Our Choice, Precious to God - David Mitts

24Then Jesus said to his disciples, If you truly want to follow me, you should at once completely reject and disown your own life. And you must be willing to share my cross and experience it as your own, as you continually surrender to my ways. 25For if you choose self-sacrifice and lose your lives for my glory, you will continually discover true life. But if you choose to keep your lives for yourselves, you will forfeit what you try to keep. 26For even if you were to gain all the wealth and power of this world with everything it could offer you—at the cost of your own life—what good would that be? And what could be more valuable to you than your own soul? (Mt 16:24-26 (TPT))

Click here to listen to "Our Choice, Precious to God"

Last chapter we touched briefly on the difference between slavery and free choices.  I believe at the heart of the Gospel, the Good News of Yeshua, is the opportunity to recover true and liberating choice.  There is nothing more precious to God than choice. Choice is at the heart of love.  Love is a choice and to walk in love, we need to be choosing to love again and again.

Yeshua spoke of the importance of choice when He declared that many are called but a few are chosen”. (Matthew 22:14).  Lets look at this passage in context:

[1] Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying, [2] The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. [3] And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come. [4] Again he sent out other slaves saying, Tell those who have been invited, Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fattened livestock are all butchered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding feast.’” [5] But they paid no attention and went their way, one to his own farm, another to his business, [6] and the rest seized his slaves and mistreated them and killed them. [7] But the king was enraged, and he sent his armies and destroyed those murderers and set their city on fire. [8] Then he *said to his slaves, The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. [9] Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.[10] Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered together all they found, both evil and good; and the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests.
[11] But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, [12] and he *said to him, Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?And the man was speechless. [13] Then the king said to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.[14] For many are called, but few are chosen.”
 (Mt 22:1-14 (NASB))

A king gives a wedding feast for his son.  This is clearly about a love feast.  The king sends out invitations, which are all about choice.  Love is all about choice! His invitations result in those who were invited being unwilling to come. This could be a parable about Israel and the coming of the Lord Yeshua or it could just be a general statement about all believers.  The key ingredient is the invitation and the ignoring of that invitation.  How many times has Yeshua been inviting us into a feast with Him but we cannot or will not respond?

The king is persistent though, and He sends out the invite again.  This time He tells the invited ones that His dinner is prepared, the oxen and fattened livestock have been butchered and all is ready.

Remember, the fattened livestock are the best, the wagyu beef of the day.  The result of the offering of innumerable blessings is rebuffed and the messenger, the prophetic voices are silenced.

You would think that the abundance available at the kings table would have drawn everyone who was invited. Yet they again did not come and were aggressive in their denial ignoring the message of the messengers

Why is that?  What could keep us from the best God has to offer?  What could cause us to rebuke Gods messengers and if we follow the story silence them with whatever means? Well, we only have to look at the Gospels to see this very behavior being played out.  When Yeshua came, He brought the finest of heaven to earth.  He called this the kingdom being at hand.  All that was necessary was to answer His invitation.  What kept people from responding, rejecting the message and the messenger?

What about today?  Today, we know that Jesus’ life death and resurrection are a proven historical fact. Miracles occur in crusades around the world.  We have personally been touched by the power of God and healed by His touch.  He has met our needs in every way, not just with a meager supply but an overflowing outpouring.  Yet we still standoff afar to His invitation to the feast. Why?

Lets look at the final situation.  The king opens the door to any both evil and good.  I think this is very interesting.  Evil and good represent the distinctions made by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  The evil and the good are distinctions based on relative performance.  Yet the invitation extends beyond performance to identity.

Apparently, all the king required was that honor be extended by wearing the appropriate clothing.  What are the wedding clothes? Well in those times, all the guests were given a robe to wear that matched the theme of the wedding.  When the king arrived, he immediately saw the man had declined to wear the robe that would have marked him as receiving the honor of the invitation.  In this case, the man chooses dishonor over honor.  He chooses pride and self-definition over the robe of righteousness given to Him by the King.

