Sometimes it’s easy to know what to do. Sometimes it’s easy to know God‘s will. If God has spoken clearly through his written word, there ought to be no question what we should do. Or if the Holy Spirit has spoken to us, our course should be clear.
In those cases, our response to God is obedience. But what about when God hasn’t spoken clearly? What if we have to make a decision?
There are some things that are simply not negotiable. God has spoken to us through his written word and the Bible is our clear rule for what is right and moral. If God’s word says we should do something, we should do it. If he says we ought not, we shouldn’t.
Other times the Holy Spirit will speak to us about something to do “in the moment.” Perhaps we feel moved to share food with somebody who is hungry. Or maybe God would have us speak truth and hope to somebody in need. Or share our time or money with somebody. Again, the answer is simple – do what God says.
Of course, not everything is so easily delineated. Sometimes it seems that God would have us choose what to do. Sometimes he hasn’t spoken clearly (or we haven’t heard him). What should we do in those cases?
Two Simple Questions
As I was reading The God You Can Know (Amazon link) this morning, the author actually brought up this issue and even addressed one of two simple rules for making these decisions. These are the rules that I try to use to guide my life and I think they’re worth sharing
Does This Glorify God?
The first question is whether what I’m doing (or thinking about doing) glorifies God. Does it honor God? Or does it honor me or something else?
Now, when I say “Does This Glorify God” I mean “does this reflect God’s glory“. After all, God’s glory can’t be diminished or stolen. In a sense, everything points out God’s glory – but not all things reflect God’s glory.
Some would say that sin glorifies God by pointing out his holiness in contrast to our unrighteousness. And, while it’s true that sin points out this contrast, sin does not reflect God’s glory. And our actions in sin are not glorifying to God – particularly if we are known by his Name. Which leads us to the second question.
Do I Enjoy God in This?
The second question, “Do I Enjoy God in This” addresses something more fundamental. It is really asking whether the result of what I do is moving me towards God or away from God. When I’m done am I filled with dread towards God or passion for God. Am I filled with fear? Or am I overflowing with love?
This doesn’t mean I necessarily have to enjoy what I’m doing to be right with God – that’s simply immature. But it does mean that my goal must be to enjoy God first and primarily in and through what I’m doing.
These questions are fundamental to faith and life and godliness. They address why we were created and give us boundaries for knowing how to fulfill our God-given destinies. And they’re certainly not new or popular. But they’re right and they will help improve our relationships with God and make us effective.
In issues where God’s written word or the Holy Spirit has spoken, follow what God has already revealed. And in places where God has offered you the chance to decide what to do, ask yourself whether what you’re doing glorifies God and leads to enjoyment of him.
Photo credit: Eleaf