March 19, 2013

Last week when I was at my parents’ house, my dad gave me a short booklet which someone at the mission office had left out for anyone to take. It meant a lot to me that he gave it to me, especially because the title is, “God Has Chosen You”. In it, I read of how God chose us to be born, chose us for a particular calling, chose us to live in a specific place, chose us for certain talents, services, and blessings, chose us to minister and produce fruit, and chose us to be His cherished children and servants.

Who is it that God chooses? Well, in one way, He chooses everyone. For in choosing to buy back the whole human race from the evil one who usurped it through deception, God chose everyone to be set free. However, not everyone chooses to come into that Freedom. Not everyone chooses to respond to God’s kindness and be saved out of the evil realm, for they do not want to choose God. Why? Because they instinctively know that the Almighty Creator of the universe does demand allegiance, does demand obedience, and does demand purity. Many do not want any of that, for they desire to be ruler of their own lives, indulging in any and every sin they so choose.

So besides God choosing everyone for salvation (though many refuse it), who is it that God chooses? He chooses those who He sees have willing, committed, noble, and good hearts (2 Chron. 16:9 // Luke 8:15), and He also chooses those who others are asking Him, through their intercession, to choose. And of course God reserves the right to choose whoever He wants, whoever He sets His eye upon. Often these are actually those whose hearts are especially hard and vile, and He chooses them in order to display His unlimited patience, His gracious mercy, and His power to be able to transform them. (1 Tim. 1:16) He may also choose these hardened ones, so that in choosing certain others to intercede for them, the intercessors can be adequately trained in, and grow in, faith, patience, love, self-control, holiness, and wisdom. Or, God may choose hard-hearted people because their stubbornness, like Pharaoh’s, is the very thing which God uses to bring about His purposes, glory for Himself, and honor and blessings for His servants.

When God chooses people and they choose Him in return, He almost always soon brings them some trials so that He can watch to see how they respond. He watches to see if they call out to Him, seek Him more, cling to Him, obey Him, and run to serve Him. If they do, these are the ones the Lord chooses for additional tasks, and eventually, for mighty feats. (Yes, of course He knows ahead of time all hearts and all choices and all events, etc., but, He has also chosen to come into time, even while being outside of it, and relate with us there.) For those who step up eagerly to their assignments and joyfully strive to accomplish them, then whether they are successful or not, God has seen that they are faithful, persevering servants. This is what He’s looking for, and so He asks even more of them. Deeming them trustworthy slaves, He gives them harder and more honorable (honorable in His eyes, not the world’s) assignments. This is the “high calling” of all God’s saints. That is, to be found trustworthy, eager, grateful slaves of Christ, willing to do anything He asks of them.

To be repeatedly chosen by God, because He has found us to be extremely valuable tools for furthering His purposes, is the highest privilege any of us can attain here on earth. Well, besides the privilege of having reached that position of being called, not only God’s valuable servant, but God’s treasured, beloved friend.

However, all the privileges begin with our response to what God has already done –that of choosing us for salvation, for His Kingdom work, and for Himself. Our response, and our every response, is called choice. These choices determine the path we’re walking –toward more honor and blessing and fellowship with God, or, toward more grief, destruction, and eternal separation from God.

Because God who has chosen us, has also chosen to let us choose.

with love,

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