Ministers and Christian leaders spend a great deal of time listening to and counseling others in the decision-making process. Often decisions are clouded by a complex world and ever-changing moral climate. Seemingly, there are no clear cut answers.

So what are we to do? How can we find our way in such a messed up culture? How do we know what to do in a society where many believers compromise in order to be accepted rather than stand on truth and face the consequences of a hostile world?

I would suggest there is only one reliable source for decision-making—the Word of God. There is really only One who can give the right advice every time you ask, and that is God. Indeed, Jesus tells us that the Holy Spirit has come to teach us and guide us. We are not left to our own way, but He will guide us to all truth.

That being said, let me be a bit more practical. Good decision-making is formed through a daily walk centered in the Word of God. I am not suggesting that you cannot go to the Scripture and search out an answer when needed; however, I am suggesting that abiding in the Word consistently is better. You not only find specific answers to specific issues, but by daily reading and studying the Word, you get to the heart of God. Knowing God and having an intimate relationship with Him allows Him to bring application of the Word to the specific issues you face.

This is why a daily quiet time is so important. The more complex issues become and the more hostile the world is to Christian truth, the more vital a clear understanding of Scripture and a listening ear to the voice of the Lord is.

I am amazed how often the very issues I face present themselves in Scripture as I follow a regimen of reading the Word daily. God is not silent. He speaks, and He speaks clearly. The question is, “Are you listening?”

Listen to Paul writing to Timothy, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking and for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

As we start a new year, it is a good time to make a life-changing decision. Commit yourself to spend time each day in the Word of God. Let God speak into your life every day, not just in a crisis situation. Learn to trust His instruction and know that as you read, the Holy Spirit will be your instructor. Then, when faced with decisions, you will not just know where to turn in Scripture, but you will also know the heart of God. You will be encouraged, convicted, healed, comforted and guided into truth.

Choose a reading plan that best fits you. Across the years, I have followed a plan that led me to read through the Bible in one year. Other times, I have taken a slower approach and read books as well as commentaries or notes that illuminate the text. I have gained much by reading both the text and notes in the Life Application Bible.

The issue is not which approach you take, but the decision to commit to make a quiet time filled with reading Scripture and talking to God through prayer a part of your daily routine.

I hope you have a wonderful 2018 filled with truth and blessing.