Decisions can be daunting. As I get older, I find myself facing more and more decisions. Knowing my decisions lay the foundation for my future, I often find myself afraid of messing up.
The natural thing to do when faced with a decision is to talk about it with someone else. But I’m learning an important lesson: people usually don’t know the answer.
For the past several weeks, I’ve been contemplating a big decision. Naturally, I’ve discussed this decision with numerous people. However, different people give me different responses. One person says this, and another person says that. In other words, if I listen to every voice, I find myself in a handful of different situations at the same time. And that means confusion.
It’s not fun to be confused. There’s something refreshing about having a peace of mind. I’m learning that I often find myself confused because I forget about my Shepherd.
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake” (Ps. 23:1-3 ESV).
When I try to shepherd the direction of my own life, I always find myself confused. The Lord is enough for me, and He alone guides me along the right path. Getting advice is important, but the decision is ultimately between me and God. The same is true for you.
I’m reminded of the conversation Jesus has with His disciples in Mark 8.
“And Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that I am?’
And they told him, ‘John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets’” (v. 27-28 ESV).
Here’s the problem: Jesus can’t be John the Baptist, Elijah, and another prophet at the same time. He can be one of them, but he can also be none of them. Once again, don’t expect another person to have the answer. But the conversation continues.
“And he [Jesus] asked them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’
Peter answered him, ‘You are the Christ.’ And he [Jesus] strictly charged them to tell no one about him” (v. 29-30 ESV).
This story reminds me of the importance of seeking God for yourself. When it comes to your decisions and beliefs, don’t base them entirely on other people.
Now, don’t take me the wrong way. It’s important to listen to the wisdom of others; however, there are times when God speaks an answer inside of you. And as a result, consulting too many people can lead to even more confusion.
I don’t know what you’re facing. Maybe decisions are piling up in front of you. But let me encourage you to not forget your Shepherd.
Jesus says, “‘But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers’” (John 10:2-5 ESV).
You see, Jesus Christ is the Shepherd. We should know His voice and follow His lead. At the same time, we must be careful not to follow the voice of strangers.
Generally speaking, don’t expect another person to have the answer. Seek your Shepherd above all else.
Isaiah Pauley is a 2018 graduate of Wahama High School and attends Ohio Christian University. He can be followed at www.isaiahpauley.com, or on Facebook at Isaiah Pauley Page.