Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Choices & Decisions We Make - Now Think On This by Steve Martin


Choices & Decisions We Make
Now Think On This
Steve Martin


"If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."  Joshua 24:15 NASU


Choices. We face them every day and must decide on which one. Go here, go there. Wear this or wear that. Say something or hold back. What decision will you make, given the choice you have?

You may remember words you have heard over the years, given by someone you trust, as a leader, and at the time you heard it, something clicked inside your brain, and your spirit. You then perked up and listened attentively to it. It was a word they spoke that seemed to stick with you for the rest of your life.

For me once such word was spoken at a church gathering in East Lansing, MI back around 1986. The founder of the church, Erik Krueger of Shiloh Fellowship (later changing its name to New Covenant Christian Church) was sharing at a Friday night gathering. A young man in his mid 30’s I believe at the time, Erik wanted to instruct us about an upcoming locational move the church was considering. I was at least 30, so that made him wiser than me. And so I listened.

At one point I distinctly heard him start to say something that I will always remember, as I know it got down into my spirit. He said something like this, “You will make choices today that will make a big difference as to where you end up later years down the road. Even a slight turn, or what seems to be a miniscule veer you take in the road today, will cause you to end up either one way or the other, for good or bad, way off down the road. Because of that decision you make, it will determine your destination years from now. So carefully make the right decisions.”

Making decisions shouldn’t be left up to what seems good at the time; what the general population is doing (I learned long ago that if the general public is going one way I am best off going the other. My life isn’t determined by the popular vote of the people); or how I can best determine my financial future if I leave this job and take another. It shouldn’t be based on my lone understanding, but on hearing the guidance of the Holy Spirit, listening to His quiet voice, and determining in my heart that His way is the best way.

Receiving the counsel of those who have taken similar paths, who themselves had chosen in their lives to hear and obey His Spirit, is wise also. Grounded on His Word and having the heart of Joshua to choose His ways before all else will lead us on. Determined to have this form of guidance is best done even before a decision is to be made.

Several times over the course of our 37 years of married life, my wife and I made decisions that caused us to make geographical moves. The Lord normally spoke to me first, as head of the household, on what usually would come a year later. Heeding His voice, in those times of prayer and Bible reading, while listening to the words spoken at church gatherings, helped us to hear Him speak, and further choose to walk in faith in His way. He would give confirming signs as we looked and listened, and trusted in His guiding hand.

So first from Illinois to Michigan, and then seven years later from the far north of the USA to the far south, Michigan to Florida, we followed. Looking back, thanks to the leading of the Holy Spirit, these were the right decisions. And then seven years later another decision was made, to move from Florida to North Carolina. Looking back 20 years later, it was another good decision. Trusting in His provision and blessing upon our family, as we served Him and His purposes, we experienced His faithfulness.

Recently I read another’s word on following after the Lord. I take it to heart, as seeking the Lord and knowing His will is my utmost desire. What other path is there to take, that will prove for eternity that His way is the best way? I know of no other. Faith we must have. Faith we must use. And keeping our eyes on Jesus will show us the way.

“There are many Biblical instances where choices were made to follow a God-given road less traveled; these righteous choices continue making all the difference for the good in the outcome of the destinies of many.

Saul of Tarsus, later named Paul, a Jew among Jews, was presented the choice of leaving his familiar environment of Judaism to minister in the unfamiliar world of Gentiles.

The Apostle Peter, an unlearned and uneducated fisherman, was called and sent down the road of unfamiliarity as an Apostle to the Jews.

Must I detail the unfathomable Godly difference in the kingdom of God today as a result of these two Apostles righteous choices to go the way of unfamiliarity?

Dangers along a Road of Familiarity: Familiarity Breeds Contempt

A known road is one in which travelers might very well grow to depend on familiar and past road signs instead of accepting the challenge of the need to be alert to new road signs. Does familiarity breed contempt? Contempt argues that "my" familiar way is the only way to successfully travel. Unfortunately this contempt for the signs given by an ever-present God in order to lead us down the less traveled road is rampant in the present day church. This contempt is called "religion".

God is much better served, not by our familiarity or experience from a well-traveled road, but from our familiarity with Him. God is able to guide us down the less traveled road!

The road chosen by God for us is one which Robert Frost says in his poem, “The Road Not Taken” (see below), is grassy and desires wear. Unfamiliar roads desire to be trodden down with steps of those willing to walk this way. I believe that only those who are willing to follow God down an unfamiliar path will as Frost said, "Make all the difference."   

Possible Characteristics of a Present Day Road Less Traveled

The unfamiliar road chosen by God for us needless to say could have an infinite number of characteristics. I am seeing that one of the unfamiliar characteristics of a road less worn could be in the area of a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God. God is truth and desires truth in our inward parts.

I believe that the hand-me-down traditions which have for two thousand years nullified the truth and liberty desired for the church is being now challenged as never before. This path or road of revelation is a road less traveled and is now challenging the very heart of thought to be established doctrines; doctrines which for the most part aren't producing a true witness to the works given to us by our Father God. This present life changing unfamiliar revelation is nothing new but rather a rediscovery of the profound simplicity of the word of God. Rejoice and prepare to be shaken to the core. God recently told me to tell the body of Christ that there is presently a post script written on the heart of every believer. PS is an acronym for profoundly simple.

Also just as Joshua and the Apostle Paul were called geographically down an unfamiliar road less traveled so will many of us hear the voice of God calling us to other locations with which we are totally unfamiliar.
                                                                                      
May this poem and article challenge our heart unto consistent reexamination to see if we be on the faith road of unfamiliarity?

To those of us with a pioneering spirit this word is a glorious boost on to a road which will make "all the difference" to the world.” Gale Maiden, Fathers Heart Ministry, Moravian Falls, NC

Making a difference in this world, for which we have been placed in, will take faith, courage, and the willingness to seek God, trust in His leading, and do what He calls us to do. I know of no other reason to live life, except the one He has chosen.

By His grace and mercy working in and through you and I, we can and will accomplish His perfect plan in our lives, and effect the nations with the outcome.

Now think on this,

Steve Martin
Founder
Love For His People. Inc.


The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, sorry I could not
travel both and be one traveler, long I stood
and looked down one as far as I could
to where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
and having perhaps the better claim
because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
in leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

- Robert Frost




  

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Now Think On This #145 “Choices and Decisions We Make” by Steve Martin 
Date: In the year of our Lord 2014 (04.22.14) Tuesday at 5:00 am in Charlotte, NC.

All previous editions of Now Think On This can be found on this Blog, and on our newest website: Now Think On This

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Thanks for sharing. Blessings on your head from the Lord Jesus, Yeshua HaMashiach.

Steve Martin
Founder/President
Love For His People
Charlotte, NC USA