Sunday, October 21, 2012

Chosen by God

I've been memorizing Ephesians 1:3-23.  I should say, trying.  After years of not memorizing my minds seems less able to retain what I've just been working on. Also, after memorizing in King James version  Bible as a kid, I've struggled to change to the English Standard Version.  However, this slow process has in fact, been for my good.  I've spent hours thinking about being chosen before the foundation of the world and having been predestined to be a 'son' - in my case daughter of the most high God - and all of that because the LORD Jesus Christ CHOSE to take on my sins on the cross, that I may be made a child of the living God of glory.

I have however struggled with God predestining me.  That he chose me, when I cannot imagine why.   

Then a flood of remembering the ways he has made himself known to me, overwhelmed me.  Things I had no control over but was blessed by.

1.  I was born into a family who loves the LORD.
2.  I was actively taught that He died for my sins, and salvation was  
     available for opening the door of my heart to him.  Rev. 3:20.
3.  God sent my parents to Bolivia just after I turned 15.   I, being 
     the last child at home, I was the one who got to go with them.    
     This unexpected turn of events was at a time when, in my   
     personal life,  I was making increasingly  bad choices to find 
     acceptance with my peers - none of them God honoring.
4.  In Bolivia, I was enrolled in a  mission boarding school. There I
     found my peers had a different mindset for what was acceptable
     behavior.  I became aware of how ones peers can be a factor in
     ones choices.  Praise the LORD I was placed in an arena where  
     my peers sought to follow and lived their love for the LORD.
     This was a totally unexpected turn of events in my life.  
5.  I was challenged by the lives of both my teachers and my fellow 
     students to return to the God of my youth.  Their teaching 
     is clearly seen as not returning void.

Now, I know others don't need
all that cosseting of the LORD.  Those who like my husband grew up in an ethically and morally good home but was not churched by his parents is a case in point.  He had some encounters in school with christian teachers and was taken to a Baptist Sunday School for a period of time but he's never spoken of those encounters 
drawing him to the LORD.  
He came to find the LORD, after he entered the work force,  due to a fellow employee in the workplace talking about the LORD and taking him to church with her.  Still, there may have been many ways before that he felt the call of the LORD.  

I believe in all our lives, in all cultures, God sends us definite glimpses of his presence and when hunger is awakened, brings even a more clear word of truth to our lives.   I'm sure every believer with very little thought can pinpoint different nudges from the LORD.

In my own life,  I can vividly remember the LORD touching my heart and life even from as young as 6 years old.  This, the creator of the universe, who created each of us in the womb. The Creator who knew us before ever the first human was created.  What a God.

I have never been the ideal, good and holy child of the LORD.  I've failed, and failed and failed yet again.  So, I am  so grateful that God didn't just choose the beautiful ones, or the 'naturally' good ones, or even the gifted or exceptional ones in his creation, but the ordinary ones like me.

I also can count may points in my life where I was made aware of His direct intervention in my life.  Three times, when I was on a pathway away from the LORD,  I had direct visions from the LORD  showing me where the path I was on was leading.  

I've had a few times where, like C S Lewis I was "Surprised by Joy"  having the curtain briefly raised to glimpse His great glory and experience a special moment of Joy in his presence.

I imagine this is true of many, or maybe all believers.  But for me, I believe the LORD brought these memories together as  I was pondering the scripture I've been memorizing, and wondering why me.  

Why me LORD?  I don't know, but in humility and gratitude I stand in awe of the creator of the universe who knows me and chose me for his own.  

While at Tambo (my boarding school in Bolivia) I do remember one of the teachers teaching on predestination.  I just about fell apart as a teen, questioning 'was I a chosen one'.  I wondered, was I trying to horn in on a salvation  not offered to me.  I finally sent a letter to my Dad. The wonderful man and father that he was, he took off from his work and made a 7 hour bus trip over 2 mountain ranges, to come to school just to talk to me. My dad reassured me at that time that I was chosen by the LORD.  But even so, the question this time was not if but why.

Forty years later I still stand in awe of being chosen, and predestined to salvation by the LORD of glory.

I know there is a lot of teaching on predestination.  Others have also asked, how can I be sure I was predestined, same as I did.  All I know is your heart would not seek the LORD if  he were not calling you.

I know many theologians will 
disagree with me in this but my personal belief is that God died for ALL mankind. He desires to save ALL mankind.  He makes his gift of redemption known to ALL mankind.  Then he makes himself known and  available and leaves the choice to us to open the door and invite him into our heart and life.

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