How to Test Your Decisions

Three Questions to Ask Yourself When Facing Hard Choices

By Bethany Lockett — Editorial Assistant

Dan Lister faced an impossible situation. His decision might even cost him his job.    

Because of a mistake made by the global business unit he worked for, Dan had to choose between pleasing his superiors and protecting his employees. No matter what he did, he would face opposition. In the end, he felt that his employees were depending on him and chose to stand alone as a dissenting voice to leadership. After prayer and discernment, he felt it was what God had called him to do.

A short time later the company restructured and Dan was not retained.

Despite the personal risk, Dan remains confident in his decision. Drawing from his years in BSF, he anchors his work in Proverbs 29:25: “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.”   

But how could Dan discern God’s voice? Where did he find his confidence?

Many of us struggle to make choices that honor God amid the expectations of work, family, or culture. We want to put God first, but we fear losing our jobs. We want to act with integrity, but we fear disappointing our boss. We want to speak boldly, but we desire approval from our co-workers.   

For Dan, the confidence to stand for God under pressure is built on years of intentional Bible study and faithful Christian community.  

When faced with a challenge, Dan asks a few simple questions.  

Where do I look for security?

Early in his career, Dan read an article that said men in the workplace believe they are only three mistakes away from getting fired. He could relate. He constantly worried, “if I mess up, I’m gone.”  

“I got stressed out pretty early in my career because I had two children and a wife to support,” he shared.  

He was trying to do everything — from his job to his marriage and parenting — in his own strength. Then Dan’s wife, Samantha, convinced him to try BSF. Studying Romans, Dan discovered a life-changing truth.  

“It’s not Christ plus anything. It’s just Christ”  

Later, when Dan lost his job as the leader of that global business unit, he found confidence in the truths God had revealed years earlier.    

“It’s not Christ plus anything.

It’s just Christ.”

“God impressed upon me, ‘I’ve put you here for a time. I’ve got you. You’re not in control of this, I am.’”  

Dan’s security did not come from his own strength, but from God’s sovereignty. During a time of complete dependance on the Lord when he was without a job, Dan’s family of six watched God provide in unexpected ways. Ultimately, God opened a job opportunity in Dan’s home state of Texas.

Today, when he reflects on that time of transition, He knows God used that season to strengthen his faith. When he asks, “where do I find security?” the answer is rooted in God’s promises.  

Where do I turn for guidance?

In the business world, Dan grew comfortable making tough decisions. As a husband and a father, he felt confident in his role. But when the two worlds collided, Dan struggled for wisdom.   

When his three daughters were young, Dan’s employer asked him to move to San Paulo, Brazil. When he toured the city, the culture felt foreign, and his first impression was marked by concrete walls and barbed-wire fences. “I thought, no, I’m not bringing my wife and little girls down here.”  

Ignoring God’s guidance and godly counsel, Dan instead moved his family to Cleveland, Ohio. Though they settled into a comfortable life, Dan felt unsettled as he continued to pray for God’s will in his life. He lacked a sense of peace.  

After several months, Dan finally surrendered to God’s will and admitted to Samantha that he thought they should move to Brazil. He was shocked when she simply replied, “I know.” God impressed on Dan that he was not any safer in Cleveland than he would be in Sao Paulo if he was not in the will of God. 

Together, Dan and Samantha discovered that seeking God’s guidance may feel risky, but the reward outweighed their fear. During their time in Brazil, God graciously allowed them to teach the evening men and women’s classes which provided a special time in their marriage and drew their family together. And the Lord prepared them for difficult seasons to come. 

“God impressed upon me:

I’ve put you here for a time.

I’ve got you.

You’re not in control of this.” 

Later, when Dan considered moving the family to Texas, he “tested” whether his decision was from God or himself by asking, “Am I making this decision because I want more money? Am I making this decision because I want a job title? Am I making this decision because I want to move back to Texas? Or am I following God’s direction?”

Dan knew that using Christian language can justify almost any decision.  

“We can take almost any decision and make it look right. We know the language and we know what to say, ‘I prayed about it and God’s going to use me here.’ You can convince almost anyone around you that what you’re doing is God’s will. Who’s going to argue with that?”   

Truly seeking God’s guidance requires faith, and honesty, and sacrifice. The risk is worth the reward.  

What am I holding back from God?

