Have you had a decision to make where both options are attractive? Maybe you are offered two jobs and you can’t decide because they both look good. Maybe you are considering two avenues of service in your church and you like both of them or you are thinking of furthering your education and two schools sound equally good. How do you decide? How do we hear God’s voice and know which to choose when faced with two options that sound great?
These kinds of decisions are what Henry Blackaby, in his book, “Hearing God’s Voice,” calls Choosing between “Good and Best”. Sometimes our options are not between something good and something bad but between two good opportunities. Blackaby suggests that we first take note of the direction God has been leading us in our lives thus far. He refers to these as “spiritual markers.” I’m reminded of Jeremiah 31:21, “Set up for yourself road marks, Place for yourself guideposts….”
He says, “God does not lead you partially down one path, then have you change directions several times. You may not always be sure where God will lead you in the future, but as you reexamine the path you have already traveled, you can detect a purposefulness about the way God has guided you. That’s why it is important to mark down every time you know God has spoken to you. Then the next time you sense God guiding you in a decision, you can measure what you are hearing against his last word to you. God will not contradict himself. He will not lead you to do something that cancels what he asked you to do previously. God’s revelations to you will always build on what he already told you.”
An example might be this from the book “Katie’s Kisses,” by Katie Davis, whose story I recounted in an earlier blog. From a young age, she was intrigued by missions and sensed a call from God to Africa. She went there on a mission’s trip while in high school and fell in love with the people. Her parents had hoped she would go to college. She was also quite fond of a high school boyfriend. Perhaps it would end in marriage. But with another trip to Africa, she was smitten. Her decision…stay home and attend college and continue with a man she loved or devote her life to missions work in Africa. Both were “good” choices but only one was God’s “best” for her.
God had prepared her heart, and her zeal for missions increased. The seeds had been planted. She had heard God’s call. Each time she prayed, the call to Africa became stronger until her affections for these people won. I wondered as I read the book if she would remain single the rest of her life. She had given up the comforts of America and the love of her life to follow God’s best plan. God was faithful, however, and within a few years she met an American man in Africa who shared her heart for missions. They were kindred spirits and soon married. Katie had been obedient to God’s voice. Choosing the best over the good proved to be the right move.