You have never been this way before…consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things for you. Joshua 3:4,5 NIV

Choices have consequences. Even small, hasty choices may have eternal consequences.

In the crucial game of life, man is given picks and options which determine whether he wins or loses. You may not even be aware that your freedom to “do things my way” has a once and for all outcome. But it does.

Such a final result is strikingly dramatized in the classic film “Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade.” The film’s persistent villain rushes into the cavern dwelling of an ancient priest. The bad guy is eager to possess the mystic Holy Grail, the fabled Eucharist cup of Jesus’ Last Supper. This chalice is reputed to hold miraculous powers.

Brushing aside the old priest, the Nazi character rushes toward a display of various communion cups. He gleefully spies an ornate, bejeweled cup sitting amid common earthenware vessels. He picks the jeweled one. The instant he imbibes from this shiny chalice, he is smitten. Right before the viewer’s eyes, the drinker begins to decompose in a horrible scene of nuclear style meltdown. Poetic justice! He failed to appreciate the simplicity of Christ.

The old priest offers a succinct comment, “He chose poorly.” Indeed he did. Poor choices have  poor outcomes.

This serves as a warning about pride and self-serving choices. This New Year will bring opportunities for great breakthrough, as well as ruin and disaster. To avoid the “poor choice” you should follow this proven formula for choosing wisely. It is a handy acrostic on the cautionary word HALT. It is not original with me. But I humbly confess I have learned some painful lessons because I failed to follow the wisdom herein. This HALT rule will help you wisely decide issues in 2019.

H stands for Hurry. Never make an important decision when hurried. I’ve learned to tell those who press me, “If you must have an answer today, the answer is No!” Remember Esau. He was hungry. He hurriedly traded away his birthright for soup. He would forever regret it. (Genesis 25:33)

A is for Angry. Absolutely do not make a key choice when you are angry! Never! Remember Moses. Ponder his poor decision to strike the rock for water when the Lord instructed him just to speak to the rock. (Numbers 20:11) The rock that followed them has a foreshadowing and a type of Christ, the Rock of Ages. So when angry, halt. Calm down, then pray about it.

L is for Lonely. A lonely heart is a candidate for deception. Stay in fellowship. Press into friendships for counsel. Read the story of Samson. His loneliness for companionship, particularly Philistine women, became his downfall. (Judges 16:4)

T is for Tired. When we get too tired, we can make dopey decisions. Unfortunately, those choices have a permanent effect. Pray about the matter. Rest on it. Never, never decide big choices when tired. Remember Elijah? He wanted to resign, to give up and die. (1 Kings 19:4) Actually he was just wore out. If Elijah had quit, there never would have been an Elisha who performed many miracles and ministered to kings.

The New Year 2019 will bring great opportunities. So be ready. Carefully consider your choices.

Choose life so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life…Deuteronomy 30:19 NIV


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