Tag Archives: Multitude

Choices

Choices. We make them every day. The results of those choices affect the course of our lives and all the choices ahead. Once we make a choice we can no longer make the other choice. Our course is set. Now a multitude of other choices on the other path are no longer ours. Now we must take the path of our choice with all that follows. We find new decisions to make, but the choice of the other path is no longer ours.
Often, as I talk with people at their crossroads struggling with the choice of which way to go I find they are already regretting the choice they plan to make. They know their choice is the wrong one and the path will not end well, but they don’t want to take the other path. What they don’t realize is that one choice eliminates the choices the other path might offer. Suddenly, once they start walking down one road the choices possible on the other road are gone.
I watch as they struggle at the crossroads, struggle with the decisions they face. Often they tell me they want what lies down both paths, but only one choice can be made. What none of us know is what other choices might be ours if we choose the right path. (Of course this last statement implies that one choice is right and the other wrong.) There are a hundred choices down each path, but none are known to us until we choose one and start the adventure.
It strikes me that the struggle at the crossroads is the choice of my way or God’s way. That is the core decision at each crossroad we face, isn’t it? At each point of decision I must decide to submit my will to God’s way or choose my own way and hope for the best. It’s a choice that should be obvious and simple, but it’s really not. We live with fantasy and fear dominating our minds and thoughts. The fantasy of what could have been and the fear of what might be cause us to doubt that God’s way will be for our good so we choose our own path, our own way.
This morning I faced those crossroads with another friend. I watched as he languished over his choices. As best I could I told him what lay down each road. I watched as he turned this way, then that. From years of standing at the crossroads with others I already know he has chosen the wrong path, but I know too that I can’t force anyone to submit to God’s will in their lives. That’s a decision of the heart. Once they trust God with the results the decision of course is easy. Until that submission of heart and will is given to God the battle rages on.
As you face your own crossroads pray this simple prayer, “Lord, I want your way, your will in my life and not my own. Show me which way to go.” In that simple prayer you have made the most important choice anyone will ever make when they come to the crossroads.
There are a number of verses in the Bible that deal with this very idea, but let me simply offer this one as I finish my thoughts, Proverbs 14:12-13 “There’s a way of life that looks harmless enough; look again—it leads straight to hell. Sure, those people appear to be having a good time, but all that laughter will end in heartbreak.” THE MESSAGE
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When Things Happen Suddenly

According to the dictionary here are some definitions for suddenly:  happening, coming, made, or done quickly, without warning, unexpectedly, occurring without transition from the previous form or state, done abruptly, quickly made or provided.

So often we get caught up in the day-to-day processes of life that we can lose hope and feel like things will never change.  Sometimes we hear of famous people who seem to be an overnight sensation and wonder “why did it come so easily for them”?  However, you discover from the story of their life that they had been diligently working away for years in small ventures, gaining experience and perfecting their skills, just waiting to land the right opportunity.

Looking through the Bible there are some wonderful examples of those who experience their sudden moment.  Shepherds tending their flocks, a group of people united in faith and purpose, prisoners praying and singing, and a misguided man on a journey of cruel intention – all of them experienced their appointed moment of “suddenly”.  Listed below are their stories.

 

Luke 2:13 – And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God…

God shows up to announce a fulfillment of His promise and purpose.  These were ordinary shepherds doing ordinary work.  They weren’t too busy or distracted to hear and respond to the spectacular announcement made by the angels.  Sometimes the promise has been a long time coming, but as we remain available to respond God will make sure we don’t miss its sudden arrival.

Matthew 17: 5 – While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”

Don’t be surprised when God suddenly decides to publicly praise, reward or honor you as a result of your faithfulness.  When your praise is God ordained, you don’t have to be fearful of pride gaining a foothold.  He knows just the right way to bless and acknowledge you in such a way that you won’t become prideful.  You can rejoice in knowing that your Heavenly Father is pleased with you.

Acts 2:2 – And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.

As we wait patiently and faithfully continue doing what we know we’re supposed to do, God will show up in a big way to reveal something more of His purpose for us.  Something new and unexpected is suddenly made available to us by His gracious provision.  The key is to be patient and faithful right where you are at now.

Acts 9:3 – As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven.

Then there are those times when God encounters people when they aren’t even looking for Him.  Perhaps you have been interceding on behalf of someone else for a long time, but don’t be surprised when they share with you about their sudden and unexpected, God-orchestrated encounter.  He knows exactly how, when and where to meet people in their journey of life.

Acts 16:26 – Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.

Sometimes we feel resistance that is the same as heavy chains upon us.  But there are no chains so great that God cannot loose us from them as we keep our focus on Him.  The resistance you feel can be used as a point of growth and strengthening, but it is not meant to endure forever.  When the time is right you will be enabled to freely move on to the next thing appointed for you and ultimately celebrate success.

Sometimes what feels like a sudden change is something that has been gradually building and it just feels sudden because it has been a long time coming.  Some sudden moments have been built by the bridge of faithfulness and endurance, other times those moments have been built through life experience and preparation, and others are simply God’s grace and purpose extended to us.  Be encouraged and remember that God has not forgotten you and He knows the perfect timing for your moment of “suddenly”.

I have personally experienced an entire season of sudden moments where multiple things seemed to converge like change and crisis, leaving me both confused and in awe.  It could have been entirely overwhelming at the time, but looking back I see where God’s hand guided me and the wisdom of His timing makes so much sense in hindsight.

Have you ever experience a moment of suddenly with God?  Are you anticipating God to move suddenly in your life this year?  What can you do to be prepared for you suddenly moment?  Your comments are always welcome and are a wonderful source of encouragement for others.

 

Lightning photo by Larry Johnson