by Sue Tell
...choose this day whom you will serve,
...but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
My key word in 2017 was rest. As December was winding down, I began to pray, asking God what He would select for my 2018 word. The answer came before I said “Amen”. After pondering for a few weeks, “did I hear correctly?” I concurred. My word for this year is choose.
The scripture from Joshua came to mind immediately, followed closely by this one.
You did not choose me, but I chose you
and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit...
I know I want to serve the Lord. John 15:16 reminds me of his initiative and his desire. I've been chosen with a specific purpose. These truths are guiding my choosing this year. Big and small choices surround me every day. It takes discernment and wisdom to move forward. Yes? No? Good? Better? Best?
The fear of the LORD is the foundation of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
I've learned that the fear of the Lord is a bound phrase meaning living appropriately in the presence of God. So, if I am going to choose well, my question becomes, What does it look like today (or this week, or month, or year) to live appropriately in God's presence?
I've identified 6 keys.
Choosing well builds on rest (2018 is building on 2017). Jeremiah 31:2- 3, "...when Israel sought for rest, the LORD appeared...I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you." I need to continue to focus on God's love for me; he will faithfully provide guidance.
My heart. God created me with a certain bend. Will this opportunity be in line with my creation? As 2018 dawned, I had two significant opportunities offered. Choose! For a while I thought I could do both. Not! As I thought about how I best operate, the one percolated to the surface; the other fell away.
My capacity. A couple of weeks ago I was talking with my friend Karma. Her capacity for relationships awes me. I, too, have a large capacity for relationships. Karma is 25 years younger than me. I cannot compare my capacity to hers.
Just because I can, doesn't mean I should. Paul followed this caution. "When I came to Troas...a door was opened...my spirit was not at rest...So I took leave..." The rest of the story is in II Corinthians 2:12-13. I love his next words, "But thanks be to God, who...always leads us in triumphal procession," (italics mine).
Waiting. My prayers are not always answered the same day, or the same week. Choosing sometimes means we have to wait and live with the ambiguous; to live with I don't know. “But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength..." Isaiah 40:31. I want my choices to flow from strength, not weakness.
God's glory. The bottom line. My choices are not about me. They are about God's glory, about reflecting him to my world. "Your people shall all be righteous; they shall possess the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I might be glorified." Isaiah 60:21 (italics mine).
Father, choices abound around us. Would You please help me, help us, to consider Your will, Your heart, as we choose the best path. Amen
Sue Tell and her husband Bill have been married for almost 46 years and have served on the staff of The Navigators for 46 years as well. Although their official roles have changed over the years, the campus ministry has always been a part. Sue writes a weekly faith-based blog, Echoes of Grace, that you can find at suetell.com. (Echoes of Grace is "on leave" for the months of July and August for some website updates but will return September 6.) Sue also enjoys facilitating Sabbath-Living retreats to help women grow in their friendship with God. Bill and Sue have two married sons, five grands, and her favorite walking buddy, a Golden Retriever named Lexie.