Finding God’s Will – Developing A Process For Making Biblically-Based Business Decisions
So, of course God’s Word is critical for us to use in making decisions, but the Lord has given us many other tools as well. And just like building something, we need to use ALL the tools at our disposal to do it right. A hammer should not be used to do the work of a screwdriver, a wrench should not be used to replace a saw, etc. Each tool has its specific purpose- and despite common belief, even duct tape cannot do everything!
The 4 Step Biblical Decision Making Model
1. God’s Word
3. Godly Counsel
4. Personal Experience
So the question may be asked, is there a particular order of priority for the tools I should use when making a key decision? In other words, should I always pray first, or seek Godly counsel first, or go to God’s Word first, etc?
While others may feel differently, it is the opinion of this author that whenever possible, we should first seek to hear from God through His Word. God’s Word is the only unchanging tool available in our toolbox. The biggest challenge in this regard is knowing which tool to choose (meaning which verse(s) apply to your situation you are facing.)
Too often, we first rely on our previous experience in making a decision. We have been through “this” before, so we fall back on the “flesh” in addressing a particular decision. After all, since we have been here before, there is no real need to go to God’s Word, to pray, or seek Godly counsel from others- right? Besides all that, who has the time to go to all that length in making a key decision?
The problem with NOT going to God’s Word first in most situations, is that when we rely on our experience, or even from the experience of others, we tend to approach things with a very “biased” point of view- that is from the perspective of our own preference as to how a given situation should run out. Even in our prayer time, quite often our prayers can be “influenced” by our own desires, hopes, opinions, etc.
So, whenever possible, and it almost always is, we should FIRST go to God’s Word to seek direction. Perhaps it would first be wise to pray to the Lord, asking Him to specifically direct you to the Scriptures He would have you read and apply in your situation.
As you then read His Word, pray His Word back to Him. Read His Word aloud as a prayer. God loves this. After all, the Bible is His promise to us- and we are simply letting Him know we are taking Him at His Word. He tells us over and over in His Word to do this- to stand on His promises, etc. And God cannot break His promise to us- thus He is bound by His Word to do what it says.
Additionally, we should seek the wise and godly counsel of others who can give us insight into what God might have us decide.
When you see alignment and sense a consistent message in all the tools, chances are real good you are hearing from God on your decision.
The challenge for Christian business Owners and leaders is that they have to overcome huge obstacles in truly living out their faith in the marketplace.
They must constantly battle a world that does business with a very short term in mind- quite often no longer term than the next 90 days (think of any public company- they are concerned with quarterly results for their shareholders.)
The worldly way of doing business is not the least bit concerned with doing business with any sense of “eternal” consequences whatsoever.
Consider what is taught in business schools at our universities. They teach the primary purpose of business is to make money- period! If there is any reason to focus on “serving” others, it is primarily so that this approach will help generate and maintain happy customers, thus enhancing profits. Our business schools really do not understand the Biblical mandate of “honoring others over ourselves,” or “considering the needs of others” before our own. And yet, these biblical principles, when applied, absolutely, positively, generate happy and satisfied customers. The big difference between the “worldly” perspective and the “biblical” one in this regard is that we are to serve others because God has told us to do so- not because it will be beneficial to us in business.
Find out how to put together a biblical “decision tree” in our next article.
Ray is also a highly sought after speaker at churches and retreats across America, where for years he has challenged followers of Christ to integrate their faith in and through the marketplace on a daily basis.He is also part of the speaking faculty for Orlando, Florida based “Man In the Mirror” ministry where he conducts seminars and retreats across the country.