Dr Charles Stanley, the founder of InTouch Ministries and New York Times best-selling author, has a practical, divinely-inspired message for everyone who struggles to make decisions. (And who doesn’t?) This plan has worked over the past 50 years of Dr. Stanley’s own life, propelling him to a position of Christian leadership with worldwide influence. In a recent video, Dr. Stanley shared the 7 steps for making wise decisions; that is, God-approved decisions.
In Touch with Charles Stanley airs on GOD TV Sundays at 8:30 am EST and again at 1:00 pm EST.
Step 1: Clear Your Heart of Any Known Sin
According to Dr. Stanley, sin introduces confusion into the mind and heart. Therefore, it is impossible to make a wise decision when your perspective is muddled by sin. To identify sin, Dr. Stanley advises that you ask the Lord to show you anything that would prevent you from hearing the Truth. Indeed, He will reveal sin tendencies and patterns in your life. Next, confess and repent of these sins, agreeing with God that they are destructive. In doing so, you will begin to bring your heart and mind into alignment with God’s will.
Step 2: Bring Your Desires Into A Position Of Neutrality
Continue to align your heart and mind with God by truly seeking and being open to His will. Even if you pay lip service to the idea of wanting what He wants, it is empty without surrendering your own wishes and desires. Trust that God has a great plan in store for you (He does!), and openly give your heart and life to Him.
Step 3: Exercise Patience
While our culture is beholden to the clock, God is not. And our rush and hurry definitely doesn’t register in God’s Kingdom. (Perhaps that is why it has been 2,000 years since Jesus promised to return, and we still await His return!) Dr. Stanley assures us that God knows our emergencies, and he deeply cares for our needs. He will not leave you hanging when you really need an answer. But He may make you wait patiently in order to allow your attitude time to change to be open and receptive to His answer.
Remember that we live in an age of instant gratification, but God’s kingdom and God’s answers are worth waiting for – so much more than the “wisdom” of Google.
Step 4: Be Alert To Pressure
Because our world is not accustomed to waiting patiently, you might feel pressured to make a decision. Whether you doctor is pressuring you to commit to a treatment plan or your spouse wants you to make a snap decision about buying a new house, don’t give into the pressure and temptation to just get it over with.
You may find it helpful to institute a 24-hour rule in which you refuse to make a major life decision until you have prayed about it and let it percolate for an entire day. This is a practical example of allowing God space to move in your life.
Step 5: Be Persistent in Prayer
Dr. Stanley boldly proclaims that besides salvation, prayer is the greatest gift God has give to us. Throughout the Gospels, we see Jesus take refuge in His quiet time with His Heavenly Father. If Jesus needed to pray to align his heart with God, how much more do we need prayer?
Step 6: Rest In God’s Promises
According to Dr. Stanley, Scripture acts as a filter for our desires. As you wait patiently on the Lord, immerse yourself in God’s word, allowing it to sink in and exert influence over your life.
Step 7: Wait For His Peace
The final step in Dr. Stanley’s 7-step plan for making wise decisions involves a deep bond with God in the form of inexplicable peace. Even in the midst of chaos, you learn to trust and lean on God, resting in his promises and intentions for your life. When you are able to find His peace, you know that you have received His answer.
Making decisions is one of the most daunting aspects of life. Don’t flail on your own in the face of a major decision; instead, embrace Dr. Stanley’s 7-step plan to make wise decisions today!