We are chosen. As I read this passage, the word “eclectic” comes to mind. The word means unusual, something that stands out, something that is wanted. In fact, the word “chosen” means: “God saw you, he wanted you, refused to do without you and said that you are mine.” If you listen closely, you can hear him say, “I want him, I want her, to be my children.” Before he made everything, he saw you and chose you as his own. He claimed you as his own.
Jesus said this about being chosen:
““These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another.” (John 15:11-17)
We have been chosen to be God’s friend. To walk in friendship with God. Life doesn’t get better than that. Read John 15:11-17 again. Look at what he says. We did not chose him, he chose us. He chose you. He chose me. He picked us out. We didn’t find God; he pursued us and showed something amazing: he’d already chose us.
To compound this thought, to make things even grander, he says that he chose us to be massively fruitful. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” (John 15:5-7) He chose us to bear fruit for a long time.
Slow down for a moment and let this idea really sink in. If you let it, you will be healed from the uncertainty in this big world of 7 billion people. Think for a moment over the fact that God focuses in our you and me and says, “You are mine and I have great things for you to do in this life.”“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” (Romans 8:28-30)
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;Before you were born I sanctified you;I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)
Let’s refresh this point right here. When we read that we are “chosen”, it means that he wanted you. He saw you and wanted you to be a part of his family. When we read that we are “predestined”, it means that he wrote out a script for your life. David lays it out beautifully in Psalms 138:
“For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!” (Psalms 138:13-17)
We don’t create our destiny, we discover it. If we understand that then we will be on our way to being conformed to the image of Jesus. We have a destiny and it is to look like Jesus. Whatever season I’m in—whether we see them as good or bad, hurtful or helpful—if we let him do his work, when that season is over, we will be more like Jesus.
I am predestined to be like Jesus. We need to reassess our lives and look at situations and see that what we might be asking God to take away from us, might be the very thing God is using to make us more like Jesus. We look at our jobs and see all the pressure, and we want a perfect job and perfect people. Well, that’s called heaven. It’s always shocking to people when they come into the ministry and learn that pastors are not perfect. Ministers are fallible. We are just like you but we have a different calling and different expression of ministry.
The season you are in is a time of threshing. In the Old Testament, we get a clear picture of what that means. When they would harvest barley, they would gather it and take it to an elevated, flat plain. On that space, they would winnow the grain. To do this, they would lay all the stalks of barley on the plain and lead an ox up to the area. The ox was then roped to a pole in the middle of the plain and then they led the ox to walk around on the barley. The ox’s job was simple: crush everything on the ground. Why? Because the value of the barley could not be obtained until it was separated from the chaff. It could not be valuable until it was crushed. The useless things in the barley, the things that had no weight, had to be separated out.
Sometimes God will send an ox into our world to walk around and crush us. This is how he makes us more like Christ. He crushes out the ungodly things in our lives and leaves only the valuable, weighty things in their place.