Tony Miltenberger is a husband, father, and follower of Christ. He is currently serving as the lead pastor at Restoration Church Centerville, ohio.

How Do You Make A Life-Changing Decision?

Karen and I have been making a lot of decisions lately, not just the “What do you want for dinner?” type of decision, but more like the “Do you want to answer God’s call and move?” type of decision. These are big moments, and in those moments it is easy to become engulfed in the potential fear or in the potential excitement. I had to develop a process -- five easy steps for making good decisions:

  1.    Make a physical list of pros and cons. Writing things down on paper creates space for God to talk to me. The list also allows me to physically see the benefits or the negatives.
  2. Pray. I have this listed at number two, but that is only because until I start to clear thoughts out of my head I can’t pray clearly. Prayer is one of those things that needs to be done every step along the way. I also have to be specific about prayer -- that God’s will and not my will be done. (I’ve been known to manipulate prayers so that I can try to convince God to do what I want, and it never works).
  3. Search God’s word. By spending time in the Bible, I am giving God the opportunity to use His word to talk to me. It invites the Holy Spirit to show me scripture in a new and exciting light.
  4.  Consult the Council of the Godly. There are people in my life who I believe are connected to God. I just know it by the way they live their life and the choices they make. I always ask their thoughts on something like this. I’m also nerdy enough to admit that I pretend that all of them sit as a physical council in my head and that I go before them with the evidence. The truth is that most of these people don’t know that they are on my personal “council;” rather, they are just good friends who love to help. Some of those people are my dad, my mentor, my co-workers, and other leaders I respect.
  5. Listen. This final step is an important one, not just because I have a tendency to talk too much, but because if I truly want God’s will to be done in my life I have to take the time to listen. Not only do I need to listen to God, but I also need to listen to what God is saying to Karen. As a couple, we are going through this together and I need to listen with my heart so that we can make the decision together.

I love this process, but at the end of it all I still have one thing left to do: make the decision. This is always the hard part: having faith that I am in alignment with God’s will and that I am on the right path.  Big decisions take big courage.

Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

What do you do to make good decisions?

Any tips, tricks or routines that could make us all better? Share in the comments below!

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