Thursday, November 08, 2012

Decision Making and the Will of God

Every day is filled with decisions to be made.

Some of these decisions are mind-numbingly trivial:
·         Do I wear the khaki slacks or the navy today?
·         Do I have oatmeal or cold cereal for breakfast?
·         Do I listen to the news or to Mozart or to the Rolling Stones on my way in to work?

Other decisions are life changing:
·         What should I major in at college?
·         Should I ask her to marry me?
·         Should I ask her to move in with me?
·         Should I take that job offer in California?
·         Is God calling me to be a missionary?

Most of us make the trivial decisions with little or no thought. Though even with the trivial choices some of us are more practical, pragmatic, and proficient than others…

But with the big decisions we can agonize for months or even years before making a choice still fraught with uncertainty. Ironically, for many Christians decision making seems more difficult than it is for our secular-minded neighbors. While they may simply choose what they believe is in their best interests, we have the additional burden of trying to choose what we believe will please God. Instead of seeing the indwelling Holy Spirit as our guide, we are too often filled with frustration by what seems to be a bad connection to the divine. “What did you say? I didn’t quite make that out.”

Sound familiar?

Help is at hand!

In 1980 Dr. Garry Friesen, Professor of Bible at Multnomah Bible College in Portland, Oregon, wrote, with the help of Rev. J. Robin Maxson, a wonderful book, Decision Making and the Will of God. When I first read it many years ago I thought it was the best treatment of the topic that I had ever read. I still feel that way. In 2004 a revised and updated edition of the book was published.

Starting in January I will be leading a Wednesday evening study of Decision Making and the Will of God. I plan to begin on January 9 and conclude on April 10—13 weeks. (There will be no class on February 6.) Each session will begin promptly at 6:15 PM and conclude at 7:30 PM.

I am designing the study in such a way that you should be able to follow along and benefit even if you choose not to read the book, however reading the book is very much to your advantage.

In addition to the Wednesday night classes, we are planning to make digital video recordings of each session and post the recordings on our website ( where they will be available for download along with any handouts. Thus, if you miss a session or if you have other obligations on Wednesdays, you can still follow along.

Decision Making and the Will of God is available at for $13.59 in paperback or $14.99 in the Kindle version. If you are not an Amazon Prime member and want to say the cost of shipping, contact the church office by email at or call at (434) 845-6023 and we will be happy to order a copy for you. Payment can be made to “Rivermont Avenue Baptist Church”.

Pastor Glen

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