First Choose, Then Pray in Your Choice
This is the continuation of a series of Podcasts started in Episode #581.
Too many people believe the lie that they have no power to choose, that their choice will not hold. Are you one of them? Then you need to hear this!
(Martha) In Psalm 119:30, the psalmist said I have chosen the way of truth. I have set my heart on your laws. Oh and the greatest one, of the ones of course that I love is, “Martha, you’re busy about many things. There’s only one thing needed and Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken from her.” What did she choose? Jesus. And then Moses was captive to Egypt as the adopted son of the pharaoh’s daughter, but it says he chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. Moses chose to put himself with his people in their suffering. It was a choice. And also I’m gonna go into in some length choosing evil. I think I wrote something in Altogether Forgiven that I saw someone in evil deliberately, knowingly choose evil. So it was, we’re not ever captured. We consent. And so many things are choice like Proverbs 1:29 – and this is Solomon – since they hated knowledge, they did not choose to fear God. To fear God is a choice. To believe is a choice. Everything we are is a choice. And you’ve written something on this line?
(John) I did. There’s just one statement that is in that. Our relationship and connection to God is in the actionable. Meaning like I will, I should, I can—those aren’t really actionable statements. But I choose…
(Martha) So many people say to me, “Well, I want to follow God.” And I will say that will not get there. I choose to follow God and He has to support that choice. And He will. So choosing evil. This is from Isaiah 66: “They have chosen their own ways and their souls delight in their abominations.” It’s hard to believe that evil is to some a delight but those who love darkness, evil is the reason.
(John) It’s not, it’s not that abnormal and shocking. Whenever you prefer yourself, whenever you want to save yourself, whenever your will is crossed—it’s real easy to go into darkness. It, You’re there. It’s not like it’s a (gasp!) “Oh my gosh, how could somebody choose that?!” No it’s real obvious the second I prefer myself, or the second I say, “I’m not interested in what YOU want. I’m not interested in your choices. I’m not interested in going where You”—you literally are in love with darkness. Absolutely. And then you’re allowing the enemy to drive your train and you’re going off the rails.
(Martha) Exactly. You’ve been had and captured by choice. And one of the interesting things, but troubling, is the wedding of the Lamb and Jesus tells the story in Matthew 22 that those who are invited didn’t want to come.
(Martha) Choice. Go to the street corners and invite in the banquet anyone you find. So they went out and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.
(John) Thank God for that!
(Martha) (Laughing) Yes! But then, though they came in, they answered the invitation, they came in— The king came in and he noticed a man there that was not wearing wedding clothes. And kicked him out and then told, the king told the attendants tie him hand and foot, throw him outside in the darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And I believe I understand what that garment is: the new man.
(John) Yeah, makes perfect sense. Oh that’s beautiful.
(Martha) Put on the, put off the old man, put on the new man and only the new man will be in that banquet. Many are invited but few are chosen…because few choose. I’m adding that (laughs)! What I believe.
(John) No but that’s exactly what it is, isn’t it? It’s literally choosing His life and His garment, being clothed in Him rather than clothed in yourself. That’s amazing. That’s good.
(Martha) So the whole Bible, there are places where it says they refused to obey God. That’s a choice. The word refuse means a choice. They knew what was ahead, knew what was before them but they refused to go there. So that too is a matter of choice. The Bible is just full of the issue of choosing.
(John) It literally is the entire thing from beginning to end, choose this day who you’re gonna serve.
(Martha) Yes, exactly.
(John) And every moment that I live I have to choose that.
(Martha) Exactly, exactly. And I’m having a sweet little victory in thoughts because when things come at me that I know, I can’t think of an instance right now, that tempt me to get angry. I will say I’m not going down there. No, I’m not gonna think that. And immediately that thought leaves but I have chosen not to receive that thought and we don’t understand how many thoughts come at us that are from the enemy.
(John) Even the fearful thought. That’s when all of a sudden you’re afraid. You have the power to say no I’m not, I’m not going there. I’m not choosing to go into the fearful realm here.
(Martha) Yes, yes.
(John) And you just say, “Stop, no.”
(John) I’m not going into that fearful realm. And I know a lot of fearful, I’ve been fearful, and but I don’t have to go there. I don’t have to choose the fearful realm.
(Martha) Right, it’s not inevitable. It is my choice.
(John) Right, it is my choice.
(Martha) It is simply a suggestion, not a truth.
(John) Which is amazing ’cause most people believe that their choice doesn’t mean anything. And what you’re basically saying is your choice doesn’t only mean everything, it is your responsibility to do it.
(Martha) Exactly! Well said. Gosh, that’s beautiful. And I don’t, I had a, I want to say that every person’s life is formed like a potter’s wheel. And reformed and formed again. And every life has a message that God is building. My message is decision.
(John) That is your name, your life name, absolutely.
