“For many are called, but few are chosen.”
Something so profound was said at revival tonight, in accordance with the Bible we know that many are called but few are chosen, so what does this mean? God calls all of us to servant-hood and we have a choice to become one of His beloved servants, spreading the Good News wherever we go. Then there are the chosen ones God has handpicked to be in ministry or healers or evangelist and the list goes on. God has a plan and purpose for everyone and as He calls to you, how do you answer? It is easy to be the called for the responsibility is an easy road. Sharing the Good News is simple and can be done with no formal training, however, to be chosen takes a bit more sacrifice on our part and will cost us everything we have.
We are chosen by God to move on His behalf in the realms of ministry such has pastors or evangelist, we need to decide that we want to be chosen. We need to begin living a life desiring the things of God and working towards being more like Jesus everyday. With each step we take closer to our destiny, we must have the mind set that God may choose us for a bigger purpose that we cannot not even imagine coming to pass. What if He chose us to start a homeless shelter and minister to those people? Would you be willing to take up that burden and the cost that came with it? What if He chose you to be a world renowned revivalist and took you from your family and friends so that you would constantly be traveling?
It is hard sometimes to decide to be chosen because of the great cost which comes with it. Along the way you may lose family and friends. You may lose your house and give away all of your possessions. Perhaps you will be stripped of your finances. So many challenges and surrenders, one may decide that the cost of being chosen is just too much. Let us consider this thought though while entertaining the process of being a chosen one. What did God give up so that we could be the chosen ones?
Yes, He gave His only Son. He sacrificed it all. He lost family. He gave everything He had so that we could be free and find victory, so why would we not want to be chosen so that we can extend this same freedom and victory to the lost of this world. Would it not be worth it? I yearn to be chosen for what God has planned for the lost. My heart aches to give it all up for the sake of saving the ones who are headed for hell. Through the healing of my own brokenness, God allows me to have a desire to minister to those who are going through what I already came through.
Are you willing to give it all up for the sake of the lost? Did not God do this very thing for you? Who was chosen that you came to know Jesus?
Some sat in darkness and deepest gloom, imprisoned in iron chains of misery.
He led them from the darkness and deepest gloom; he snapped their chains.
O Lord, I am your servant; yes, I am your servant, born into your household; you have freed me from my chains.
Depression. Disaster. Devastation. Loneliness. Broken-hearted. Poverty. Hopelessness. Lost. Abused. Hurting. Confusion. Fear. Weakness. Failures. Lack of knowledge. No self-esteem. Pushed away. Not included. Feeling left out. Anxiety. Panic attacks. These are just a sample of some of the chains which bind us as humans and keep us away from the things of God in our lives. How do we go so willing into the darkness and allow these chains to be placed upon us? What lures us to such deceiving thought processes? How in the world do we manage to ever find our way when we are so lost in what is not God’s desire for us? Pretty sure we all know who to blame for the interference in our relationships, Satan. He seeks to destroy the things God has for us or in some cases, never allows people to even see what God has for them.
There are times, and I know this will seem strange to those who know me personally, but I can be in a room full of people and still feel left out even when I know 90% of the persons present. How can that be? I am not sure if I can explain it but surely Satan sets out to separate those who are connected with God and set them apart from those who can be a good influence in their lives. Sometimes, feeling alone is a choice, other times it comes from a bit of jealousy and we just get all flustered and feel like we just don’t fit in. I feel part of my lonesomeness in a group comes from my childhood. I was teased a lot in elementary school, always the last one to be picked for games and often was just felt like and unloved outcast. My self-esteem at an early age was already out of whack and no matter how hard I try to heal, there are times when my past just rears it’s ugliness and I get lost in a bit of self-pity.
I sometimes look at a group of people and see little conversations here and there and I just do not feel as though I would fit in. Do you see how Satan slips in there and starts working on ones mind? I might be in the company of several who love me for who I am but he takes my mind back to earlier days and I linger there long enough to switch my perspective of the people in my presence. This can happen in any aspect of our lives and this is where we almost willingly put on our chains. We need to begin to overcome our past and begin to live as God intends, freely. We need to choose to fit in or to stay outside of the group. We can choose to be happy or sad by living according to God’s purpose in our lives. I know it sounds easy, but it is difficult at first to overcome, however once you start you just can’t stop because it just feels so right.
