Why does God choose some and not others?
At school I hated team sports. It’s not that I’m not physically fit; give me dance, gymnastics, trampolining any day and I loved it, but team sports? Nope. You see, I was (am!) tiny – as an adult I’ve grown to be 4’11’’ (150cm) tall. I have no idea how small I was in school, but everyone towered above me.
In the UK, the traditional sport for girls in school is netball, and although I would never have wanted to represent the school on the official team, we were forced to play it in PE (Physical Education). I could play Centre or Wing Attack relatively well but if a teacher assigned me Goal Attack or Goalkeeper… well, I may as well not have been there!
And so, the classic line up would begin, captains picking the most skilful, the tallest, the most agile players and then begrudgingly being left with the rejects – me and maybe one or two others for whom sport was not their ‘thing’. I know what it’s like to not be picked for the team.
And as we travel through life, it can seem that that feeling doesn’t leave us. We’re not invited to the party, we’re not asked to be bridesmaid, we get rejected for the promotion that was surely destined to be ours.
We watch as those around us seem to be smashing their goals and we’re stood outside looking in – not cool enough for that project, not invited to take part in that ministry – and how others are promoted to positions of significance when we too could have taken on that role, or have dreamt of that opportunity for our entire lives.
Not only do we feel the rejection of others, but it’s easy to also feel like we’re not ‘chosen’, that God has overlooked us too.
Why does God choose some and not others?
Well, first of all, I’ve got good news for you! You are chosen.
The Bible tells us that you were chosen from the beginning (2 Thessalonians 2:13), before the foundations of the earth (Ephesians 1:4-5), that we did not choose Him, but that He chose us (John 15:16) and that as part of His Holy people we are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a people for God’s own possession (1 Peter 2:9).
Ah, but Jesus also said that many are called but few are chosen (Matthew 22:14). What does that mean?
Well, Jesus said these words at the end of the parable of the wedding feast; a story where the king sent out invitations to all the noblemen for his son’s wedding feast (the called).
No one came, they were all content just doing their own thing. So, the king sent his servants out to the streets, to invite whoever they came across and the wedding was full of guests. These people were the ones who accepted the call – the chosen ones.
So what do you have to do to be chosen?
Just say yes.
Say yes to all that God has placed before you. Say yes to a life of faith. Say yes to Him. You will have to pay a cost, but it will be well worth it.
You are chosen.
But what about when I don’t feel chosen?
Knowing all of that, it’s still easy to feel the sting of rejection when it seems that others are being raised up in their callings and we’re stuck on the bottom rung of the ladder. And it hurts, of course it hurts.
And the Bible is full of stories of people who were ‘chosen’, raised up from obscurity and seemingly made into overnight successes.
Think of David, called at a young age to be king of God’s chosen people. He knew that God had given a word for him to be king, and yet there he was stuck in a field looking after sheep, not even allowed down to join his brothers in battle.
It would have been easy for him to get a bit too big for his boots, being declared a future king, but he didn’t. What did he do?
David developed spiritually
He didn’t waste his time in that early phase, he prepared. He drew closer to God, writing songs, playing his harp, he knew that whatever his calling, he would need God to fulfil it.
So he invested in his spiritual life, using the waiting time to develop a deep and meaningful relationship with a God, a faith that was unswerving – a faith that one day would enable him to face a giant and see him declared as ‘a man after God’s own heart’.
David developed practically
Then David did all that he knew to do in the practical. He was faithful in the small things – protecting his father’s sheep, being dedicated to the task that was in front of him.
He didn’t neglect it, thinking that a future king wouldn’t have to do such menial tasks, he embraced it. He learnt how to fight wolves, bears and lions – a skill that would eventually give him the courage to fight a giant. Nothing was wasted.
But it would be a long time before he actually fulfilled his calling and became king, and there would be a lot of drama along the way.
Know this, if you find yourself in the waiting game – looking around you and wondering why everyone else is seemingly being picked for the team and you’re the last of the rejects – don’t lose heart.
There is still time. You haven’t seen the preparation that those people have been doing in the secret place, the graft they’ve been putting in behind the scenes.
It might seem like an overnight success story, but it’s highly likely that God has been preparing them for the call, in the same way that He prepared David, in the same way He is preparing you.
You are chosen for something! And when you find out what it is, His fingerprints will be all over it!
Four things to do while you wait to be chosen by God
- Say yes to all that God is putting in front of you
- Be faithful in the small things, the seemingly unimportant things
- Develop yourself in the spiritual
- Develop yourself in the practical
A prayer for when you don’t feel chosen
Thank you that you have called me to a life with you, and chosen me to play a part in your kingdom.
Guide me in knowing what that might look like. I want to serve you and I’m willing to pay the price and do what it takes.
I’m saying yes!
Help me to be faithful in the small things, even when they seem insignificant or unrelated to my calling.
Show me how to develop myself in practical areas that will one day give me useful skills and experience.
Help me to draw nearer to you in this time, develop in me a hunger for your word and a hunger for you.
And Lord Jesus, bring comfort when I feel the sting of rejection, when it seems that I’m not being picked for the team. Help me to not be discouraged.
Bring confirmation at the right time when I am doubtful of my calling. Help me not to compare myself to others but to fix my eyes on you, and on what you’re calling me to do.
Thank you that we all have a part to play and help me to cheer other people on while I wait for your plans to be fulfilled in my own life.
Thank you for all that you have been doing to prepare me. When the time is right, may I know what you want me to do, and may I do it with obedience and the greatest joy. Amen.
- How God Sees Us (7 Beautiful Ways)
- Prodigal Children: How to Pray For Your Prodigal Child
- Stepping Out in Faith: 3 Things God Wants You To Know