How do we know if our indecision is from Satan or God? Think about it. If we are struggling to be decisive in a big decision or a direction for our business, how do we know if we are following God or not?
Obviously, if we had the flashing sign saying, “God’s plan is this way!!” we would all follow it right?
Without the flashing sign, how do we possibly know what we should do?
Understanding the Character of God
I think we have to break down the issue and relate it to the character of God and Satan.
God loves us.
God won’t beat us up and tell us we will fail.
God won’t pump us up and tell us it is all about us and we are awesome and can make it happen in our own strength either.
Satan, though? Satan lies.
Satan will use our human emotions against us.
He will remind us of past mistakes and help us plant the seeds of fear in our heart.
Satan will focus on our human ego and pride and tell us we don’t need a God decision, we’ve got this. We can do it! And walk us right over the cliff.
God will never tell us to cut corners, be immoral, or purposefully sin.
Fear is The Underlying Symptom
If you have a big looming decision ahead of you or you are at a crossroad and need to choose a path, I think one of the biggest factors to consider is our fear.
Fear is a tricky thing. It cripples us and keeps us in the same place for far too long. In studying verses about fear in the Bible, all of them point to only one thing to fear — and that is the Lord our God. We are called to fear (out of reverence!) Him. I think it’s easy to see that word “fear” and think of God asking us to be afraid of Him. That’s far from the truth. “Fearing” God is having a deep and reverent awe of who God is and what He does.
“Praise the LORD. Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who finds great delight in his commands.” Psalm 112:1
“But from everlasting to everlasting, the LORD’s love is with those who fear Him, and His righteousness with their children’s children.” Psalm 103:17
When should we fear the Lord in our business path or our business decisions? I think one of the main times we should fear God in our decisions is when we are consciously moving forward in a sinful direction.
How do we know?
Here are some examples of paths we know are not God’s plan for us:
- When we are committing a crime or breaking a commandment. That covers everything from lying to stealing to showing prejudice to cheating.
- When we are making truly unwise financial decisions because we are letting pride and idols drive our choices. Buying a business or investing in a project that is way over our financial capacity. Wasting resources to show off in our business. Borrowing money from unscrupulous places just to make a deal work.
- Hurting others unnecessarily and with foreknowledge. An example may be to cut people’s salaries so you can make more money or choosing to not provide a safe environment for employees because you don’t want to spend the money.
Our fear (or respect) of the Lord should drive us away from these decisions and paths.
These are kind of easy right? But what do we do when the path or decision isn’t sinful and won’t be obviously against God’s plan.
What if we just aren’t sure? We are worried we may fail and we are responsible for other people in our business and feeding our family. What if we are worried that we won’t like the path?
Or honorably, what if we just are not sure it is God’s path and we don’t want to be on our own path or lost in general?
If you look at each of these scenarios the theme here is still fear. We are afraid to mess up. Satan loves this and He will turn up our fear dial by many methods:
- Creating undefined anxiety that won’t go away.
- Telling us that we will fail and that will be catastrophic.
- Telling us that we will be miserable if we make the wrong decision and this misery is way worse than being stuck where we are.
This type of fear isn’t from God. It is directly opposed to God’s character and He wouldn’t use this method to get you to change your mind. When we have these feelings of fear, we need to turn to our faith and TRUST our God.
“The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Psalm 118:6
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
If we have fear and hesitancy there may be legitimate reasons, but if we keep coming back to the same crossroad and we are just stuck in indecision, it may be Satan or ourselves sabotaging us.
Learning To Take A Step Forward
My tendency when this place occurs for me, is to take steps forward. Whenever I step out in faith and move forward wisely, one of the following occurs:
- I begin to have complete peace. I think when we step forward we are moving toward our trust in God and it releases us from Satan’s power. Even if our success isn’t guaranteed, we know that the Lord will provide what we need.
- Doors will open. Sometimes I get validation because doors begin to open which helps to confirm that I am on the right track.
- Or doors will slam shut. If we trust God, and it isn’t His plan for us, He can stop us from going down the wrong path. Sometimes, the best thing for us is a door closing. He wants us to be dependent upon Him. It is okay if we start down the wrong path in faith and trust of Him. He will close the door for us.
I have had each of the experiences above on different decisions and directions, so I know that all are possible and all can help grow us.
I can also look back and see that the decisions or directions that really were bad for my business were when I was making the decisions alone and in my own strength.
It had nothing to do with fear though. Usually in those times I was fearless and thought I could make things happen.
One last thought, but probably needs a whole post of it’s own, is understanding true TRUST in God.
If we step out in faith and trust God, we can’t second guess Him along the way and do things to sabotage the success. If we start taking steps forward we need to do so with faith and using the business gifts and wisdom that God has given us. We need to do our part to glorify God and step out boldly. If we just put a toe in the water and pull out because it is cold, God will let us and Satan will encourage us again.