THE BLOG

How to Fill the GAP of Effective Decision Making

spirituality Feb 14, 2022
Pondering female

We all need to make decisions in and for our lives. We need answers for major and everyday decisions. We want to know the right direction to take. But making decisions can be daunting. We are afraid of the unknown. Worry and anxiety often bubble up when faced with major decisions. And we typically put too much pressure on ourselves to make the right decision! (As if there can only be one outcome).

We look for direction for our careers and families. Direction for choosing the right school. We want to make the right decision about relocating to another city. We want to know if we should start that business, follow that dream, retire, have a child, accept a job offer, get married, or buy that house. *whew* And, that doesn’t even cover the amount of decisions we need to make in our lifetimes.

Unfortunately, we often have to make decisions without knowing all of the facts. We certainly can’t see into the future. And most of our choices cannot be made in a vacuum – what we choose to do affects other people in our lives or at work.

If only we had a way to fill the gap. The gap between where we currently are and where we want to be. The gap between knowing a decision needs to be made and the decision being made. The gap between uncertainty and confidence.

Guess what?

There is one!

There is a way to fill that gap so that you can experience peace and confidence while making decisions. You can experience certainty even while in this period of decision making. The process of Filling the G.A.P. will give you this and help you grow in faith.

The G.A.P.

The G.A.P. is based on this biblical Scripture:

The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”

Psalm 32:8, NLT

Filling the G.A.P. is a process allowing us to fill the decision-making gaps in our lives with the promises of God. And, allowing us to directly apply God’s Word in our lives.

Let’s take a look.

Guide

The first layer that fills the gap is God’s promise that He will guide us. And He’ll guide us along the best pathway.

But this is what I know about paths: there’s never just one. Even when it seems like we’re on a solitary, never-ending path, we’ll eventually come across another one. Out of all the paths that are before us in our lives God promises to help us be on the best one. Even when that means we step off one path and onto another.

He can guide us to leave the path of full-time employment to retirement. To step off the path of being single to getting married. His guidance can direct us to leave the smooth path of comfort to a jagged, curvy path of new, yet prosperous adventure.

As our guide on the path:

  • He advises and shows the way.
  • He helps us form an opinion or make a decision or calculation. (Hello, wisdom.)
  • He provides structures and markings to direct our motion and positioning. (The subtle and not so subtle signs that keep coming to us.)

As He is guiding us, He:

  • Shows or indicates the way in real time. Even though it doesn’t seem like, we have to trust that He’s guiding us in the here and now.
  • Directs and has an influence on our course of action. (Thank you, Providence.)

Follow these steps to begin filling the gap in your life:

  1. Acknowledge that whatever decision you make can lead you to a different path. What do you need to do to be OK with this?
  2. Ask God to serve as your guide in this decision making process. What questions are you trying to answer that need to be presented to Him? (Hint: give Him the full list!)
  3. Be open to His indications and how He directs your course of action. This includes answering your where, what, and who questions. What do you need to be open to God even when it’s scary?

 

Advise

The second layer that fills the gap is God’s promises to advise us. Have you ever wanted sound advice from someone? Have you ever wanted the opportunity to sit down and share all of your thoughts about a situation in front of you while someone actively listens?

God is that for you. He is here to listen to all of your thoughts and questions. He is your sounding board. And, He promises to wisely advise you in the right direction.

When God advises us, His guidance always takes into consideration our past, present, and future. He knows what we’ve already been through. He understands our present situation. He knows where we should go for a prosperous future. He knows where we can find resources, connections, like-minded people, and more.

In other words, God’s advice is holistic. When getting His advice, you can be assured that He has looked at it from every angle possible – even those eternal angles unknown to you.

God’s advice is wise. He is wisdom and wisdom only comes from Him. Even if He directs you to talk with a specific person, be assured that He has prepared that person with wisdom specifically for you. Sometimes, God’s advice may seem unconventional, nontraditional, or mind-blowing. Even if it does, know that as you get further along the path it will all make sense.

To apply God’s promise to advise you, do this:

  1. Fully lay out before God the decision in front of you. This may mean writing out your questions. Or, creating pro’s and con’s lists. You may list what you think are the right things to do. Then speak with God about all of it.
  2. Next, search God’s Word for what might apply to your decision or question. What is His Word saying to you? What is the Holy Spirit placing in your heart while you read His Word? How does His Word disprove your fears?
  3. Listen and act. Remember, His answers may come in various forms, so be aware and watchful! Take action in the direction He indicates. Even when the action is to “wait”.

 

Protect

Now the third and final layer that fills in the gap is God’s promise to watch over us (or protect us). With His protection, we are assured that God will:

  • See what’s ahead and give us new guidance and advice.
  • Prepare us for challenges and help us overcome them.
  • Get us back on the right path if we wander.
  • Keep us safe from all hurt, harm, and danger!

How can we make sure we are completely filling up the gap with God’s watchful protection? First we have to believe that God is watching over us. This will help us to have both courage and peace as we round each corner of our path. You are not alone on your path.

Second, don’t be afraid! Don’t be afraid to make a decision! Don’t be afraid to get started. Don’t be afraid to change direction. Even if that decision ends up being the wrong decision. Remember that God uses all things for our good. That’s right, we need to make a decision and act on it.

The reality is that even when we did all we could to follow God’s direction, we might still get it wrong. If, or when, that happens, our faith reminds us that God is watching over and protecting us at all times. He will again guide and advise us to get back on the right path.

What fears are preventing you from stepping onto your path in faith? What can you do to prove those fears wrong?

Summing it Up

To sum it up, trust God’s advice and know that it is all for your good. Filling in the gap of decision-making can help you develop a strong(er) faith in God. It involves letting God guide you, listening as He advises you, and believing that He protects you. I encourage you to Fill in the G.A.P. the next time you need direction. Leave a comment and let me know the results!

By the way, Guided is founded on this principle and scripture. Everything I do is built upon this belief that God will guide, advise, and protect me in order to be of help to you.

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