What does it feel like to be chosen? It seems that it’s easier for many of us to remember the times when we weren’t chosen.
There are many emotions that swirl around not being chosen and worrying about not being chosen. When we are overlooked or neglected, we feel unworthy, guilty, and jealous that sometimes this might lead us to depression or self-loathing. But, on the other hand, not being chosen can cause some of us to feel bitter or vengeful, promising to prove to people that we are worth of their approval.
When the Bible talks about God’s chosen people, sometimes it’s easy to think of this in a collective sense. When we hear the word “chosen” concerning our faith, we think of the heroes in the Bible, the Israelites, the disciples, those who are in authority, or our fellow believers. To be chosen as a believer can make the term feel collective and impersonal. There are times that even when you know you’re a part of this group, you can feel as if you’re the weakest link or the baggage that brings everyone down. Even when you’re not feeling low, you can be led to think that being chosen doesn’t make you unique—others are just like you. Even if you hear your name or see someone pointing at you, it doesn’t feel like it’s meant for you.
“As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him.
Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?”
God wants us to know that He has chosen us personally. Like the Apostle Matthew who was a tax collector. Due to the nature of his job, he was despised and mistrusted. He must have felt alone, unloved, and might have thought that the others with him in ministry might not have accepted him at first. But just like us, he was also chosen. Jesus called Him by name.
But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.”
Sometimes when we hear God’s call in our lives, we misunderstand it as a general invitation He has sent out probably to thousands of others. Instead, his call for us to follow Him is a personal request. When Jesus calls us, it can be easy to doubt if we truly hear His voice. When He summons us, we might be led to look at how we are and what we’ve done. Some might have even asked our Lord, “Do you know what I’ve done?” “Do you even know me?”
Despite everything we’ve said and done, we have been handpicked by God to carry out His purpose. God calls His family by name. He also calls you by your name. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners (see Romans 5:8). God refers to you with the approval that Jesus won for you through His sacrifice on the cross.
What if I failed?
It’s human nature to feel unworthy or disqualified when we hear God calling us. Our actions in the past or our condition in the present make us realize that we might not be equipped to follow Jesus. But in Isaiah 43:25, through His words to the prophet, God is telling us,
““I—yes, I alone—will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again.”
In the book of Isaiah, we see that the Israelites turned their backs on God. But despite all their disobedience, the Lord’s promise still stands. Israel failed God. They were to be His people, servants, and witnesses but they followed the gods of the peoples around them, just like us.
Thankfully, Jesus came. Our Heavenly Father sent His only Son so that the promise can be fulfilled, so that He can pour out His Spirit on your descendants, and His blessing on your children (see Isaiah 44:3).
Jesus is the One who blots out the sins of the Church. He gave Himself up for us so that we will no longer doubt whether we are worthy, wanted, and chosen. Jesus is the Groom of the Church. He is our Messiah, Savior, the First and the Last. Jesus Christ, our Groom, has pledged Himself to us His Church. He calls us His own and He is ours. There’s no other, and you are His. You bear the Name of the Triune God, belonging to Him forever. Revelation 22:4 says, “And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads.”
You have been chosen
“You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.”
Even before you decided to follow Jesus, you have already been chosen. God wants you to follow Him.
He knows everything you’ve done and He loves you.
He made you clean.
He made you His.
He made us His victorious Church. Now and forever.
When the devil wants to steal your joy, do not give in to the quick response by having us look at ourselves and wonder if we’re worthy, if God really meant it when He called you.
Let God remind you that He has called each one of us by name, that He sees you and knows you. Remember that He has done everything so that your relationship with Him can be restored. You can have joy and peace knowing that God calls you His and that you can call Him yours.