I wrote a quick prayer about my frustration with being chosen almost six months ago. Since then I’ve been going through a major purge—breaking up with thoughts and people that have been roadblocks to my peace and closeness with God. It’s forced me to really examine what I’ve been clinging to and how that has hardened my heart to God, whether I meant for it to or not.
I’ve found that by hardening myself, I was actually trying to ignore and run from what I knew to be true—God had plans for my life that did not include the idols I was worshipping. Isn’t it easier to do what you want when you don’t have to answer to anyone? Your plans are yours and you don’t need to consult with anyone to validate them. Or maybe you don’t feel like your plans are “that bad,” but you still don’t have peace about them. Well none of this works that way. When God chooses you, your plans will always fail outside of his will.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5
But what does it look like to be chosen by God?
I’ve known for years that God was calling me to an intimate relationship with him, but it just always felt inconvenient for me to become “overly” righteous or saved while I pursued the things I thought I wanted. A true convicting relationship with God never really fit the mold of my life at the time. No matter how many times I failed at my plans or the world rejected me, I was still desperate for this fantasy that I made up in my mind.
Still, I could never deny the discomfort I felt being away from the Word, or when I would go long periods of time without praying or going to church. I never really wanted to be that far from God but I knew that I couldn’t straddle the fence (Rev. 3:15-16), so I kept my distance as much as I could. I know God hears the prayers of the righteous (Proverbs 15:29), those who follow his commands, and I knew I wasn’t living up to what he called me to.
But some people would say I wasn’t living bad at all! Nothing I was doing was “too” bad, it was actually expected of me. But I felt convicted. Daily. It literally haunted me. I couldn’t quite explain why I felt it was so bad because I was surrounded by people doing the same things with no remorse. I also didn’t want to talk about it because I didn’t want people to think I was judging them, or condemning them in any way, but I knew that God was speaking to me about things I couldn’t ignore anymore. Sometimes we expect God to show up at our door glowing in white and surrounded by angels just to tell us the “right” thing to do or say, but if we just trust the peace we don’t have, we would know exactly what to do.
Then a major shift happened: my boyfriend and I broke up. After seven years and a child, we were done. There is nothing like the feeling of rejection to really humble you and break down every false comfort or confidence you thought you had about yourself. Initially it was very emotional but it has also revealed every crutch I was using to stay hidden from God.
As ugly as this situation got, I never ever doubted that it was God shifting things to get to me. He called out to me, he spoke to me in my dark places, and he ordered my steps and thoughts so I wouldn’t miss him. I didn’t have ears to hear him before, but in my brokenness he knew that I would answer. It was no coincidence that I was always uncomfortable in certain situations in my past, to the point of tears sometimes, but I would still go through with whatever it was just to please others. That lack of peace was Holy Spirit, and I never trusted it. I knew something wasn’t right but I refused to put it down. I was literally like that picture on Instagram where the little girl is holding a small teddy bear saying “But I want it God,” and Jesus is kneeling in front of her holding a bigger bear behind his back that she can’t see.
God chose every single one of us when he sent his son to die on the cross, but are we choosing him? Or are we hardening ourselves and choosing that small teddy bear because we think it’s the best we’ll ever have?
There is no formula to God showing himself to you—everyone’s turning point and circumstances will be so different, but the shift only comes when we make the choice to accept what He is offering. Yes, God took things away from me so it may seem like I didn’t have a choice, but I do have a choice. Every day I choose to not be Bitter Betty and Petty Patricia. I choose to let go and forgive—to see the best in people even when I don’t have one single reason to. I choose to live a life of gratefulness for his protection. I choose to have peace, joy, and love in the Lord just for the simple fact that he chose me and gave me the choice to choose him.
So what is keeping you from choosing God?
Personally, I needed to confront my insecurities and acknowledge that I longed to be chosen in an earthly way. I longed to hear a man tell me, “I want all of you. I’m willing to do anything for you.”
But God had already chosen me. He had already said those things in his Word, He had already given his son—the ultimate sacrifice— for me and I rejected him. This was the core of my spiritual immaturity: I would rather hear an imperfect human tell me something to please my flesh than to have a perfect God tell me truth that would completely satisfy my spirit.
Who was I to reject God?
“5This is what the Lord says:
‘What did your ancestors find wrong with me
that led them to stray so far from me?
They worshiped worthless idols,
only to become worthless themselves.’” – Jeremiah 2:5
Doesn’t it break your heart to hear God, our creator, saying, “What’s wrong with me? What did I do to you that was so bad that you left me?” We worship everything else in our life but the One who deserves it, then wonder why we’re so empty.
… “Yet my people have exchanged their glorious God
for worthless idols!
12The heavens are shocked at such a thing
and shrink back in horror and dismay,’
says the Lord.
13’For my people have done two evil things:
They have abandoned me—
the fountain of living water.
And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns
that can hold no water at all!”
Y’all this is SO powerful it brought me to my knees. When we reject God he feels like we abandoned him. I would never want anyone I love to feel like I left them, but that’s exactly how I made God feel. The creator of heaven and earth, the one who has ordered my steps and is fighting for me in the spirit, is simultaneously wondering what is wrong with him that I would see fault enough to turn away? That’s actually insane.
And not only that, but how foolish did I look leaving my source of life to rely on flawed sources of affirmation that were never equipped to provide what I really needed. I wasted so much time looking for something that was always in front of me.
… “20Long ago I broke the yoke that oppressed you
and tore away the chains of your slavery,
but still you said,
‘I will not serve you.’
On every hill and under every green tree,
you have prostituted yourselves by bowing down to idols.
21But I was the one who planted you,
choosing a vine of the purest stock—the very best.
How did you grow into this corrupt wild vine?”
Ugh. Please tell me y’all see this. First of all, God is disgusted, On every hill and under every green tree, you have prostituted yourselves by bowing down to idols. “So basically you out here making a fool of yourself at every opportunity and you think I can’t see you but I can.” He goes on to let us know that we are made of the best and we don’t have to look for more—God’s saying, “I chose you! I put my best in you! Why are you turning from me?! Why are you rejecting me?!”
While I longed to be chosen in an earthly and disposable way, God longed for me to accept that He chose me before the creation of the world!
“5I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.
Before you were born I set you apart
and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”—Jeremiah 1:5
“4Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. 5God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.”—Ephesians 1:4-5
Lord you are magnificent.
After seeing how flawed and ridiculous I was for running for so long, I truly needed to humble myself before God and mourn for wanting anything more than I wanted him. Not because I didn’t think God would forgive me—I know he has, but because I never want to be in this position of rebellion again. I want to trust God so completely that I never ever question the course he has decided for my life. I never want to make an idol of another human being or thing—putting them ahead of my devotion to Christ.
“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.” – Ephesians 2:10
We are personally and specifically set apart by the creator of all the earth to carry out his mission. That our lives would be devoted to him and that the fruit we produce by being obedient would bring Him great pleasure. Yes, you are different. Yes, it feels weird to reject what feels normal to your circumstances, but that is exactly why we were created: to be the salt and light in this dark world.
“The world would love you if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.” – John 15:19
I challenge you to let go of the hurt and insecurities that are blocking your closeness with God. He desires all of us, not just what we feel like giving him. He chose you from the creation of the world, help yourself by choosing him.