2019: The Year of Choice
I heard God say, “2019 is the Year of Choice.” I thought, “What does that mean, Lord? We are always in the position of needing or being able to make choices. How can 2019 be marked as a particular time of choices?”
And then I understood three things God was indicating to me:
1. This coming year you can choose to move forward. You are not being held back any longer.
He was saying, “Nothing is stopping you now. The blockages are gone. Go on, step out. The going forward is yours for the taking. You CAN hang back but that is not due to Me or to your circumstances. Things have shifted. The door is open. Any sense of being delayed, blocked, or hindered is illusion now. He reminded me of a simple analogy:
We have a dog who stays in the kitchen whenever he is in the house. Across the entrance to the kitchen is a portable gate. Our dog is so used to this arrangement that we rarely ever close the gate! He just stays in the kitchen – with an open door in front of him.
It is this kind of conditioned behavior that the Lord was highlighting. Many of us are so used to where we are, even to feeling stuck, that we don’t realize the gate/door is open and has been for a while. Something major has shifted. “Step out,” I felt Him say.
I thought of the day the Israelites crossed over the Jordan River into the Promised Land in Joshua 3. Even at the moment they were to cross, it appeared that something was in their way – the “Jordan being at flood stage all during harvest,” (Joshua 3:15), but by listening to God (“You are free to go now”), and stepping out, the waters were “heaped up” on either side of them as they trusted God and let His word (the ark) go before them. “The whole nation completed the crossing on dry ground.” (Joshua 3:17) Nothing was holding them back any longer. They could choose to believe God that they had the choice and freedom to go and that He would aid them in the going forward or stay where they were. They moved out!
I also understood God to mean something more in the word “choice”:
2. You can choose among multiple options. There are several paths open to you now. You don’t have to do it all. Don’t fear choosing some paths to focus on and letting others go. You will not miss out. You will be more fruitful.
I know in my own life, I have, at times, taken on too much in a frantic effort to experience breakthrough somewhere. I felt God saying, “‘A time is coming and now is’ of great fruitfulness. What you put your hand to will thrive and you do not have to have so many ‘irons in the fire’ trying so hard to make something emerge as fruitful work for Me. You can pull back from those things that do not really utilize who you are, your giftedness, or the passions of your heart. No anxiety. You will not miss out by turning your attention to a few choices and giving your all to them. Be yourself! You will see there are many delightful choices before you. Choose from among them and do not regret what you did not choose.”
Recently I took two of my granddaughters and their mothers to the Nutcracker ballet. My daughter stepped out just before the ballet began and came back with an assortment of cake pops and cookies for the intermission. She said, “Now we won’t have to wait in long lines and there is plenty to choose from in my purse.”
At intermission, we had plenty and no delay in making our choices. The Lord reminded me of this as I reflected on 2019. “It will be like that,” God said. “You will have multiple choices right before you. Delay will be gone. You will be satisfied to focus on less rather than more. With your chosen focus, you will bloom like never before. You will hear my voice saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ (Isaiah 30:21) clear as a bell. You will walk in My favor and know that freedom of choice, with ample options, and no more delay has finally come, and it is from Me.”
3. Finally and most importantly, He reminded me to choose Him – presence, intimacy, and His guidance before all other voices, input, and distractions.
The Lord reminded me of a dream where I was on a staircase – wobbly, wooden, and leading nowhere. My hands were full. There was a gap in the steps and I was afraid to continue climbing. It was like a prop for a play. I looked to my left and there was a cracked blue wall. I was in a basement.
On the right was a doorway, sunlight streaming in, and the presence of a beautiful garden visible beyond the doorway. Three solid stone steps led up and into it. I sensed this shining garden was the Glory of the Lord. The door was wide open, and I could step into the radiance I saw without hindrance. Peace and joy filled my heart. I could abandon the rickety, wooden staircase that led nowhere and empty my hands.
“Choose Me first. Bask in Me. Fill up in Me. All else gets ordered by this choice above all choices.” “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) Choose intimacy and set aside other things that may be getting in the way. Enter the garden.
I believe 2019 will be an amazing year of freedom for us to choose where we go and what we do. We can choose to become the people He saw as He formed us. “Rejoice,” I believe God is saying to many, “The restraints have fallen away.”