Choose me. Those were the words the Holy Spirit impressed upon my heart repeatedly as I searched for answers about my future, my family, and my fears.
It was just over 18 months ago that God birthed in me a new passion and a renewed hunger and thirst for His Word. It was at that time that He began transforming me into a woman who was eager to learn more, to saturate myself in the knowledge of Him, and to speak my story aloud. I read book after book – at least 25 of them – and did Bible study after Bible study, hoping to find something or someone that would tell me how to choose God, every day. What I found, instead, in each book and each study, was something very different. I found stories of God’s character. His method of interacting with his people. His voice. There was no “7 easy steps to choosing God” or “5 ways to know what God wants for you.” It was simply Him.
Choose me. I thought I knew what He meant. God wanted me to focus on Him, not on my circumstances. He desired relationship with me and was asking me to make the choice to seek and follow Him daily.
I felt that way for over a year. I thought I understood. Then, God began revealing a new message to me. He was using the same words, but they meant something entirely different. Those words were no longer about me choosing Him, but about the fact that He had already chosen me and I needed to accept my title as “Chosen.”
Then God began revealing a new message to me. He was using the same words, but they meant something entirely different.
Seems like an easy thing to do, right? Just accept it. After all, the truth of this is all throughout God’s Word.
In Isaiah 41, God proclaimed to Israel, “But as for you, Israel my servant…I have called you back from the ends of the earth, saying, ‘You are my servant.’ For I have chosen you and will not throw you away.”
Jesus said, in John 15, “You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, he gives you.”
Paul also wrote about this in Ephesians 2, saying, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
But for me, a self-proclaimed perfectionist who could never seem to live up to my own standards and expectations, this was quite complicated. It had never been easy for me to give myself grace. Since that was true, it was even harder for me to accept that free gift.
I was much more comfortable thinking that I was the one who had to do something, to put effort into the relationship. To read, study and pray. And, while I believe that is part of knowing and being known by God, it was no longer my struggle. It was not about figuring out what I could do, but recognizing that He called me “Chosen” before I did anything. He wanted me. Yet, I struggled to believe that.
It was not about figuring out what I could do, but recognizing that He called me “Chosen.”
My husband is kind and gentle and loves me beyond words. This is why it is so hard for him to tolerate the way I view myself. Incapable. Weak. Unworthy. Those are not words he would use to describe me. But, they are things I frequently say about myself. This frustrates him, to the point that he will say, “Stop talking about my wife that way! Do you think you know better than the God who created you? He doesn’t make mistakes.”
Of course I don’t think I know better than God. Do I? Would I talk so poorly about any of God’s other creation? Why am I exempt from that standard?
“If God himself looked upon the work of the cross and said, it is finished and it is enough, then how can we dare say it wasn’t.”- Jen Hatmaker
This concept – the acceptance of being chosen by God – it has changed me. I am not perfect at it, but am learning to guard my thoughts and my words. Not just about others, but about myself. Now, I practice saying these words every day. And, will continue to do so until I believe them.
Do you believe that you have been chosen by God? What is standing in your way? What steps can you take to accept the fact that God has chosen you?
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Image Credits: Khánh-Hmoong, Creative Commons