It is not unusual to hear something like, “But the guy who works at my office said ‘such and such’.” “But I read an article on the internet and it said ‘this and that’!” I have observed people making decisions and acting on something reported by a casual acquaintance or even a stranger. How often do we stop and measure the person speaking, much less the source and agenda of their argument? Why would we, in the moment, take their report as though they were expert on the subject (especially a total stranger on the internet) or that they are reporting it absolutely accurately? When we do not properly weigh information, no matter how zealously reported, we may likely end up with its consequences. Once we take a sober assessment of our personal history, many of us will probably find that we have been the recipient of those things we have anticipated that came out of an off-hand statement someone made.
Going into the new year or new season or new opportunities requires adjustments, decisions and determination on our part. When Israel left old Egypt for the new promised land, they increased the difficulty of the transition by taking old issues, and resultant attitudes, with them. It is OK to take a wilderness experience into promise. We all have some kind of wilderness experience at some point in life, if not several of them. Having gone through the not-so-fun wilderness events, we tend to come out on the other end with negative residue on us. Not “washing off” the residue of the past will taint the tomorrow of promise. It is OK to go into promise with a wilderness experience. But is destructive to go into promise with a wilderness heart. What we don’t leave in the wilderness, trips us up in the promised land. Achan’s family, as well as himself, suffered the consequences of a wilderness heart in the promised land (Josh. 7). What we don’t get over today, overcomes us tomorrow.
“For wide is the gate and broad is the way” is terminology that informs us it is easy to get to destruction. Making no decision can get us to destruction as well as making the wrong decision. Not going through ordained doors can end us up in destruction as well as going through doors someone (or something, e.g., misguided sentiment or obligation) other than Father opened for us. If you simply plant a garden and leave it and never attend it by pulling weeds and watering it, it will soon come to fruitlessness, even destruction. That which is ignored or neglected will soon grow up and choke out its life. If we neglect or ignore matters of health and nutrition our bodies begin to break down and fall into destruction. We must make choices to be healthy. Destruction can easily come without it having to be worked at. There must be a choosing of, and corresponding acting upon, life and blessing. (Fourth excerpt from Marty’s article “Doors and Self-Government”)
In the fullness of His wisdom and who He is, Father has placed opportunities and choices before us. But our Father does not leave us without guidance as to what kind of decisions that are best and fitting for us to make. Matt. 7:13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it. 14 But the gate is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it.” Now we have, in both the Old Testament and in the New Testament, true foundation and guidelines for how we choose to go about making decisions. Whether or not we go through the many divinely-ordained opened doors God has put before us this year will depend upon how we make decisions this year. But you must know that there are many doors open before you. They are not just barely cracked open and they are certainly not locked but wide open for His Kingdom purposes, for His Name’s sake. (Third excerpt from Marty’s article “Doors and Self-Government”)
Kingdom Congress 2018
March 7-9, 2018
Team: Marty, Kathy and Melissa Gabler, Jim Hodges,
Simon Purvis, Larry Burden, Sam Brassfield, Dr. Don Crum
While there are open doors before us, there is, however, a process of decision-making that we must give ourselves to. Jehovah’s instruction to prophet Jeremiah has embodied within it the matter of choosing. Jer. 21:8 “You shall also say to this people, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death.” Deut. 30:19 plainly shows us that our God puts His power of command to us in hopes that we will choose life instead of death and choose blessing instead of a curse. We are not simply those who observe and experience the coming and the passing of days and calendar events. We have choices to make as to how those days, events and people affect us; we must make choices as to how we will affect those days, events and people. We can be bearers of life or of death, bearers of blessing or curses. (Second excerpt from Marty’s article “Doors and Self-Government”)
Are you in the boat? If you are in the boat with the destiny of Jesus and you are staying the course, then you have no more decisions to make. That must be the first thing that is settled in your heart and mind. You might have to deal with a wave coming over the side now and then but you have no more decisions to make. You may even have to deal with Moby Dick trying to take out the bow of the boat but you don’t have any more decisions to make. The decision has already been made. If Moby Dick is floating out there between me and the boat dock I have been called to, I must stay the course. It is up to the God of heaven and earth to make a way where there seems to be no way. The God of heaven and earth is able to come up with something bigger than Moby Dick that can swallow Moby Dick with one gulp. If mighty God can part a sea, He can surely deal with all the leviathans in it.
Prov 29:18 – says, “Without a vision the people perish.” “Where there is no revelation or prophecy the people cast off restraint,” (RSV) When we have no vision, no awareness of God’s calling and purpose and plans, we have no guidelines for choices, no criteria for life. We tend to make life decisions like friendships, marriage, education, career and investments randomly, without awareness of how all areas of our life connect to the plan and call of God. That’s why our lives sometimes feel disjointed and conflicting and we end up confused, wounded and scarred with a bitter residue in our attitudes.
(This is the seventh excerpt from Kathy’s article “Rebuilding Our Temple“ which was published in SEEC Magazine [Marty and Kathy’s ministry magazine]. More excerpts will be posted Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Previous excerpts may be read by scrolling down this page.)
KATHY GABLER gives a brief encouraging word:
“Escape From The Victim Syndrome”
TO LISTEN, CLICK HERE: http://martygabler.podomatic.com/entry/2014-02-18T21_51_13-08_00