(August 15, 2021) Maureen McQuillan responds to a concerned couple…
Dear Pastor Maureen
We have to make decisions on certain important matters. How can we know what God wants us to choose, to do? How can we be certain we’ve made the right decisions? Morris and Hilda.
Dear Morris and Hilda
I can understand your apprehension as I’ve had to make many important decisions myself over the years. Still do. Here’s what I’ve learned to do… Call these keys if you like.
1. Firstly I remind myself of that encouraging scripture which assures us our God won’t let us down if we ask trust him to help us – ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding’ (Proverbs 3:5). Verses 6-7a go on to say ‘in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes.’
The Message Bible is very strong on this great truth – ‘Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all.’
There’s the key – if after praying about a situation you really trust God from the depths of your innermost being, he won’t let you down. More about praying in ‘Key 3.’
2. Secondly, a good piece of advice is also this… it’s important that you should never rush into any decision until you have accessed all that you need to know. Proverbs 19:2NLT warns that ‘Enthusiasm without knowledge is no good; haste makes mistakes.’ Get all the information you can… I call this ‘Doing the exercise.’
3. Thirdly, prayer is important but pray together as couples should, as well as individually. Then be open to how your heart is leading you as you firmly decide to trust God. You’ll discover believing prayer works! You can believe to hear from him. The outworking of this ‘knowing within’ may be a strong inner feeling, or something you read in scripture that just sits well with you. Or something in a chorus you’re singing in worship that just clicks with you, or something from a preacher’s sermon. Or even a prophetic word.
Personally as I think about and pray about a matter and leave it with the Lord to direct me, many times I know instantly, at other times I wait until I hear clearly from him.
Here’s an example about something I once felt so unsure about: If you read our Encouragement article this month (More Doors Than Keys), you’ll learn that I had to make a major decision one weekend to trust that I had definitely heard from God some months earlier that one day I’d be on TV (whatever that ‘whisper from above’ would mean!).
That weekend as I almost panicked over what I, with no TV experience whatever, wondering how I could handle it all… had I really heard from God in that country TV station? What was this all about? ‘But I’m too nervous, Lord!’ And so on. As I sought God I sensed him assuring me in my heart that everything would be all right. So I didn’t try to work things out or lean on my own understanding as Solomon warns above. And it did all work out! Way beyond anything I could dream of, leading to other things!
So, Morris and Hilda, I trust these few thoughts encourage you to go deep in the matter of trusting God.
Got a question for either Pr Maureen or Dr Robert McQuillan? Email to OnlinerConnect@gmail.com
Lovely answer, Maureen. I have a friend who like Morris and Hilda was having to make an important decision and followed the steps you set out and one evening helping out at a ‘crusade’ heard a song being sung : ‘though I feel afraid of territories unknown…’ As you so rightly say, it proved to be a ‘seal’ the Lord used to direct in that situation. I am sure the Lord will give Morris and Hilda the specific direction they will need to make a choice.