The rebellious self-righteous guest is cast out of the feast.  Then Yeshua makes the cryptic declaration: many are called, few are chosen. 

God calls everyman.  That is clear. But we all have to choose.  In our choosing, we discard the worlds robes of self-righteousness and clothe ourselves with the robe that He provides, a garment of salvation.  Choice is to God, what allows us to wear the robes of righteousness.

"I will rejoice greatly in the LORD, My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels."  Isa 61:10

This is the expression of our destiny.  When we choose Him, we are clothed with a robe of righteousness.  This is how precious our choices are to Him.

Our choices are what make up our lives.  We choose our choices and our choices make us define us. Turn with me to a difficult passage that I think makes the point for us:

18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
24Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. (Ro 1:18-25 (NASB))

There is accountability for our choices.  Our choices either reveal goodness or they reveal chaos.  This is made evident within us, as it states in verse 19. God makes Himself evident within us in the conversation of our heart and we receive that by choosing it.  This is what is often referred to as conviction or our sense of knowing.

Verse 20 tells us that since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His power, and His nature, His character, His goodness have been clearly seen.  If we look into the beauty of our world, the organization of a leaf, or the amazing process of any creation aspect, we have seen organized intent which means there is an organizer who is purposeful and not chaotic.

If there is an organizer and we sense Him in our heart, then we are without excuse for the content of our lives because we too as His creation are organized with intent and purpose, what I call our destiny. Our part is to come into alignment with Him, to be clothed in the wedding garments, the robes of righteousness.

There is a saying that Mark Twain spoke, that clothes make the man”.  By this, we mean that we can dress for success.  The natural thought is to say that its really what is on the inside that counts, not what clothes we wear.  That is true to an extent.  However, is it also true that often our wardrobe, our grooming, our hair, etc reflects how we see ourselves.  If this is true in the natural imagine how much truer it is in the spirit.
Often, we blame God for our inner feelings about the future. We face opportunities, that require us to step up our inner wardrobe.  God is inviting us to the feast of our destiny.  We, however, are often in fear and recoil from having to step up our game.  Like the guest in the parable, we fail to wear the robe of righteousness deciding instead to stay in our old grave clothes. Like Lazarus, for the new stage of our lives, past the place of death to manifest we need a new wardrobe.

So Jesus, again being deeply moved within, *came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus *said, "Remove the stone." Martha, the sister of the deceased, *said to Him, "Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days." Jesus *said to her, "Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?" So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised His eyes, and said, "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. "I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me." When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth." The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus *said to them, "Unbind him, and let him go."(Joh 11:38-44)

Many of us are listening through the filter of the grave.  The grave is the place of sin and death.  Yeshua forgave us for our sin and broke the power of death. We have to choose to walk in that awareness.  We have the choice to take off the grave clothes, the limitations that arise out of our natural understanding, like Martha judge by what we know, 4 days must stink.  Yet Yeshua has a totally different seeing, the seeing of our completed work in Him.

It is our responsibility to remove our own grave clothing.  The grave clothing is the wardrobe of our past.  It is the garments of shame of a broken self-image that developed because of pain and broken promises.  It steals from us the power of our dreams, our destiny.

Activation: Life is a series of choices.  Often, we choose based not on the promises of God but our own safety zones.  We use our inner feelings about things that are a challenge to us and then call that god”.  This is truly taking the Lords name in vain.

7You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain. (Ex 20:7 (NKJV))

 I always thought that taking the Lords name in vain was about cussing or using Jesusname as an expletive.  But I realized that when we blame the Lord for our fear to act and say God isnt leading me to do this” that we are actually using God as justification for our own chaos.  Lets repent our wicked ways and realize that greater is He that is in us than how we see ourselves in the world.  Lets stop allowing our old man self-definitions to rule our future. Its time to choose wisely and take off the grave clothes.  Ask the Lord, what grave clothes are I wearing that are rooted in the system of shame. Now, exchange them for the robes of righteousness which He gives you to wear to the wedding feast.


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