Finding the courage to make godly decisions in a world that rejects absolute truth is challenging. Throughout his career, Dan has discovered that he cannot serve God and the world. He says, “Don’t be two people. There’s not ‘Work Dan’ and ‘Church Dan,’ there’s Dan.”    

Through our study of People of Promise: Kingdom Divided, we read about generations of leaders. Along the way, God provided prophets to offer wise counsel and deliver His Word. Those who listened to God experienced the blessing of His wisdom. Those who ignored His Word are remembered as weak and selfish rulers. We may not live in the time of kings and prophets, but we also have a choice. Where will we find our security? Will we test our decisions? Will we surrender every area of our lives to God?

Truly seeking God’s guidance requires faith and sacrifice.

When we seemingly stand alone in our faith, God is right beside us. Like Dan, we can seek God in prayer, echoing the words of King Jehoshaphat:  

“… We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” (2 Chronicles 20:12)  

Bethany Lockett

Editorial Assistant

Bethany Lockett is an editorial assistant at Bible Study Fellowship Headquarters. She is a third generation BSF-er and native Texan. She joined BSF after graduating from Wheaton College where she studied spiritual discipleship in a digital world.

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  1. I’ve been in BSF since 2004 with a short leave in 2009 because my mother passed then. Not a break from God but a time to get things settle. I am thankful for all the studies of BSF. They have truly help me to want to know God fully. He is my Savior and without Him I would not know what to do. Try daily to follow His lead. Asking God for wisdom and guidance everyday. Thanks to all who make BSF possible with God’s faithfulness.

  2. Praise God! This is very helpful. Thanks, Dan, for sharing your testimony.

  3. This testimony/article came at a perfect time for me. I am in the valley of decision regarding a situation I am faced with and have to choose between trusting God, or someone else or something else. Reading the article and hearing the three questions Dan asked himself based upon the Word and promises of God has helped me to ask the questions and come to my decision to trust God’s faithfulness to His Word. God is my security, waymaker, miracle worker and promise keeper and light in the darkness. Thanks Bethany for the article and thanks Dan for your story of God’s faithfulness in your life.

  4. This article was very helpful and encouraging about someone who truly chose to follow God no matter what. Blessings on Dan and his family and their faithfulness in had times. I feel so many men and women (who are single parents) feel this pressure about their work/income.

  5. This article Blessed me and I pray it Blesses others as we strive to live wholeheartedly for Christ.

  6. What a wonderful article. It really blessed me as my husband and I are in search of a new church home. I solicit prayers that we will hear the voice of God for direction to a church home that believes in Jesus Christ, teaches the word of God, and demonstrates the power of the love of God.

    • Peat – praying with you!

  7. Awesome inspirational testimony

  8. )ust what I needed to hear right now ! Thanks 🙏

  9. I can identify with Dan. Standing on God’s Word and remaining obedient is NOT popular today. The world is looking for self perservation first by any means necessary, leadership second, and majority rules third. However, the ultimate victory is when we do like Dan; remain with God and follow His lead. We please our Heavenly Father and have His peace, victory and blessings.

  10. Thanks Dan for your sincere insight into the things of God. I truly blessed me.

  11. I was living in a comfortable life style, with too much time for seeking dangerous pleasure and immorality. It was not morally right. I needed to seek God and move away from such a lifestyle that will damage my family. I have a secure job, but the desire to worship in a church prompted me to migrate to Australia. It meant all my 15 years of service and pension privileges would be forfeited. It was a very big move, since I have a wife and two young daughters. Coming to new country was never easy but that was the right decision, as I was led by the Spirit of God. I commit myself to a local church and after nine months I brought my family over. Choosing God’s way is the best for me and I am most grateful to Jesus Christ, my LORD and Saviour.

  12. The slideshow and blog were both a blessing to my heart.

  13. Thankyou for this article. Iam a Christian in need of guidance in my marriage to a Christian husband. Living in Mexico. I’m American, he’s Mexican. Can’t speak much Spanish. No friends here, but involved in a BSF Zoom group. Very discouraged and many times, want to leave my marriage, but i know that isn’t God’s will. We have no church here since pandemic hit. These questions mentioned above I am going to ask myself so I can find peace and contentment I seek, only in Christ.

    • We are praying for you!

    • Praying. May God provide you with joy in unexpected places, courage, and friendships that will be a blessing to both of you!

