Thursday, April 9, 2015

Chosen


Ephesians 1:4-5, "Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God 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."

I am reminded today of how we used to pick teams for games when we had a large group of people. There were two team captains and then a line of multiple people whom the captains could choose from to be on their team. The first captain would choose who he wanted and then the next, and they'd rotate back and forth until every person had been placed on a team. You knew the people who would be chosen first, but the sad part was when there were only two people left and one of them was going to end up on a team feeling as if they were there simply because there were no more people to choose from. You never wanted to be chosen last.

I never liked picking teams that way because there had to be that last person standing there who felt unwanted... unneeded... not chosen.

Deep down in each of our hearts I believe we all have a longing to be chosen. There's this belief that some of us have that if we could just be smart enough... pretty enough... rich enough... cool enough... popular enough... that somehow we'd then be worthy of being chosen by those we feel rejected by.

God's dealt with my heart so much in this area over the past few years, but I can remember so clearly the years I went through of just longing to be wanted and to measure up to some standard I thought in my mind I needed to measure up to in order to be chosen. I was so insecure about myself! I felt like no guy out there was interested in me. In my mind, I bought into the lie that if I was just skinny enough, then I'd be wanted. So, I starved myself and went through two years of anorexia in Jr. High. I'd faced rejection (that really turned out being God's protection), and because of feeling rejected, I thought surely there was something wrong with me. I felt like I wasn't enough.

Then I went to college for a semester, and that's where God began revealing to me who I am in Christ and that I have so much worth and value, not because of who I am but because of Whose I am.

Last night, I was reading in Beth Moore's Bible study "Living Beyond Yourself". I was instructed to read Ephesians 1:3-6. Verses 4-5 talk about how God chose us even before the world was made. Then God started stirring this devotional in my heart.

He CHOSE me. Not only did He choose me. I was CHOSEN even before the world began.

Later in the Bible study, I read Deuteronomy 7:6 which says, "For you are a holy people, who belong to the Lord your God. Of all the people on earth, the Lord your God has chosen you to be his own special treasure."

Coming from a girl who grew up with massive low self-esteem from my own insecurities, these verses spoke volumes to me. The words "chosen" and "special treasure" definitely are what I long to be described as.

Something God taught me as I spent many hours alone while I was in college is that I like who He made me to be. I certainly don't like everything I do, and I don't like who I am in and of myself. However, I do like who I am IN CHRIST. Instead of being my worst enemy, I enjoy my own company now. Instead of constantly needing someone else to keep me propped up emotionally, I now have the confidence that God chose me, and therefore, I am chosen, wanted, and Someone's special treasure.

There's something I learned from my insecure years. No matter how much people accept me, if I don't learn who I am in Christ, I will never be secure. People weren't the reason I was insecure. In fact, there were many people who told me really encouraging and nice things while I was growing up, but I didn't believe them. If we look for our security in another's opinion of us, we'll go through our entire life trying to measure up. On the other hand, if we will find our security, worth, and value in what our Heavenly Father has to say about us, no matter what others say or do or think about us, we'll have our firm footing on the solid Rock of Christ.

Know today that no matter what people have accepted or rejected you in life, God chose you. You are chosen by the Creator Himself. Guess what! He even chose you before the world was made, and He knew exactly every good and bad thing you'd ever do. He still chose you.

Live as a chosen child of God.

Dear Heavenly Father,

You know the struggles I've faced in this area of simply wanting to be chosen. Due to that deep desire that I was trying to have filled by people rather than by You, the pain of rejection was excruciating. There were times I bought into the enemy's lies that if I were just pretty enough, funny enough, skinny enough, or some other enough that I'd be worthy of being chosen. Thank You for choosing me knowing full well everything I'd ever do... every success and every mistake. I pray for anyone else who's been caught in this trap of not feeling chosen that You'll begin to show them just how much of a special treasure they are to You and the worth they have in You. In Jesus' Name.

Amen.