(Martha) That’s my life name and that is my, I’m never— Jennifer says, “Martha, you never do anything that doesn’t call for a decision.” And I didn’t orchestrate that but this is… I’ve been in 1 Corinthians and it’s where Paul is trying to get them straightened out and they’re saying, “I’m for Apollos and I’m for him and I’m for him…” And Paul says to them, in essence, “That’s ridiculous. Everything is yours.” And I thought what a wonderful thing. Everything Apollos had was everybody’s. Everything that the other man had was everybody’s. What I have belongs to the whole Body of Christ. My revelation is formed in me and then revealed to me but it is not mine and it is not for me. That’s been real to me for years. It’s for the Body of Christ, so what I have, you can have! What you have, I can have! Everything is ours. If we could get the mindset and be rid of jealousy and rivalry we would all be rich with each other’s riches. Now the reason I’m telling that (laughs) is because it’s been on my heart.
(John) You just recently did the CD of the Month for January (The Deadliest Sin) that was about jealousy.
(Martha) It’s gotten some really good responses, but when I came to the Lord, I’ve told this story, I came all alone. I didn’t know a single other witnessing Christian. I didn’t know anyone who appeared to be a Christian. I knew some churchgoers. But when God came into my life with such a boom, I didn’t have any, I didn’t know there were tapes or books. I went to the library and I think maybe that’s where I found a Watchman Nee, I don’t know. But Catherine Marshall, that’s all I knew and my Bible. And I just began, I didn’t know I was being trained by the Spirit in how to function with God. But I simply instinctively would pray my choices to God. If He said something in the scriptures, like He said reckon others better than yourself, I would get on my knees and pray and say, “God, I want that. I want to be, to have that view. That others are more important than me.” And I don’t know that I would ask Him to do it but I would pray, “Give that to me.” I prayed my choices. That’s how I learned to walk with God. It’s, if He presented me something that was His will, then I would go and pray that and, “I will do that, Lord, show me all that ways how to do it.” And when He began to give me a ministry of inner healing I would have to go and say, “I will do this, but I don’t know what I’m doing. I will obey You, but You have to…” I would pray for insight and wisdom. I’d pray for discernment. I’d pray for vision. I’d pray for everything that enabled me to do what I’d chosen that He called me to.
(John) You ruddered your life. You literally turned your, the rudder to say, “Ok, I choose that. I choose what You’re saying.”
(Martha) Yes, yes. “I will obey You, just help me.” And I don’t even remember what I prayed but I know that He showed me years later, “You prayed your choices to Me.”
(John) That’s a powerful reality.
(Martha) And then, what it did— You see, John, my point is in this that your choice determines what you have of God.
(John) Okay, say that again, say that again.
(Martha) Your choice determines how much you have of God and how much He’s involved in your life. If your choice is passionate and mine was based on love because that’s how I came in, my choices were passionate. I wanted to please Him, I wanted to know Him, I wanted to follow Him. And so my prayers were passionate. But because I prayed it, God was able to just do amazing things.
(John) You entered a living dialogue with Him.
(Martha) Yes. That was surrender and yielding to His will constantly by choice.
(John) That’s huge.
(Martha) Not, I didn’t expect that I could do it or that I, you know, I didn’t have grandiose ideas about me. I just knew if He called me to it, that the disciples did it, then I could too. And it was up to Him to perform it. And so He just did amazing things.
(John) I don’t know many people that live like that.
(Martha) Well that’s why I’m telling it, because it was powerful in what I reaped into my life and I didn’t understand it at the time. I thought it was normal Christian living – which it is – but I later came to see when I wasn’t that faithful to pray my choices, that and make my choices, that it was phenomenal. And God wants us to respond, John. Yes or no. That’s what this book that we love is all about. “Respond to Me with a yes or a no. I don’t want lukewarm, I don’t want yes and no, both. That doesn’t work.”
(Martha) “I want a yes or a no.” And we give it! We may not think we do but we make the choice. But when that choice is directed to Him, He is free to move heaven and earth and angelic powers and who knows what else in your behalf. So I’m telling you to show you that that’s how the Holy Spirit trained me. No one, no book, no one trained me that way ’cause God kept me from it. And so for the first ten years, I was virtually alone and He taught me how to walk with Him, how to relate to Him, what things mattered and what things didn’t. And He taught me how to stay in the scriptures. You look amazed.
(John) It’s just that that’s just so powerful. Because really, I know most people believe that their choice is—that they don’t have the power. That their decisions are powerless. That they, you know, and that’s… You’re debunking that. You’re saying, “No, that’s absolutely not true.”
(Martha) And if your choices are in His will, and someone asked me how this worked. And I said, “When you are in His love, you want what He wants. Build your life on love. Pray, if you don’t have that foundation. If you’re going, if your light’s going dim sometimes, as mine does, I have to stop and pray, “I have to have Your Love. That has got to be the gas in my car. (Laughs) The wind in my sails. I have to have Your Love to do this.” So the, that work, that prayer is the most basic, essential prayer. “Give me the love of God, that the love of God for the Son will be in me the same.”
First Choose, Then Pray in Your Choice – Episode #583 – Shulamite Podcast
Too many people believe the lie that they have no power to choose, that their choice will not hold. Are you one of them? Then you need to hear this! Martha shares a powerful discipline from her own walk with Jesus, one that will change how you view your choice.