How often are we guilty of leaving God out of our decision-making? Sometimes when we’re faced with a choice, the right answer may seem obvious to us and those around us. But if we fail to ask the Lord to help us get to the heart of the matter, we might jump to a wrong conclusion.

That’s what Samuel did when he set out to anoint Israel’s next king. When he saw Eliab, Jesse’s oldest son, Samuel was sure he had his man. Wrong! In fact, God chose the least likely of Jesse’s sons, the youthful David. He was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), but Samuel saw only the outward appearance.

Including God in decision-making is a vital principle for churches too. When seeking a new pastor or someone to lead a church ministry, we’re tempted to look only at externals. We’re concerned with such things as speaking skills, friendliness, and ability to inspire—and we should be. But if we haven’t asked God to get us past appearances to the heart, we haven’t looked deep enough. We can’t read hearts, but the Lord can. He knows when someone is closely following Him.

As you make your decisions today, be sure to include God.