Ep. 113 A Practical Perspective On Decision-Making

Shows Main Idea – One of the most important things you’ll ever learn is how to make a biblical decision. This training is practical and relevant to how you live your life today because it applies to any decision you’ll ever have to make, whether what you’re deciding is a big or little thing. You’ll be helped and encouraged by this practical training.

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How to Make a Biblical Decision

Key Ideas

Primary TextFor whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. – Romans 14:23

A Four-Legged Decision

  • Canon – What does the Bible say about what you want to do? (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
  • Community – What do a few trusted, courageous, and wise friends say about what you want to do? (Proverbs 11:14)
  • Conscience – What do you think about what you want to do? (Romans 2:14-15)
  • Comforter – What does the Spirit of God say about what you want to do? (John 16:13)

Shaping Influences

  • Adam – We come into the world totally depraved, and we’re uniquely depraved.
  • Parents – Primary authority figures are significant shaping influences.
  • Peers (and other individuals) – All relationships shape us to varying degrees.
  • Culture
  • Religion
  • Fear

Conscience Hardening

Your conscience is your highest level of morality, and if you harden it, you’ll become dull and won’t be able to make clear-headed decisions.

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. – Hebrews 5:12-14

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared. – 1 Timothy 4:1-2

  • Justification – Declaring yourself not guilty, and doing what you want to do
  • Rationalization – Basing your decisions on wrongful norms.
  • Accusation – Now owning your choices.
  • Alleviation – Seeking escapes from things you don’t enjoy.

Staying Out of Ditches

  • Don’t be a stumbling block.
  • Don’t cave to the fear of others.
  • Don’t be arrogant.
  • Strive to be like Jesus.

Key Idea – “There were times when Jesus offended people by His actions, though His heart was right with His Father. Go and do likewise.”

Key Idea – “You cannot please everyone. You must genuinely love people and not dismiss them, and you must also live in the freedom God provides.”

Key Idea – “You’ll never be 100% “in faith” for all your decisions, but you must be “mostly” in faith to proceed.”

Expect Disappointment

And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.”

Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” – Matthew 14:28-35

Call to Action

  1. Are you sure the Lord wants you to do the thing you are thinking?
  2. Are you holding your desires loosely, while submitting them to others?
  3. Do you want to know the truth and are you humbly seeking answers–specifically from competent people, who do not always agree with you?
  4. Is your motive more about God’s glory than selfish desires? How do you know?
  5. How much does self-protection or self-preservation influence your decision-making? How much does foolish thinking impact your decision?
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