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The 7 Most Important Decisions of Your Life

Hillsong pastor Brian Houston says these choices will shape generations 

Pastor Brian Houston of Hillsong Church, Decision Making, Guideposts

At Madison Square Garden in New York City last week, international megachurch Hillsong held its 2014 stateside conference, a gathering meant to inspire and empower the local and global Church. During the event, founding pastor Brian Houston spoke about the generational impact our decisions can have. Far too often, Houston says, Christians make choices mistakenly believing that the consequences for those choices are small or only affect the self, when in fact, the consequences can ripple on endlessly, trickling down to children and grandchildren and so on, long after we are gone.

The good news is that we can make choices that will positively impact people in the present as well as the generations to come. Here are what Pastor Houston calls the seven most important decisions you’ll ever make, and how to make them wisely.

1) Whom you marry. After salvation, Pastor Houston says the most important decision you will ever make will be the person you choose to partner with for life. That person can build you up or break you down, cause you, your children and extended family and friends pain and suffering, or love and joy. When deciding whom to marry, Pastor Houston says, “Find someone with spiritual passion, who loves Jesus more than you, whose dreams and goals compliment your dreams and goals, and who is consistent.

“Find someone who knows who they are, what they’re about and where they’re going,” Pastor Houston says. And just as important, “Find someone who can make you laugh.”

2) With whom you associate. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Do not be misled: bad company corrupts good character.” That goes for spouses as well as friends, business associates and anyone you keep in your circle. And 2 Thessalonians 3:6 warns against associating with “idle” believers, ones who profess Christ but are not dedicated to living a life which reflects Christ. Be vigilante when deciding who your friends are and with whom you will form working relationships.

3) Where you live. Too many people make decisions on where to live thinking only of what their present situation is. Pastor Houston says not to underestimate the importance of building a community and the power of being connected to an incredible local church. Where you live might help you now, but will it take you where you need to go?  “Are you living for comfort or calling? [Your] calling [from God] has to be more important than your comfort.” So make decisions on where you will live and build roots based on what your calling is.

4) What to do. Unfortunately, Pastor Houston says, we often live within the sphere of what our limitations are instead of the limitless sphere of the almighty God who created us with and for a purpose. When deciding what to do, or what you’re “supposed” to do with your life, Pastor Houston says to pay attention to what you’re good at. “When God graces you to be good at something, use whatever God’s put into your hand to do what God has placed in your heart. When you’re doing “what God graces you to do,” you will liberate generations to walk in their purpose, as well.

So don’t fantasize about what someone else is able to do. Admire it, respect it, but don’t be envious of it. Remember: “God didn’t make you one way to use you another way.”

5) When to do it. Just as critical as deciding what to do is knowing when to do it. Ultimately, you could be doing the right thing, in the right place, with the right people, but wind up doing it at the wrong time, and your efforts will fail and have a negative generational impact. When there is synergy, however, and you’re doing the right thing, in the right place, with the right people, at the right time, you’ll see a positive impact on the world around you for generations to come. When making the decision about when to act, pray without ceasing, read the Bible, and speak with godly counselors to help you make the best decision.

6) Why you’re doing it. What’s your motivation for the things you’re doing?  Pastor Houston warns against doing the “all the right things for all the wrong reasons,” like wanting to prove someone wrong or wanting to be famous.” These are not good motivations, and they’ll only lead to feeding your own insecurities. You can end up with massive fame but be filled with massive emptiness, like so many celebrities. Instead, focus all of your energy on doing what is pleasing to God for the overarching purpose of pleasing God.

7) What you wish for. Pastor Houston reminds us that God once asked Solomon the simple question: “What do you want for yourself?” Solomon answered: the wisdom to lead your people. Not surprisingly, God gave Solomon wisdom and everything else his heart desired. It’s the simple truth of Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God, and all things will be added unto you.”

What you wish for yourself ought to be in line with God’s will. You’ll know your desires are in line with God’s will when you don’t have to chase after anything you want, besides Him. If you seek Him, blessings will chase you down and overtake you, just by your obedience to God. Pastor Houston says:

“Just make the choice that what you want ultimately is the grace and wisdom to do what God created you to do.”

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