  14. Inspiring. We don’t conform to the circumstances. In everything there is only Christ.

  15. This is a wonderful testimony of trust and confidence in God .I am challenged not to have work Lucy and a Church Lucy but to be the same all through.
    My take home this christmas holiday is :
    “It’s not Christ plus anything.It’s just Christ.”

  16. Thank you Dan for sharing your story. Very timely for me ; to remember God has got this. I need to rely on God;Trust Him and seek His guidance. God bless you.

  17. Thank you for that blog. I have been doing BSF for several years now. I am encourage by this blog because I’m in that time and place in my life that I really, really need to hear God’s voice concerning my next phase of life. I recently lost my business then went through a surgery

  18. Decisions are difficult to make at any time and in all situations. Seeking God’s guidance is crucial, but it needs discernment and wisdom to obey. Thank you for the edifying testimony.

  19. Wonderful testimony and I am blessed and encouraged

  20. Sometimes small decisions that I make befuddle my husband. This often occurs when I feel led by the Lord to do something that appears generous or beneficial to someone else. It’s just a God thing, my love. Call it obedience or a leading from the Holy Spirit. Within your headship of our home and spiritual covering, thank you for understanding. May the Lord add His increase and kee me in the shadows if possible. For His glory!

  21. Thanks for sharing!

  22. This is mY 2nd BSF study and the very best study. Thank you for letting us read so much of the old

  23. Thanks for sharing your encouraging story, Dan.

  24. Reading how Dan realized his decision to move to Cleveland was his choice, driven by motivation for safety for his family; and once there feeling the weight of not seeking guidance from God, was an incredible realization and subsequent submission to God’s will.

  25. Thanks for sharing Dan. Your testimony is very encouraging for the men at the workplace and being the head of the household. We are not alone and we have our all knowing Father guides us through this life journey. To God be the glory.

  26. Thank You.
    This was so so helpful, I am going through the worse phrase of my working life.
    “I do not know what to do, but my eyes are on you.” 🙏
    Lord, I’ll remember Your faithfulness, and I will trust that You will be faithful in my life as well! Help me today to keep Your faithfulness as my focus. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

  27. I needed this word today.

  28. Great story to read, especially on the heels of this week’s lesson on Jonah. People like Dan and his story are what more of us need to read and be able to share. Thank you!

  29. Amen & Amen . Indeed seeking the Lord with all heart and trusting Him is best . Never dissapointed

  30. I sensed God was calling me to leave work as a gym/weight loss centre worker, through the words of Romans 14 – in a nutshell: who are we to tell people what to eat? was the message I interpreted – which was what I was doing. Peace would not come, even though I had thought God called me into this for the 4 years I worked there. I left, not knowing my next move. I waited in prayer. It was on the day of our 19yr old son’s death 7 months later – I knew then why: I had precious time of being able to connect and spend more time together with our son. Even tho, this was a hard time. Peace overflowed. God knows – He is what we surrender to. Thank you for article.

  31. Dan and Sam, it is great to be reminded of you story and God’s faithfulness. So timely, even now.

  32. Great testimonial Dan ! You’ve inspired me to stand upon the Rock of our salvation ! You stood firm on the promises of God my brother . May God continue to bless you and keep you and may His glorious face shine upon you . Peace
    Thank you Bethany ! God bless you my sister !

  33. Thank you for such a perfect testimony. It hit me between my eyes. I’m trying to make decisions now that my brother went home with Jesus on 10/20/22. A missionary/teacher for 50 years in Guatemala, C.A., there are many decisions to make and I’m being pulled in many directions. Praying that God leads me to do the correct thing.!!!

  34. Bringing our family together has been challenging.. this year for Thanksgiving.. 4 of my grandchildren were here with us. My only child .. their father died suddenly 3 years ago. .. I decided to invite their mother .. it turned out fine. A healing time for our family

  35. Thank you.

    • Praise God for your testimony. It inspires people like us.
      God bless you and your family Dan!

    • I am in the same dilema am not at peace with my current employer it’s b3n an uphill task from not being appreciated, overlooked and many other issues which are so ungodly. Am struggling to leave because we have loans that am servicing and hubby’s business for now is really not having any work. How do I really know it’s Gods time to leave with boldness am so afraid due to the loans I don’t want to make a move then get in a bad situation with the credit company. Help me pray I really need guidance


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