None of us like discomfort too much. An itch keeps us from sitting still. An uncomfortable mattress keeps us from sleeping. The threat of rejection can lead us to make some really stupid decisions.
My Unpopular Decision
When I decided to go into ministry, I think some people didn't like it because they were uncomfortable being associated with some silly woman who thought she was going to preach the Gospel around the world.
A lot of family even turned against me. I was asked to leave my church. I lost most of my friends and my reputation. It was a terrible time in my life. And all I was doing was teaching a Bible study!
Now, what if I'd given up my calling for their comfort? I wonder where I'd be right now…and how I'd feel about my decision to waste all those years wondering: Was it really God
The Guidance You Need
Think about your own life for a moment. When you have a decision to make, do you normally go with the flow—or do you pray for wisdom and weigh your decisions on the Word of God?
Every decision we make not only affects us, but the people around us. Even future generations are affected by the choices we make today. So we need to seek God's Word for guidance, and we need to heed the promptings of the Holy Spirit in our heart.
I think one of the main reasons some people let others make decisions for them is they don't really believe they can hear from God. They wish they could or hope they can. They wonder if they can but they're afraid they don't.
The Bible says we can.
When it comes to the responsibilities and the life God has called you to, there's an anointing permanently within you. This means the Holy Spirit will lead you and guide you. It's your blood-bought, God—given right to follow the Holy Spirit's leadership.
I encourage you to trust yourself with God and tell Him, "God, I want to hear from You. I don't want to do anything outside Your will. So I'm going to trust that You speak to me, and I am going to trust that I can hear from You."
How to Know You're Hearing from God
Colossians 3:15 (AMPC) clearly tells us how. It says, And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds....
If you follow God's leadership, you will have peace, joy, righteousness, and you'll bear good fruit. What you won't be is confused and frustrated.
God never leads us to busy ourselves so much that we're stressed out all the time and have no joy. And He won't try to confuse your mind—that's the enemy's job.
To find where your peace lies, simply ask yourself: Is there a scripture that applies to my situation? What does the Word say I should do?
For example, if there's something you want to buy but you don't have enough in your bank account to buy it, it's probably best to wait because God doesn't want us to be in debt (see Romans 13:8).
Many times, God's Word sounds a lot like common sense. I encourage you to let the peace in your heart decide with finality every question that arises in your mind.
When Is It Wise to Get Counsel from a Friend?
The Bible does say there's safety in a multitude of counselors (see Proverbs 11:14). But you could ask 10 different people about your situation and end up with 10 different answers.
One thing you should ask yourself is, Am I seeking wise counsel? A lot of times, we end up asking people who don't even know what they're doing. Or they may have a selfish motive.
Keep this in mind: True counseling leads you to God; it doesn't try to run your life.
When to Follow Your Heart
If you feel something strongly in your heart, you've prayed about it and it goes along with Scripture, then follow your heart. If you feel led to make a decision that others don't like, you shouldn't have to give an unreasonable amount of explanation for what you feel led to do.
Maybe you don't know why—you just sense that's just what you're supposed to do. God has a plan, and you are part of that plan, but you won't live it if you live with the fear of man.
What do you think God is saying to you? What are you sensing from God? Ultimately, you need to take responsibility for making the decision that brings peace to your heart. If you make a mistake, it's not the end of the world. But being true to what God has put on your heart is the key to your happiness.