Biblical Decision Making: The Underlying Desire

I write for an audience of teens and young adults. There are people outside of that age-range who read my blog anyway, and I praise God that it pleases Him to use me beyond the scope of my own intentions. But the fact stands that I tailor my posts for young people.

It comes naturally. After all, I am just a young, inexperienced girl, myself.

Given that many of you reading this are young people like me, I assume you relate to me in this area of life: decisions.


Of course, people young and old make decisions daily.

Hit snooze or get up now?

Fried eggs or omelet?

How much to give to the church offering?

If you’re a reader, you’ll relate to this one:

What sort of books do I want to read?

But when we near the end of high school and press on through the years that follow, we face decisions bigger than we ever have before. I probably don’t have to persuade you; you already know what I mean.

When I first considered returning to Japan last year, I turned to the account of David, king of Israel, and a decision he faced about building a temple for God. The account can be found in two places in the Bible: 2 Samuel 7:1-17 and 1 Chronicles 17:1-15.

Basically, after the king settled into his palace, it dawned on him that he was enjoying such luxury, while God – the King of all of Creation – “dwelt” in a tent. He didn’t dwell there in the sense that He was confined to it or that He retreated to it for safety and a place to sleep. Rather, it was the structure where He met with select leaders of Israel.

It was the structure to represent Him.

It was the structure to bear His name.

David’s dilemma

Now, the text in the Bible doesn’t blatantly portray this situation as a fork-in-the-road, decision-making point for David, but I certainly see it as such. He was moved by his realization to the point where he had to decide; suppress the feeling or do something about it.

The two passages I linked to above don’t tell us in certain terms what David had in mind, but at least one other passage does. He was considering building for God a magnificent temple to bear His name instead of a tent.

Such a feat was no quick-fix solution.  (Spoiler Alert:) When the temple was at last built, it took seven years of work. That’s a large chunk of time to dedicate to a project – not to mention the laborers and materials that went into building it (end of spoiler). Surely it was no small matter for David to consider whether he was going to suppress the weight on his heart or act on it.

The desire

When considering this account, David’s desire to honor God’s name stands out to me. I think it’s something that I can learn from – that we can learn from.

It reminds me of a relatively well-known verse from the psalms:

Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

-Psalm 37:4

When our desires are in line with God’s, He delights in granting them.

David started with a desire to see God’s name honored and, as you can see by reading the whole story, God blessed David for such a desire.

Let’s talk:

  • What decisions are you facing that are “no small matter”?
  • Do you think that God is pleased with your desires? Are they something He would want you to suppress or pursue?
  • What other decision-making models do you see in the Bible?
  • How do we align our desires with God’s?


Resources for deeper digging

Psst! For more on:

  • the building of the temple, read about it in 1 Kings 6
  • David’s desire to build God a temple, and God’s blessing of his desire, have a look at 1 Kings 6:15-21
  • when the future is uncertain, click here
  • why God seems quiet in the light of decision-making, click here



3 thoughts on “Biblical Decision Making: The Underlying Desire

  1. I’d never thought of that story like that before. I guess a lot of people make big decisions in the Bible now that I think about it. All right, so … the questions. 🙂

    -What decisions are you facing that are “no small matter”?: hmm … I don’t think I have any huge decisions going on right now. Honestly, I have a pretty easy life, and nothing ever seems to happen to me that’s huge.
    -Do you think that God is pleased with your desires? Are they something He would want you to suppress or pursue?: I don’t know. At the moment, all I really want to do is edit my books and be a better blogger. I suppose if I let that interfere with my worship of God, that would be a problem, but it probably is okay (and maybe even a good goal) now, right?
    -What other decision-making models do you see in the Bible?: Ruth deciding to stay with her mother-in-law … Mary deciding to raise our Savior (though that probably wasn’t a choice, I guess) … and lots of others, too!
    -How do we align our desires with God’s?: I suppose by a lot of reading the Bible and praying.


    1. I must say, Kellyn, that you answer these questions most comprehensively! 🙂

      What about worshipping God *through* editing your books and being a better blogger? I’m not sure how you define worship, but if it encompasses all expressions of reverence to God, then it can come out *through* the everyday as well as the big decisions (by way of our attitudes!). Thus, editing and blogging don’t have to interfere. That said, I love that you’re aware of the possibility for those things to become more important to us than God, and I want to harbour that awareness, in my own heart. 🙂 And editing my books and blogging being two monster priorities in my life right now, I can totally relate with your desires!

      Ruth! Yes! Imagine the pressure behind that decision!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you! I do my best. 🙂
        Yes, well, that could be an actual problem with me. I get obsessed with all my projects and work and stuff, and I can lose track of what’s important … so I have to keep it in mind!

        Liked by 1 person

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