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“Now That’s a Tough Decision!” Four Prerequisites for Making Decisions
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Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

By Rev Dr Don Moore, Executive Director - Canadian Christian Business Federation

Making decisions can be tough in business! Easy answers can often evade us as leaders, especially when they are not simply black and white but rather have multiple choices.

It takes a lot of wisdom to make the right choices! Thankfully, the source of wisdom is offered to us in James 1:

5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.

I’m reminded of the many tough decisions that Nehemiah faced while rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. It all began when he became aware of the devastation and destruction of the walls meant to protect his homeland, Jerusalem.
On hearing of the situation in Nehemiah 1, his response was very emotional:

4 When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven.

Knowing something had to be done, Nehemiah was faced with a tough decision. Should he risk his life in approaching the King for the help he needed or seek another alternative?

What he did next could serve to inform us, as leaders. Before deciding, Nehemiah turned immediately to God in prayer. In fact, his prayer in Nehemiah 1:5-11 provides us with four important prerequisites needed before making those tough decisions.

1. Acknowledge Who God Is

In approaching God, Nehemiah turns to fully acknowledging who He is and His unfailing love:

5 Then I said, “O LORD, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands.”
6 listen to my prayer!

The best place to start when faced with tough decisions is to start by going to our Heavenly Father to seek His direction. Words of worship spoken to Him gain His immediate attention. As His children, He is ready to respond when we acknowledge Him and who He is to us.

Do you readily turn to and acknowledge
your Heavenly Father when faced with a tough decision?

2. Admit Your Shortcomings

In the presence of God, Nehemiah then readily confessed to his own shortcomings and sin! He knew he needed to clean up his act and in humility called out:

6 listen to my prayer! Look down and see me praying night and day for your people Israel. I confess that we have sinned against you. Yes, even my own family and I have sinned!
7 We have sinned terribly by not obeying the commands, decrees, and regulations that you gave us through your servant Moses.

As strong competent leaders, at times we can presume upon our relationship with our Heavenly Father without taking the time to reevaluate our standing before Him. Admitting our shortcomings in humility shows our dependency on Him as the one we serve.

Are you willing to humble yourself by admitting your sins
to our almighty God upon whom we’re dependent?

3. Appreciate His Promises

Nehemiah then reminds God of His promises to His people even though they were unfaithful and had paid the price.

8 “Please remember what you told your servant Moses: ‘If you are unfaithful to me, I will scatter you among the nations.
9 But if you return to me and obey my commands and live by them, then even if you are exiled to the ends of the earth,[b] I will bring you back to the place I have chosen for my name to be honored.’
10 The people you rescued by your great power and strong hand are your servants.

Taking time to thank God for His promises and His faithfulness in fulfilling them brings fresh hope and assurance that He hears you. He will answer and provide wisdom when facing tough decision. Do you remind God of His promises to you in His Word And your desire to have them fulfilled once again?

4. Ask For His Support

Finally, Nehemiah asked God to hear his need and his request for the king’s approval of his request:

11 O Lord, please hear my prayer! Listen to the prayers of those of us who delight in honoring you. Please grant me success today by making the king favorable to me.[c] Put it into his heart to be kind to me.”

Do you bring specific requests to God around
those tough decisions knowing He will answer?

Only a short time after his prayer, Nehemiah received his confirmation and approached the King for the assistance he needed. In fact, the King’s response was not only positive but also far exceeded his expectations.

In conclusion: God is always open to hear our specific requests in times of need. He will answer by either giving us our request or by providing us with insights into alternative options. All He asks is for us to wait patiently on Him.

Remember these four prerequisites that Nehemiah took to God around his tough decision. He acknowledged who God is and admitted his own inadequacy. He claimed the promises of God and then made his specific request for help with clarifying and confirming his vision for Jerusalem.

Don Moore
Executive Director Canadian Christian Business Federation

Don strongly believes that people are our nation’s most valuable asset. His Listen-Learn-Lead” approach to leadership has made him highly effective in executive roles in a variety of organizations with local, regional, national, and international reach. An entrepreneurial thinker and strategist, Don built a grassroots movement of denominational and ministry leaders committed to evangelism with The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) and led a National Consultation in Ottawa.