1 Thessalonians 1:4 knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you;
Ephesians 1:4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love
1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
What does it mean to be chosen by God?
Contemplating if being chosen was a choice makes my brain hurt. Clearly God’s sovereignty takes our choice in the matter off the table. It is He who creates, gives faith, justifies and sanctifies so it would appear The Choice is solely His and our role in salvation is to simply “accept grace”.
But is it simple? Does saying the “sinners prayer” complete the choice and finish the work?
I know for me, my humanness constantly gets in the way. I awake most days with God on my heart and seek time of devotion, prayer and meditation on God’s word, however throughout the day I effortlessly and most times unknowingly evolve into thinking I have a much better plan for my morning, day, week, life. Intellectually I would say that isn’t true, even argue to the contrary but my actions give way to the true motivations of self.
For example; Living 30 miles north east of LAX airport I can expect my commute to be 30 minutes to 2 hours, it is beyond my control. Yet I still will pull up several maps and GPS programs that all have traffic and “calculate my odds” of picking the best route home. Rarely does it pay off.
One night driving home just last week I found myself behind a car that was not driving the same patterns as the hundreds of other cars around me. When the flow jammed on the gas pedal this guy gradually accelerated. This gave way to a flood of cars behind us going around and jamming in front of him. This pattern went on and on, we come to a stop and all bunch up, then off we go only to have what seemed like the entire freeway ditch in front of the “idiot” in front of me.
My frustration, resentment, annoyance and eventual anger began to flood my conscious thinking. I was yelling at the guy, c’mon… let’s gooooooo!!!! I would try and go around but others were quicker peeling off from behind. I began to mock “God, really, this is the route you are sending me home on”?
Then it happened, I looked down at my Prius’ gas gauge (pause for snickers, yes I drive a Prius, and it’s white too, get over it)… and what I saw astonished me; I was getting nearly 60mpg on that stretch home from work. This guy was driving the exact sweet spot my car thrives upon and my economy was maxed out.
In that moment an intense wave of humility and actual shame washed over me. The VERY thing that was causing my selfish, impatient all-knowing self the most grief was actually the greatest blessing. My insecurity and ego won’t let me be “that guy” who drives like that for the best fuel economy, so God was doing it for me. People were throwing dirty looks at the guy in front of me and I could almost sense a collective, “oh, you’re just the poor guy pinned in behind that guy”. From that point on I stayed behind him almost laughing at how cool this was and jeering at the others who were pouring wide open carbeurators of fuel down the throat of their engines just to overly tax their brakes in the next few seconds; what fools I mocked! (clearly still not getting it).
And there is more back-story to this recent encounter. Since my recent move I have been struggling with expenses and surrendering my finances to God. “I believe You called me to this place Lord, I will trust in Your provisions”.
Clearly God was in charge at that moment and blessing me but me in my nearsightedness and impatience was not only not seeing it as a blessing from God in the bigger picture, but the complete antithesis as I was beginning to see it as a curse.
I’m grateful we are not alone in not getting it. The Apostles themselves constantly missed the mark, denying Christ as Peter did (Matthew 26:34), falling asleep when asked to pray (Matthew 26:40), arguing over who is the best (Mark 9:33-34) when Jesus just told them He as going to die and rise again.
To be chosen is to KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is in control in all situations, and that He is at work for our best and His glory at all times. It is not the sole mountaintop experiences that come in seasons that we are to live for, but instead to exalt our heavenly Creator and King through all seasons, whether as seemingly insignificant as a commute home or as huge as a life changing event.
Father God, I am so incredibly grateful for the constant humblings you press upon my heart and life, the reminders that show me how much I don’t know and how perfect, pure and grace-filled You are. I pray this day Lord for not only the joy and peace that comes from knowing that it was You alone who lifted me up from the ashes of my old life, but also the strength to make You my Lord and King this day, that my focus be on Kingdom causes with a heart and hands ready and available to serve in those Divine Appointments called coincidences, those times when You orchestrate a meeting between someone who needs to know You more, just as I do. Thank you Father for creation, and choosing me your not so humble but ever seeking servant.