Here we are, standing at the beginning of a new year with countless paths before us, each with their own forks leading into valleys, mountaintops, hushed wooded groves, deep waters, blue skies.  Some would lead us closer to God, some further away. So how do we know which ones to take?  Which paths are the Lord’s, and how do we follow Him on His paths of abundance?

There is a way which seems right to a man, but the end of it is the ways of death. Proverbs 14:12

There is a way which seems right…..

Too many times we make decisions based on what seems right, on what we feel at the time.  What we feel one day we may not the next, and making a decision based on our ever-changing feelings – or as the world might say, following your heart – can be disastrous, and lead us down a path full of snares.

So.  If we can’t make a decision properly based on what seems right to us, how do we know what really is right?

The word abundance in Psalm 65:11 is the Hebrew word deshen which means “the fat; figuratively abundance; specifically the fatty ashes of sacrifice.”

Genesis 4:4 talks about Abel’s offering to the Lord.  “And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering..”  Abel didn’t keep the first or the best for himself, giving the Lord his scrawny leftovers.  He brought the best of the best to give as a sacrifice to the Lord, and the Lord accepted it and the proof of His acceptance were the ashes.  The sacrifice was acceptable and good in the sight of  God.  It was a bountiful, generous, overflowing, richly abundant banquet between the Lord and Abel.

Fast forward a few thousand years to the hill of Calvary.  There is a cross, and on it the lamb of God.  God’s very best given as an acceptable sacrifice for our sins.

This Offering was an abundant, sufficient, once-for-all Sacrifice for our sins.

Only this Sacrifice was raised again on the third day and now lives to make intercession for us to the Father.  From Him all blessings, wisdom and direction to the very fullness of our sanctification lies with Christ.

Oh my dear friends, the abundant path is Christ Himself.

As you walk through the year, keep your eyes focused on Him.  Remember, this life is not about things, it’s not about climbing an imaginary success ladder, it’s about an ongoing, intimate relationship with our Abba Father.  He created us for fellowship with Him. Talk to Him and practice listening to His voice. And as you move through this life and aren’t sure which path to take, remember that He will never tell you to do anything contrary to His Word.  He IS the Word.

As you go, you’ll need to hold onto a few things.

Faith in God.

Not faith in circumstances, not faith in people, but keep your faith where it belongs: on the God who loves you, who hears your prayers, and is in the process of answering them according to His will  and His timing.  Never, ever give up.

Trust in God.

Trust is faith in action.  It’s where the rubber meets the road.  When God tells you to go there, or do that, will you trust Him enough to be obedient, even when it’s hard or even seems impossible?

Hope in God.

Hope will sustain you when nothing makes sense. Without it our souls wilt, we give up and we either make decisions in the flesh and move in the  wrong direction or we’ll stop moving altogether.  None of those will have a good outcome.  But hope will keep us encouraged, patient and joyful.

Love, for God and His people.

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.”  1 Corinthians 13:1-3

“The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:7-8

We have such a short time here on this earth.  If all we do is wrapped up in the holy love of the Lord, we will leave a legacy that reaches further than we can imagine, and we’ll lay up treasures in heaven that no one can fathom.

And what is true love?

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.”  1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

That is the abundant life.

In His good grace,