Episode 64: Decision Making Through the Spirit

Jul 11, 2022


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Making decisions in your life can often feel confusing, anxiety provoking, or overwhelming. Even small choices can sometimes make you feel that way. Making decisions is interesting because we aren’t always faced with a clear, good or bad option. Sometimes we are faced with all good options, or all bad options, then we can really be confused. 

What I see a lot of women doing when they are faced with a decision and unsure of how to move forward, is to seek guidance from God until they are 100% sure and certain that is the right decision. I see even faithful women fear making the wrong decision. Which makes sense, you don’t want to be out there purposefully making the wrong decision.

There is a principle at play here that makes certainty not an option. It is the principle of faith. You see, faith asserts that there must be some portion of uncertainty. 

I spoke with Melinda Wheelwright Brown about this very thing in podcast Episode 62 of the Meaningful Minutes Podcast She likened this to Eve needing to have some portion of uncertainty in order to be using her agency. So if you are waiting to have 100% certainty with decisions then you are waiting to take faith out of the equation. The natural man, or carnal mind inside of us, is the thing that wants to take faith out of the equation.

If you are operating from your natural man state and not in connection with God then you are going to stay in the state of inaction because you will never have 100% certainty from God. We must rely on faith and move forward with some portion of not knowing but with a good idea that what we are doing is in accordance with what God would want.

When I was preparing for this episode, I came across a talk by President Oaks that he gave at BYU back in 1992. One thing he said applied directly to decision making. He stated, 

“Closely related to this example is the person who has a strong desire to be led by the Spirit of the Lord but who unwisely extends that desire to the point of wanting to be led in all things. A desire to be led by the Lord is a strength, but it needs to be accompanied by an understanding that our Heavenly Father leaves many decisions for our personal choices. Personal decision making is one of the sources of the growth we are meant to experience in mortality. Persons who try to shift all decision making to the Lord and plead for revelation in every choice will soon find circumstances in which they pray for guidance and don’t receive it. For example, this is likely to occur in those numerous circumstances in which the choices are trivial or either choice is acceptable”.

I love what he is saying here about how the skill of decision making is a source of growth. If we are relying on the Lord to do all the work then there isn’t any growth for us right? I also love what Elder Bednar taught regarding the same topic. He gave a wonderful talk in April 2020 at a night with a general authority and he was replying to a woman who said. “We should live our lives in such a way that we are always ready for revelation whenever the Lord is ready to pour it our upon us”. He responded with the following.

“Not ready for. That language suggests to me—whenever it comes. No, you are living in the revelation. That phrase I think is significant. Instead of thinking, we cruise along, and [think], I’ve got to stop what I am doing now, I have to get geared up to receive revelation. You’re always in it. ‘That we may always have His Spirit to be with us. This does take a little common sense as well. But to think that somehow our daily life is divorced from the ongoing influence of the Spirit and it only comes when we gear up somehow, according to a formula, I think gets in the way and messes us up.”

I love this! We are always receiving a continuous stream of revelation even if we don’t attribute it to that or recognize it. He also said, “if we are doing our best and we are not committing serious transgression, then we can count on the Holy Ghost guiding us.” Most of the time you are being led in all your decisions, all day. There is no reason to just stop and receive. We don’t have to STOP for the Holy Ghost to speak to us.. 

If you are in a state of “doing your best” then the thoughts that are coming to your mind are under the influence of the Holy Ghost and can be counted on as revelation. This is one of the reasons I love to use my Seeking Personal revelation Journal. I love to sit down before I pray and look at my day before and see the decisions I made and how they affected me. If I was in a state of doing my best then I know I was under the influence of the Holy Ghost and can see how I was guided. 

Then, I am able to talk to God about those decisions. I can either thank God for guidance on certain decisions I moved forward with, if I felt they were the direction I wanted to keep going. Or, if I didn’t like how they turned out, I could reassess and ask God for help acting in a different direction the next day. President Oaks spoke of this as well. 

“We should study things out in our minds, using the reasoning powers our Creator has placed within us. Then we should pray for guidance and act upon it if we receive it. If we do not receive guidance, we should act upon our best judgment.” 

"Reasoning powers our Creator" gave us. I love that! We already have a power inside of us to make decisions. I also love his guidance about praying for guidance then acting on "our best judgment." This aligns perfectly with what Eve did in the Garden of Eden.

Most decisions we make are not as life altering as the one that Eve made in the garden so we must reasonably step forward and act. We can take small actions towards a decision and reassess. We don’t have to even make the whole decision. We can make the decision to move forward while gathering more information. Make the decision to envision our life having made that decision.

When you take two steps forward you can always take one step back and reposition yourself in a different direction. Action really is the key to more revelation. As you act on your best judgment God can better direct you. Action really is one of the best gifts that came out of agency. We are using our gift of agency when we act on decisions that we have made.

The key to success in making decisions is to make sure that as we act we are constantly reassessing and seeing if we are in alignment with God. When moving forward WITH the Spirit you will feel satisfaction in your efforts, comfort in forward movement and no shame or guilt if you have to take a step back. God is not there waiting to punish us if we were truly seeking guidance and moved forward with the best info we had. Realignment is how we seek better revelation. The more we act and reassess, then the more we are learning to hear Him more regularly.

The one way I see this whole concept getting pushed off course is through thoughts of the natural man that create feelings of guilt, shame and feeling that something is wrong. These thoughts can keep you from moving forward with God. I call these the roadblocks to revelation.

I have noticed women approaching decision making from the state of the natural man and not with God and then feeling even more confused. Which is one of the reasons I created my Removing Roadblocks to Revelation Group Coaching Program. To help women see how they can remove internal mental barriers to God and move forward in that continuous state of revelation Elder Bednar spoke about.

I will be opening up the last round for 2022 here at the end of August. If you’re interested in learning more about making decisions from the right state of mind then jump on my waitlist and I will let you know when it opens.

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