Making big decisions
Whenever we’re faced with making a big decision in life, we tend to go about it in one of several ways. We may weigh the pros and cons of the decision or look at the consequences. We may ask our friends, family, or peers—whether or not they are actually qualified to help us. We may do some research on the topic or try to figure out what the “normal” response is for whatever situation we’re facing.
While there’s nothing inherently wrong with these approaches, we’re not doing what we should do first. We all know we’re supposed to seek God first in all things, but so many of us only turn to Him for His wisdom and guidance when we’ve exhausted all other avenues. We often say things like, “Well, I guess all we can do now is pray,” as if that’s the last resort we turn to because we’ve already tried all the “better” options.
This is faulty thinking. There is nothing “better,” no better option for helping with a decision than to seek God. He is the creator of the universe and He knows us intimately. He has all the power in the world and has plans to use that power for our own good. So why wouldn’t we seek Him first?
Let’s put this into perspective. Imagine a worker at a factory comes across something he’s never had to deal with before and has to figure out what to do. Instead of asking his employer, who also happens to be the creator of the machine he works on and the one who makes sure it runs smoothly, the worker consults his co-workers, his friends, his wife, his manual, and even the Web.
Why would he do all that when he could simply go ask his employer, the maker of the machine, the one who was sure to know the answer in the first place?
Why do we wait?
Perhaps the factory worker was worried his employer would get upset at being inconvenienced by his questions. He should know how to do it himself, right?
This is not true with God. God loves for His children to come to Him with everything, the good and the bad. He knows that His plan is what’s best for us, so if we need help getting there (which we always do), he wants us to seek Him for answers.
Perhaps the worker thought he should know how to do it himself. After all, it’s his job. God does not expect us to know everything or to do everything ourselves. Quite the opposite, actually. He knows we are human and need guidance, just as sheep need a shepherd.
Perhaps the worker thought his employer might not know the answer. I mean, he did create the machine, but that didn’t mean he still knew how to fix every new problem. New things can come up that we don’t know the answers to.
We don’t have to worry about that with God. He is by nature omniscient and omnipresent. That means he knows everything: past, present, and future. The Bible tells us there is nothing new under the sun. There is nothing we go through today that God doesn’t know about or know how to maneuver through. He is just as relevant today as He was yesterday.
What if the worker viewed his employer as a hard, untrustworthy man? What if he steered him wrong in his advice because he just didn’t like him or he wanted him to fail? Nothing could be further from the truth with our loving God. He wants nothing but the best for us and loves us more than we can even imagine. We can always trust him because He always has our best interests in mind.
Seeking God first
If we do seek God first, however, we can reap so many benefits. First of all, we get to miss out on all the anxiety and restlessness of the long and arduous process of seeking other sources first. Seeking God first gives us a sense of peace that floods our spirits, even if He hasn’t completely shown us the way to go yet.
Don’t be fooled. Going to God first isn’t always a quick, magic bullet fix. He doesn’t always answer you or show you the path right away. Sometimes waiting is part of His plan. Sometimes He needs you to go through something first before He can show you the rest of the way.
His help is often compared to a lamp at our feet showing us the way step by step, instead of a flashlight showing us the whole way. Still, knowing God is in control and that He’ll show you the way in His perfect timing is much better than having an entire path lighted for you but not having a sense of certainty that it’s the right one.
Seeking God first also gives us an assurance that whatever he tells us or leads us to do is what’s best for us. Our God is a perfect and loving God. He will never steer us wrong. Whatever His plan is for us, it is the best plan, and we can only figure out what this plan is by seeking God first.