spirit can guide you through their wise counsel.
Read Principle #3.