Being Called versus Being Chosen
Jesus said to His disciples, many are called, but few are chosen. I never really understood this statement until the Lord spoke to me through the story of Gideon. In this, I saw that the call is for everyone, but there are certain things we need to do to be chosen:
1. Recognise your limitations – acknowledging your inadequacy is the first step in the journey of being used by God. Though we may see Gideon’s confession of his weakness as self-deprecating and a sign of doubt. However, confessing your weaknesses is saying to God that you cannot do anything except by His grace. Having said this, don’t stay in the consciousness of your weakness, but shift your focus on His grace.
2. Honour the presence of God – the next thing we notice Gideon do is to offer an offering to the Angel of the Lord. In this way, Gideon honoured the presence of God. Just as Gideon did, we too must offer an offering to God whenever we recognise His presence. This does not necessarily mean giving a material offering – although that is part of it, it also means offering praises and most importantly, our life in obedience to His Word.
3. Let go of your idols – the first command God gave Gideon was to destroy the altar of Baal his father built, and to erect an altar to the Lord. The only way God can use you and me, is for us to destroy all the altars in our hearts that we have raised to false gods – including ourselves. Whether it is pride, selfish ambition or whatever it might be, we will need to surrender these altars to the Lord and erect an altar to Him in our hearts.
4. Trust God, not numbers – when Gideon answered the call of God; thirty-two thousand men rallied around him to fight the Midianites and Amalekites. But God told Him that these people are too much for Him to use. God soon proved that not all of them present was actually with him in their hearts. God did this by asking him to announce that those who were fearful and afraid should return to their homes. Twenty-two thousand left, and only ten thousand remained. This proves to us that security is not found in the multitude of people that surround us, but just in the grace of God. So trust His grace.
5. Stay alert in the place of rest – God still told Gideon that the ten thousand with him is too much and told him to test them at the water brook. Those who lapped the water were chosen, and those who went down on their knees to drink water were sent home. I believe what God was showing Gideon is that He can only trust and use those who will depend on Him and stay alert, even in the place of rest. This is the test of the place of restc- will you stop trusting God and let go of yourself – just as those who drank with their hands did or will you stay on the lookout, even as you refresh yourself – trusting only in the grace of God?
6. Stay obedient to God – sometimes we believe that when God gives us an instruction, a vision or a calling, that that is where it all ends. We think that answering God’s initial call guarantees success, irrespective of the decision we make after receiving the call. Gideon demonstrated this when he obeyed God’s instruction to go down to the camp of the Midianites, where he heard the dream, which exposed the fear of the enemy and signalled that God had given them to him. This was the sign Gideon needed to act on. He followed the strategy God gave him, and victory was assured as a result. If Gideon did not respond to God’s prompting to go to the Midianite camp, everything else he did up to that point would have been useless. In the same vein, the only way to ensure victory and success is to obey God continually.
7. Stay humble – after Gideon had delivered victory to the children of Israel and broken the bondage of Midian and the Amalekites, the children of Israel wanted him to rule over them, but Gideon said to them that only God will rule over them. In the same vein, do not get carried away with the victories that God gives you. If you do, you make yourself vulnerable to the next wave of Satan’s attack, because he will never give up. But if you stay humble, you will continue in the grace of God.
In summary, to be part of the chosen, you must acknowledge your limitations, honour the presence of God, let go of your idols, trust in God and not numbers, stay alert in the place of rest, stay obedient to God and stay humble. Practising these things show that we are worthy to be part of the few that are chosen by God.
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