Happy New Year, precious loving Lord, I will heed and obey Your holy Word.

As Christians we are responsible for our choices.  On the spur of the moment we can forget that all choices have consequences.  Some of the tragic consequences can last a lifetime.  Here are just a few of the many cases where people made very foolish and unwise choices.

Esau chose a bowl of stew over his birthright and spurned all of its wonderful riches and benefits.  Realization (Hebrews 12:17) came too late for Esau.  Achan valued and chose to pilfer a Babylonian garment, which God had declared to be accursed garbage for destruction.  He chose to steal some of the gold and silver, which was designated for the Lord’s treasury.  He was (Joshua 7:25) stoned to death and his body burned together with every member of his family.  David chose to be where he shouldn’t be, so he saw what he shouldn’t see.  As a cover-up for the pregnancy which resulted from his rape, he chose to resort to murder.  The child (2 Samuel 12:18) lived only seven days then died and there were other tragic deaths in his family through the ensuing years.  Judas Iscariot was a greedy ambitious man and already a thief and a perfect puppet for Satan.  He chose to betray Jesus because of his political ambition.  Satan conveniently deranged his mind so he supposed that when Jesus was arrested it would force His hand to set up His kingdom immediately, conquer Rome and give Judas a highly paid position.  The suicide of Judas (Matthew 27:5) was murder by Satan.  When the devil has no further use for any of his dupes he abandons them as garbage.

We know all about the horrible consequences which resulted from these deliberate choices, but does the painful reality grip us?  Do they teach us to be careful to think though our every choice?  Do we seek the Lord and ask for His will which we choose to obey in every choice and decision we make?  The consequences of God-honouring choices can flourish with fragrance. 

If my greatest personal choice, my top priority, is to build a growing, loving intimacy with Jesus then I must (Psalms 34:10, Psalms 105:4, Proverbs 28:5) seek the Lord with all my heart.  If I am truly seeking the Lord, I will have a pure heart, clear mind and obedient spirit.  I will see and understand from God’s viewpoint and be assured of His Sovereign control over every detail of my life.  Sampson is a perfect example to demonstrate and prove (Judges 16:30) that God’s Sovereign purpose can never be foiled by our sinful choices and disobedience.

Look carefully at and think about these words - - God’s Sovereignty.  What does it mean?  (Dr. Swindoll) pointed out what is the centre of God’s Sovereignty:  Sove REIGN ty – God reigns.  He is always in charge, always in control He always engineers all circumstances.  In spite of what some people think, God is God (Romans 11:32-36) and we are not.  Our God reigns supreme.

We will suffer loss by such choices, but nothing can thwart God’s unassailable intentions.  If I accept everything from my loving Father’s hand, I will have no blame or complaint against anyone because if someone does something intending to offend or harm me, (Dr. Swindoll) God will work that very thing (Genesis 50:18) for my good as an integral part (Romans 8:28-29) of the all things.   I am thinking about the astounding unfathomable love (Ephesians 2:4) of our Sovereign Creator that He would choose to allow Himself to be (Hebrews 12:3) made sport of, mocked, ridiculed, tortured and crucified BY His creatures and it was all FOR His creatures.  My  husband, now with the Lord, had dementia and I remember one day as we were having lunch, he had been very quiet for a while, then suddenly he began to weep and he asked - - why did they have to kill him?  This is why.  His purpose was to restore us to the Divine Image and He chose to endure the intense suffering for the joy (Hebrews 12:2) of fulfilling that purpose in us by His limitless resurrection power and our personal choice to surrender to Him.  He could not rescue Himself (Mark 15:31) from the Cross because He chose instead to rescue you and me.  On that great day when at last I see Jesus, I will know that every choice I made to obey and honour God was more than supremely worth it. But I wonder – I wonder - and I wonder if – and I long that when Jesus receives me into heaven, will He look at me and be able to say - - in you My choice was worth it?

The world system is totally anti-God, it is (Dr. Stanley) “society minus God”.  The temporary world system is rampant with (1 John 2:18) the spirit of antichrist.  It is headed up and controlled by Satan and it is where (Luke 22:53) the power, which darkness gives, has its way.  There is no salvation, no life, peace, joy or power apart from Jesus.  He is not UP THERE sending things DOWN HERE when we pray.  When we receive Jesus as our personal Saviour, He comes to indwell us and all these things are in Him and only in Him.  They are released to us, to flourish abundantly in us.  When we choose to obey and glorify God.

(Dr. Stanley) points out the difference in the personal choice of (Matthew 4:18-22) Peter, Andrew, James, John and (Luke 18:18-23) the rich ruler.  Jesus didn’t tell the 4 fishermen what He had in mind for them, He just said – follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.  This would involve a huge adjustment; they had always been fishermen and in that way had earned a living to support their families.  With no idea of how, why, what, where, they chose to obey and follow Him.  To the rich man Jesus promised that if he would give up his idol, he would have treasure in heaven.  But he chose to disobey and cling to his false god of temporary security.  Just think what the disciples would have missed if they had chosen to disobey, to keep their present job with the income it provided.

These disciples were among the chosen apostles to be the foundation of the Church of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:20) and Peter was the powerful speaker (Acts 2:14) on the Day of Pentecost. But they didn’t know any of that when, they simply chose to trust and obey the Lord.  Makes you think, doesn’t it?  Don’t live, as many others do, with the rich ruler in the sad shadow-filled village of what – might have been, but wrap yourself in the wonder of God’s history-making Words throughout all the ages, every god-breathed Word complete with self-fulfilling power.

At midnight to-night a new year will begin.  It is a year for which the Lord our God cares.  He takes thought and (Psalms 40:17) plans for us an agenda which will grow us spiritually and deepen our loving intimacy with Him.  My personal choices in dependence on the Holy Spirit, is to seek the Lord with all my heart, love Him with every fibre of my being, be steadfastly loyal to Jesus and miss nothing of the (Dr. Tozer) measure of radiant glory that is mine by Blood covenant.  May the Holy Spirit open our hearts to God as never before so that He can share His heart with us and make us the currency He will invest for each and every day He gives us in this year for His glory.  If we join our obedience to God’s limitless power this could be our best year ever, no matter our age or circumstances.  If you join me in this desire and choice for yourself as well, trust in the Lord (Psalms 37:3-4) wait patiently for Him and He will give us the desires of our hearts.

A couple of lines from an old hymn came back to me this morning and they formed a prayer in my heart.


“Sweet will of God still fold me closer until I am wholly lost in Thee.  The centre of God’s will my home”.


         Happy New Year, precious loving Lord,

         I will heed and obey Your holy Word.

         May this year every day, as I trust and obey,

Bring to me more and more of God.