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This article is from Issue 52: July/Aug 2011

10 Keys for Navigating Life

Making big decisions doesn't have to be overwhelming.

You’re in a season of life where a lot of important deci- sions are hitting you all at once (whether you realize their enormity or not). It could be anything—career, relationships, moving, school; the list of life changes goes on and on and on.

You know you’re supposed to ask for God’s help to make big decisions, so you open a Bible, stab in a finger and pull out ... Jeremiah 48:1: “Woe to Nebo, for it will be ruined.”

Does that mean you’re supposed to break off your engagement? Or get a Ph.D.? Or buy that blue house? Using the Bible like a pack of tarot cards generally doesn’t work when it comes to facing the future. So how are you supposed to figure out what you’re meant to do in the coming months and decades of life?

Some choices present themselves pretty clearly: You find that the masters program you’re considering can be done for free if you’re serving overseas. Everyone says you’re an idiot if you don’t ask her to marry you. The apartment in the neighborhood you’ve had your eye on is an incredible deal. The job opportunity arises and you immediately jump for it without needing any kind of push.

But many unassuming little choices leave you peering into the river of possibility, trying to discern what’s right. He’s moving away, but you are still in school. The house you love is a bit too expensive. The church you’re in is in flames, and you want to bail. You want to go overseas, but the country you feel led to just closed its borders. There isn’t a very obvious answer. So: What are you supposed to do?

Let’s knock out the basics first: God knows you, loves you a lot and wants to lead you. You should ask God where to go and then go.

Got that? Good.

But ... how? And how do you know what God wants? And what if it seems like He’s OK with any of the choices available?

The most important part of the process is to give yourself up, and let God do what God wants through you. Yes, it’s scary, but keep on coming back to His love for you. Besides, God is smart—really smart. And God can see the future. And He knows you better than you know yourself. So it makes all the sense in the world to start with a prayer of surrender.