Appendix VI: CALLED AND CHOSEN
While we are invited to interact with God, we choose when we respond and to what degree we partake of our heavenly Father’s insightful fellowship.
We can accept God’s call to fellowship and experience a relational rebirth yet fail to realize our awakening is meant to activate fellowship with Him. We can be confident of a life after this life and yet be complacent about an active interaction with God in this world. We may even receive insights from God and respond as a faithful servant and still miss the insightful sharing that comes from a fellowship of hearts.
God loves each of His offspring so He blesses the just as well as the unjust (Matthew 5:45). Abundant blessings fall upon all who partake of God’s fellowship and go from childhood disciplines to mature friendship.
You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you (John 15:14-15).
The story Jesus told of the Prodigal Son is a good example of the different levels of relationship we can have (Luke 15:11-32). Some of us take the gifts that God bestows, ignore Him, and live our own way. Others awaken from indifference and turn to partake of God’s forgiving love. Some are raised in the house of God and fail to get close enough to our heavenly Father to understand His heart. Still others partake of God’s richly rewarding insight and learn of his heart.
Too often we hear or read about the biblical heroes of faith and fail to really relate to them, as though that kind of faith was only for them and a few select people. We disassociate ourselves from them, thinking they were specially picked and chosen. We think they are not like us. This is a huge mistake.
Our general view of Jesus is an example of such disconnect. Scripture says he was tempted in all points like us (Hebrews 4:15), but we tend to say that the reason he didn’t fall was because he was the Son of God. Disconnect! Being tempted, however, means Jesus could have been led astray.
Contrary to some views, when Jesus walked the earth, he did not know everything. He overcame temptations because he was in fellowship with Father and followed God’s lead. Jesus did not stray from what God said (Matthew 4:1-11) and is God’s example of what life in our heavenly Father’s fellowship is really like. He followed Father’s insightful lead.
It was his fellowship with his Father that enabled Jesus to say and do what he saw and heard the Father say and do (John 5:19). Close fellowship with his Father enabled Jesus to reflectively resemble God, even in the toughest of times, such as at his crucifixion (Matthew 26:39-42).
We are all called to know our heavenly Father and the fellowship of Christ (His anointing presence), as Jesus did.
If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me…if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him (John 12:26).
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you (Ephesians 5:1-2).
As offspring, we are all invited and called to receive of God and experience the fellowship of His presence. While we are not all called into a major social activity, we are all called to reflectively resemble God (His image and likeness) in each of our situations and circumstances.
Scripture speaks of this calling as “adoption.” In Hebrew society an adoption is called a bar mitzvah. Sons were raised primarily by their mother, and at the age of twelve they were adopted by their father. Dad then became the sons’ primary teacher. Their father would educate the sons in a trade and discipline them in the ways and methods of the father so the sons could learn to function as a representative of the father.
God sent forth His Son, born of a woman…that we might receive the adoption as sons (Galatians 4:4-5).
In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself (Ephesians 1:4-5).
All who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For…you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:14-15)
In adoption we become more than offspring who know God as Provider, Lord, King, and Judge. We become children who are disciplined in the ways of the Father.
There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man…As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God (John1:9, 12).
Now the question is, how do we become chosen ones? John shares the secret of God’s choosing: Those who are with Him are the called, chosen, and faithful (Revelation 17:14). The chosen are offspring who respond to God’s call to become disciplined children and then remain faithful to the guiding fellowship of His presence.
Peter said that we make our calling and choosing certain, as we, by His grace and peace, become partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4, 10). Each of us diligently makes certain God’s choosing by being faithful to His guidance.
Peter goes on to say that our conscious efforts to make certain our choosing means we are adding to our faith the qualities of moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and divine love (2 Peter 1:1-11).
Jesus became our elder brother (Romans 8:29), as one of us, so we would have a visual example to learn from. Jesus is a faithful reflective resemblance of our heavenly Father. We want to keep our eyes on the example God gave in Jesus and encourage each other to faithfully pursue God’s guiding presence.
While Scripture tells us many are called but few are chosen (Matthew 22:13), we are also told the few will eventually become the many because the knowledge and glory of the Lord will fill the whole earth as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14). While the waters do not fully cover the earth, their coverage of the seas is total and without exception.
In the fellowship of Father’s presence, we are taught, apprenticed, tutored, and disciplined as maturing children into God’s character, attitude, and personality (CAP).
Finally, all offspring are called to become disciplined children who reflectively resemble our heavenly Father in this life. Faithfulness to God’s fellowship is what assures our choosing.
Father’s Fellowship Nurtures Us
Me: “God, can I ask You a question?”
Me: “Promise You won’t get mad?”
God: “I promise.”
Me: “Why did You let so much stuff happen to me today?”
God: “What do you mean?”
Me: “Well, I woke up late…”
Me: “My car took forever to start…”
Me: “At lunch, they made my sandwich wrong and I had to wait…”
Me: “On the way home, my phone went dead, just as I picked up a call…”
God: “All right…”
Me: “And on top of it all, when I got home I just wanted to soak my feet in my new foot massager and relax. But it wouldn’t work! Nothing went right today! Why did You do that?”
God: “Let me see, the death angel was at your bed this morning and I had to send one of My angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that.”
Me: (humbled) “Oh…”
GOD: “I didn’t let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that would have hit you if you were on the road.”
Me: (ashamed but silent)
God: “The first person who made your sandwich today was sick, and I didn’t want you to catch what they have. I knew you couldn’t afford to miss work.”
Me: (embarrassed) “Okay.”
God: “Your phone went dead because the person that was calling was going to give false witness about what you said on that call. I didn’t let you talk to them so you would be covered.”
Me: (softly) “I see, God.”
God: “Oh, and that foot massager, it had an electrical short that was going to knock out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn’t think you would want to be in the dark.”
Me: “I’m so sorry, God.”
God: “Don’t be sorry, just learn to trust Me.. in all things, the good and the bad.”
Me: “I will trust You.”
God: “And don’t doubt that My plan for your day is always better than your plan.”
Me: “I won’t, God. And let me just tell you, God, thank You for everything today.”
God: “You’re welcome, child. It was just another day being your Father. I love looking after My children.”
It is a wise father who knows his child. But it’s a very wise child who takes time to know his father. —Anonymous
God is not only the Creator of the natural universe, He is your Creator. He is not only the Father of humanity, He is your Father. He is not only the Redeemer of mankind, He is your Redeemer! Doesn’t it make a huge difference when you realize He is your personal Father?
Humanity began in the mind of God before the progressions of time even started. As He desired to father offspring, He saw each one of us as children who would grow and develop under His parental care into reflective resemblances of His heart.
Unfortunately Adam and Eve chose to ignore God’s guidance. The path they chose to follow was filled with the thick fog of self-centeredness that skewed their ability to see clearly and understand the Father’s love. Our first parent’s confusion led them to think of Him as an angry Father, and their fear created a separation in their relationship with God. They tried to hide from Him, as if anyone could (Genesis 3:8).
As a result of their choice, the differences between them began to appear as menacing contrasts instead of complements. Adam and Eve became suspect of each other, and their view of God and His love for them changed from unconditional (God’s type of love) to conditional love. This guarded perception of love still hinders our relationships today.
We trust you’ve enjoyed the preview for this chapter. We hope you’ll purchase a copy of the book and join us on this exciting faith journey. Created to Relate is available from this website or Amazon.com