Decisions & Godly Counsel

Read Together: Numbers 13:25–14:10

This Sunday, Pastor Jerry reminded us that knowing God’s will can be a group effort. Knowing God’s will is not something we simply lock ourselves in the dark to discover alone. There is no Bible verse that backs the common cultural assumption that our decisions are exclusively personal. In fact, whether we realize it or not, all of our decisions are influenced to a degree by other people.

We see several examples in Scripture of people on the brink of a decision receiving different kinds of counsel. In Numbers 13–14, Israel is on the verge of entering the Promised Land. They hear the report of the twelve spies and receive two different kinds of counsel. On one side, ten of the spies offer counsel rooted in unbelief. On the other, Caleb and Joshua offer counsel rooted in deep faith in God’s promises. The people hear both, and they decide to act in unbelief and rebellion against the Lord.

We all have voices in our lives who influence our decisions. Media and social media speak into our lives constantly and shape our decisions in ways we often don’t even realize. Family and friends offer advice. Coworkers and neighbors share their two cents. The question is: Who are we listening to?

Making decisions should be a group effort in the sense that we seek the wise, godly counsel of God’s people and commit to be shaped by God’s Word in the context of the community of the church. We need each other. We need to commit to hear the counsel of those who speak out of deep trust in God’s truth and God’s promises.  

Discussion Questions

  1. How can knowing God’s will be a group effort?
  2. What was the counsel of Caleb and Joshua rooted in (see Num 14:7–9)? What does this teach us about where we should be seeking advice and counsel?
  3. What are some of the voices that influence our decisions? How can we be more intentional about the voices shaping our decision-making?

Ideas for Younger Kids

  • Read “Big People, Little Faith” in The Biggest Story Bible Storybook (pages 104–07). Discuss with your children the importance of seeking advice from faithful followers of Jesus who trust God’s Word.

Memorization: “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” (Proverbs 13:20)

Song: Listen to “Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us” (Hymns of Grace). This hymn reflects what our heart should be as we seek God’s will together: that Jesus would lead us and help us to do his will.

Pray Together

  • Praise God that he is all-wise and leads and directs his people.
  • Confess before God that our decisions are sometimes shaped more by unbelief and the fear of man than by faith and the fear of God.
  • Give thanks to God for his church and godly people in our lives who help us make decisions out of faith and not fear.
  • Pray that God would help us to be shaped by the godly community of his people as we make decisions.

Go Together

  • Take stock of the voices speaking into your life that may be shaping your decision-making by shaping what you value, what you trust, what you fear, and so on. Write some of these things down and discuss them together.
  • If you are in the process of making a decision about something in your life, consider bringing it this week before another believer you trust and who is grounded in their faith and seeking their counsel.
  • Make the simple commitment or recommitment to make gathering with God’s people a major priority in your life and in your weekly rhythms.
If you have any questions, comments, or ideas related to this Family Faith Talk guide or future guides, please let us know by leaving a comment!

Leave a Reply