How to Make the Right Decisions by Karen Jensen Salisbury

How to Make the Right Decisions
Karen Jensen Salisbury

The following is an excerpt from Karen’s new book “How to Make the Right Decision Every Time: 10 Keys For Finding God’s Direction” ( Karen has been a minister for 30 years and a writer for 40 years – she’s been a pastor’s wife, a senior pastor, an instructor at Rhema Bible Training College, and is currently an itinerant minister.

How to Make the Right Decisions by Karen JensenOver the years I’ve had a lot of people say to me: “I don’t know what to do or which way to turn,” or “I’m so afraid of making the wrong decision,” or “If God would just tell me what to do, I’d do it!”

They are earnest, God-loving people who want to make the right decisions in their life, but they just aren’t sure how to go about it.

Is that you today? Are you facing a decision – a really big one, or even a small one? Are you wondering what direction to take?

We all have decisions to make, every single day. Whatever decision you’re facing, I have some good news: you can make the right decision every time when you have God’s help. And even better news: He wants to help you make every single decision – big and small. He knows exactly the right direction for you to take so that things turn out great for you.

There’s a Plan

You see, God actually wants you to know the right direction for your life even more than you do, because He has a plan and a purpose for you.

When you choose to accept and follow His plan, it will bless not only you, but others. So He needs you to be walking in that plan.

We know this is true because the Bible says so. Jeremiah 29:11 NLT says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” The Message Bible says it like this: “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.”

First of all, that means there is a plan. I’m so thankful for that, aren’t you? And it also means that someone knows what the plan is – God does! I don’t know about you, but if I’m facing a decision and don’t know which way to go, it comforts my heart to realize that God knows the plan.

Secondly, we can see from this verse that it’s a good plan. When you follow His plan, things can turn out way better than you could ever work out for yourself.

The story of the prodigal son in Luke 15 proves this out. It’s the story of a young man who asked his father for his inheritance then went out and spent it all on riotous living. Soon he found himself penniless, feeding someone else’s pigs and barely eking out an existence. One day he thought, “Even my Dad’s servants eat better than this. I’m going to go home, tell him I’ve sinned, that I’m no longer worthy to be called his son, and ask him to just let me be one of his servants.”

That was the young man’s plan. But when he returned home, his father didn’t stick to the script. The Bible says, “The father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry;for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found” (Luke 15:22-24).

This is such a perfect picture of your Heavenly Father. His plans are way better than yours! He has so much more in store for you than you can even imagine for yourself. The things you plan on your own are never as good as the plans God has for you. So seek and follow His plan.It’s a plan full of goodness and hope for your life. All the more reason to find out from God what the plan is, and turn to Him when making decisions about how to get there.

God Knows the Way

God has always been a guide for His children. It’s who He is – it’s part of His nature to lead us and help us make the right decisions in our lives. He has set it up so that we would ask Him and He would guide, because He always has the best plan in store for us. He wants us to ask for His guidance, and He to guide and direct you – because He knows the way!

We can see this part of His nature in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, where there are countless examples of God helping His children make the right decisions and go in the right direction. He wants to lead you too.

Let’s look first into the Old Testament. It tells us that God parted the Red Sea and led His children safely to the other side (Exodus 14). He led them through the wilderness to the Promised Land (Joshua 22:4). He led them in thousands of victorious battles over their enemies. He never just left them hanging to find their own way, even when they were being disobedient and rebellious – He was always right there to lead them if they asked for His guidance and obeyed Him.

There is scripture after scripture in the Old Testament that show us how much God wants us to go in the right direction and make the right decisions for our lives. In Isaiah 42:16 He says, “I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.”

When you’re trying to make a decision, you’re blinded to what the future looks like – you can’t see what will happen because you haven’t been this way before, you haven’t taken this path. Your future is shrouded in darkness – you can’t see into it yet. You need Someone to guide you and light the way, and God is the perfect one to do it.

He says there in Isaiah that He will make the darkness light (no one can do that but Him). When it’s light, we can see, can’t we? Then He says that where the road bends and you can’t see ahead, or when things seem to be so twisted up that there isn’t a way to make it through, He’ll make those crooked place straight.

He ends the verse by saying He won’t forsake you. He won’t leave you half way through the journey – He’ll take you all the way through. Believe it!

Psalm 48:14 says, “For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.” Mark it – until you die, God will guide you, direct you, and help you make the right decision. That covers your whole life! There will never be a time that He’s not available to guide you.

That means even if you make a mistake or a wrong decision, He’ll be there to help you out of it. That should help you if you’ve become paralyzed in the midst of making a decision, afraid to fail. You can trust God. He’s big enough to rescue you if you goof up. He said He will always be your guide, until you die.

Even Better

In the New Testament – which is your covenant with God through Jesus Christ – His guidance system for helping you make right decisions gets even better. He has promised to lead and guide us by His own Spirit – who lives right inside us! You are never without this supernatural help to guide you in the right decisions.

John 16:13, “When He, the Spirit of truth, has come (which He has), He will guide you into all truth: for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears (from God) He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”

The Amplified Bible says it this way: “But when He, the Spirit of Truth (the Truth-giving Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all the Truth (the whole, full Truth). For He will not speak His own message [on His own authority]; but He will tell whatever He hears [from the Father; He will give the message that has been given to Him], and He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come [that will happen in the future].”

Think about that! The Holy Spirit within you gets directions right from God the Father who knows everything, and then passes that information directly to you. He’ll even clue you into what’s going to happen in your future. Wow. Information like that can really help you make right decisions, can’t it?

This is why our new covenant, bought by the blood of Jesus, is so much better than the old one (Hebrews 8:6). In your covenant, the very Spirit of God lives within you. You have the best guidance system at your disposal 24/7. No human can look into the future – but the Spirit of God can; and then the Bible says He’ll tell you about what is coming up. When you know what’s coming up, you can sure make better decisions.

Romans 8:14 says, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons (and daughters) of God.” You could swap that around and say it like this without changing the meaning: “The sons and daughters of God are led by the Spirit of God.”

In other words, when you’re a child of God (when you’re born again and Jesus is your savior) you can expect to be led by the Spirit of God. You’re not to be led by anything else. That means He’ll tell you which direction to go when you’re trying to make decisions! Start believing that.

This article is an excerpt from Karen’s new book “How to Make the Right Decision Every Time: 10 Keys For Finding God’s Direction” (