Two years ago, I never would never have thought I could find myself again after many years of destruction in my life. I had accepted my life for what it was, a merry go round of one disaster after another. I saw no end in sight, yet I just wore my chains day in and day out. I woke up, pretended to be happy so no one would know what was going on behind the scenes and tried to conquer another day. Shortly after I was separated from my husband, God began to show up in my life like I never expected. He began to show me who He wanted me to become. He instilled a new passion in me and I started to overcome fears and feelings that I didn’t even know were there. He demonstrated through others, just how I could become free from my chains.
As I walked out in faith into uncharted waters, I faced the fear of living alone, paying my bills on one income, raising two teenagers on my own, managing to keep a vehicle in running order, fixing things around the house and many other obstacles. My “I can’t” attitude quickly changed to “Wow! I did that?!” The day I fixed our front door I think the neighbors probably thought I went momentarily insane. As my confidence grew, the fear chains fell off. As the fear vanished, the hopelessness dissipated and now that there was hope again, I could be free to love my life again and grow in my relationship with God. All the while being a witness for God.
We can all find this freedom. It may take searching out someone you trust to help you. It may only take stepping out in faith from a situation you know is not healthy. We need to choose to be happy and content with this life we have been given and freedom from our chains only comes from our loving Father in heaven. No one on this earth can totally free us from the pain we have experienced. We need to search God for our inner healing and place our trust in Him. Counselors can help you to a certain extent, however God is where the freedom is granted.
Once we are free, we can see the hope God has for us. We can clearly see where we are destined to be. We begin to be in tune to the plan God has for our lives, perhaps something we did not think we were capable of. For me this is public speaking. Yes I had confidence in my ability to be a writer, but to speak in front of a group was the last thing I thought God was asking me to do. Since I have stepped out in faith, I have spoken to a few groups and I discovered how much I love it! We all have the ability within us to overcome, we just need to begin to choose overcoming as a necessity in our daily lives. I hope I have given someone a tid bit of insight about breaking chains. Being bound to the things which cost us so much is not healthy and keeps us from obtaining all the wonderful blessings God has for us. Choose today to become free of your chains.
You’re blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God. You’re blessed when you follow his directions, doing your best to find him. That’s right—you don’t go off on your own; you walk straight along the road he set. You, God, prescribed the right way to live; now you expect us to live it. Oh, that my steps might be steady, keeping to the course you set; Then I’d never have any regrets in comparing my life with your counsel. I thank you for speaking straight from your heart; I learn the pattern of your righteous ways. I’m going to do what you tell me to do; don’t ever walk off and leave me.
Us silly Christians sometimes think we have God all figured out. Often we read the Bible and know it’s promises and still we walk right out of God’s plan for our life. How many times have we thought we had a much better idea than God about what should happen? We enter upon the road God has set before us the minute we answer His knocking and then for some odd reason we get distracted and end up taking a detour into something not of God. How does this happen? Why on earth would we want to wander away from God’s goodness? Do I really need to list the hows and whys? I don’t think so but just in case: hurts, rejection, misleadings, lost love, broken hearts, selfishness, pride, depression, guilt, sins, inadequacy, distrust, not enough faith…okay you get the picture.
There are a multitude of things which can take us away from God be it for a moment, a year or a life time. Sadly some take detours that end up in dead ends and never return to God. Some find themselves at the dead end and bolt full force back to the path where they find God’s protection once more. If we lack direction in our life, we end up going nowhere fast and visit places we really did not wish to go to in the first place. We get so caught up in what everyone else is doing that we forget we have a purpose and a path to stay on. Believe me God puts signs every where for those who are lost. For me it was church signs. During the time when I was backslid and was not seeking God in my life, He was looking for me and He spoke to me with church signs. Every where I went the signs spoke to me, not making me feel guilty but a gentle reminder that He cared and He was calling me home to His safe place of refuge. Now I see those types of signs and giggle a little because I know they aren’t for me any more but God loves someone else and wants them back too.
How do we avoid the detours? Read the Word for good direction. Stay in a church body to keep you motivated and accountable. Trust God even in the storms. Often in the storms of our lives we get turned around and confused, which can put us somewhere out of the realm of the path. Being of the world and participating in all it has to offer. God says we reside in the world but we are not to be conformed to its’ ways. Boy is that hard! Television. Newspapers. Magazines. Radio stations. So many distractions and optional rulers of our lives. At some point as a Christian we just have to say no to these things and begin to live a life worthy of saying we follow Jesus. I gave up television two years ago for Lent and I have not picked up that habit again. I let TV shows dictate my life. I would rush home from church or work just to watch a show and get angry when I missed the beginning of some shows. Not the life I wanted.
