“Lord, please lead me to be wise about this person I have started dating. They are smart, attractive, solidly employed, have a great sense of humor and sound like they are a believer. I feel led to pursue the relationship. Please let your will be done.”
Have you ever prayed like this about decisions and direction in your life? Have you later been disappointed to find the job was a disaster or the ‘potential mate’ was a phony?
Whether it’s a job, a relationship, financial decisions, parenting, or whatever… we list the pros & cons, consider all the evidence, consult those we trust and arrive at rational & well informed decisions. We even ask the Lord to close the door if it is not according to His will.
This all sounds pretty reasonable and maybe familiar, but have we first knelt before the feet of our Lord Jesus and truly asked for spiritual discernment in the matter? Have we actually asked for discernment before we made the decision? In the midst of all our clever decision-making, have we forgotten Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”
We must not trust in our own ability to discern the true motives and intents of others. We may think we’re “street wise”, but there’s always someone who’s a step or two ahead of us. We judge by the outward words and appearances, but the Lord sees the heart.
Solomon sets a good example for us in 1 Kings 3:9. “Therefore give your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil.”
The Apostle John tells us, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
1 John 4:1
Solomon puts it pretty bluntly: “Folly is joy to him who is destitute of discernment, but a man of understanding walks uprightly.” Proverbs 15:21
Rather than asking God to bless the decisions we’ve already made, He wants us to first ask Him for Godly discernment to make the right decision.