Now I am not saying giving up TV is the answer, however I am urging that we reduce the amount of the world we let into our daily living. As I am growing stronger in the things of the Lord I have CHOSEN (not saying you should or condemning anyone who does) to step away from as much worldly pleasures as I can. I quit smoking after 23 years, I quit drinking all the time, I stopped watching television, I only listen to Christian music and I try hard not to participate in gossip or hang with persons who could be leading me on a detour. I guess what I am trying to say, as I know this is a hard pill to swallow, we have to learn how to balance our lives and this is just how I am doing it. Do I still take detours? Sure do, I am human and NOT at all perfect. Do I still wander away from God in some areas of my life? Yup! But I seem to be lost for less amounts of time because once you sense that God’s presence is not surrounding you, you want to quickly return to His protective side.
So many more blessings are available to you if you stay on the path God has for you. The more I stay focused on God, the more doors He opens for me. The more doors He opens for me, the more my faith increases. The more my faith increases, the less I even want to see of the world any more. So, are you on a detour? Is God showing you church sign after church sign trying to show you the way back? My detour was about 10 years long; how many hours, days, weeks or years have you been on yours? God seeks for the lost not just the ones who have not come to Him yet, He looks for us who have wandered off the path and are about to end up at the end of our journey, not is the promise land but a dead end.
And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.
What happens when the lights go out? Or when we venture out too late after dark? Perhaps we are camping and rise too early in the morning and are greeted with pitch blackness and the need to find something? How dark is the darkness when there is no glimpse of a rising sun and you are alone? Many of us have experienced darkness in our lives. Often we reach for the flashlight to relive our fears but before long we are banging it on our hand to get the last bit of power out before the light disappears. Surely we can relate this to our Christian walk. How many times do we reach for a temporary fix to our storm instead of allowing the Light of Christ to guide us? We think we can handle things on our own with our “man-made light” when in all reality it may work for a few moments and then fade away like the power in our flashlights.
Faith in God will move us sometimes into unseen territory. He will take us where we never thought we could go and if it seems overwhelming we tend to take control ourselves not waiting for God’s light to finish leading us. We live in a NOW society. Nothing is fast enough for us and we lose sight of what God’s timing might be. For instance, I want a new home and every time God gives me a glimpse that He is working on it for me, I get excited and sometimes I try to take the situation into my own hands when in all realness I need to just step back and allow God to work in my situation! We need to follow AFTER the light before us and stay on the path, not go before it and let it follow us. Remember we are following AFTER Jesus, not leading Him. Sometimes the light will stop as we work out some issues and we need to be receptive to that stopping and just rest in Him, knowing He controls the light. If we get ahead of God, we get into trouble resulting in our own brokenness and distrust for the things of God.
Yes, often we stray because we are not patient enough and I think God just sighs and waits for us to return. How dark does it have to get before we return? So lost in our storm we even begin to be at a loss as to where the light even is anymore. Have you been there? No hope for things to change just surrounded by darkness and feeling hopeless? I have been there a few times in my life and I am learning quickly it is better to just drop the flashlight I am holding and RUN towards the light and stay on the path before I fall away from the things of God. We grow weary without light in our lives, it is something we need to survive. God is our Provider and He gives us the Light of Christ so that we may dwell with Him. Why are we so eager to hold onto our own light when God’s light is everlasting and ours is only temporary?
It is time to let go of our own selfish insecurity and DROP the flashlights! God has gone before us and prepared the way, all we have to do is follow and listen for His voice. Are you ready to let God have total control? Can you hear God calling you out of the darkness? What is hindering you from letting go of your own power source for light? Is it fear or unbelief? Do you not trust God because of some past hurts or regrets? Maybe you feel undeserving of such light in your life. I urge each of us to examine what our source is for light in our lives. Are we allowing God to shine on our path and lead us into victory over all the issues of our lives or are we clinging to our flashlights praying the batteries will last long enough to get us through the storm?
Drop the flashlight and run towards the Light!!!