He Chose You
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name, the Father will give you.” John 15;16 NIV
Many of my friends have spoken to me about the television series “The Chosen,” which is based on the life of our Lord Jesus. In one of the episodes, Jesus met a man named Simon the Zealot. At one point, Simon asked the Lord Jesus, “Why did you choose me?” Jesus turned to face him and said, “Simon, I have everything I need, but I wanted you.”
Isn’t that amazing? The Lord doesn’t need any of us to do anything for Him. He is God, Our Creator, Adonai, and Elohim. Yet, though He has everything and can do anything, He chose you and me. He saw our broken hearts and our broken spirits.
Our souls yearn to return to the first story. The story began in the Garden of Eden. Where God, Adam, and Eve were in unison. God walked around the Garden and talked with Adam.
No sin could separate them until the serpent placed doubt in Eve’s mind. “Did God really say, “You must not eat from any tree in the Garden? To this, Eve responded, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the Garden, but God did say, you must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the Garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die. You will not certainly die, the serpent said to the woman. For God knows that when you eat from it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:1-5 NIV)
Despite reading these verses so many times, I did not realize the language the serpent used to place doubt in Eve’s mind. “Did God really say…? Surely you won’t die.” His words focused on finding a loophole and information than about the love, trust, and intimacy that God had given Adam and Eve.
He led Eve to doubt God, who she was, and whose she was for her to think that there were better things available than what God was providing for them. He acts the same way toward us. He sows doubts in our minds to make us forget who God is, who we are, and whose we are.
John Eldridge offers the following interpretation of what happened in the Garden of Eden: “Satan came into the Garden whispered to Adam and Eve and in them, to all of us. You cannot trust the heart of God… he’s holding out on you… you’ve got to take matters under your control.” (Eldridge, 204. P.55)
Satan sowed the seed of mistrust in our hearts and tempted us so he could seize control. Unfortunately, it’s the same lie he still uses in your life and mine.
The enemy still uses the strategy of making us doubt God. The Old Testament speaks of David as a great King. He faced similar temptations that we face today. But he provided guidance on how to deal with those uncertainties throughout his Psalms. He had doubts about his current situation, other people’s motives, and the injustices of the world. David questioned his situation, yet he talked to God about it. Why? David knew God and trusted God.
In his book “The Eden Option,” author, Allen Arnold, explained how following the fall, Adam and Eve lost four essential things:
- They lost their union with God. They didn’t become gods because they doubted God. On the contrary, it caused them to hide in shame from God.
- They lost their voices. Adam remained silent when Eve was tempted. Then after the fall, Adam used his voice to blame Eve. She, in turn, used her voice to blame the serpent.
- They lost their vision. The serpent promised their eyes would be opened. And they were, but not in the way they hoped.
- They lost the ability to rest. Their curse included pain, striving, and restlessness. (Arnold, 2022, pp. 60-61)
Allen Arnold states, “Story 1 is the original true story we were made for. A way of life that evolves around God, where we are fully seen, known and loved. Story 2 is the counterfeit narrative we’re born into. A way of life that revolves around us. We make ourselves the hero of the story, then wonder why God seems distant.” (The Eden Option)
In Story 2, unison, voice, vision, and rest were lost. However, in Story 1, we have an opportunity to get them back. The journey is possible but requires us to live by choice, not by chance.
In the story of Alice in Wonderland, Alice is a dreamer full of curiosity, but one of her flaws is her inability to make decisions. So when she encounters the Cheshire Cat, Alice says, “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
The Cheshire Cat responded, “That depends greatly on where you want to get to.” Alice replied, “I don’t much care where. Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cheshire Cat. “So long as I get somewhere,” responded Alice.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cheshire Cat, “if you only walk long enough.” (Geronimi, Jackson & Hamilton 1951)
This movie always left me puzzled when I watched it. Who was more confused, Alice or the Cheshire Cat? I couldn’t tell. But, as I watched it with my grandchildren, I realized that the Cheshire Cat knew Alice had a problem. Her problem wasn’t getting somewhere but not knowing where she wanted to go.
The same was true for Adam and Eve and for us as well. By choosing to disobey God and eat from the forbidden tree, they went somewhere—to a misguided journey where God was not the center. They lost sight of who they were and whose they were. The same holds true for us. There will be instances when we will have to make a choice.
The world will tempt us with various pleasures that will appeal to our flesh, which will ultimately cause us to live in Story 2, where we, not God, are the main character. But, unfortunately, that will set us on a path of confusion and will cause us to make wrong decisions, just like Alice.
But no matter what storms and difficulties we may face, if we know who we are and whose we are and choose to live in Story 1, to be in communion with God where He is the center of our lives, then we can stand firm because we know that through Jesus we are saved by Grace, and He didn’t leave us alone.
The Holy Spirit is with us, teaches us, guides us, and reminds us who we are. We are children of the Most High God. The God who chose us, who sees us—El Roi, and who left everything to rescue us and deliver us from our sins. Friends, we don’t have to live in Story 2. Let’s choose to live Story 1 instead, as our Heavenly Father intended for us to live. Jesus made that possible for you and me.
Lord, thank you for seeing me and choosing me even though you didn’t need anything from me. Lord, You left all our glory and came down from Heaven to rescue me by giving Your life for me. I choose to live my life in Story 1. I choose to make You the center of my life. A life where I can boldly come to You and talk to You, knowing that You listen to my prayers; You speak to me when I’m silent, and You are always working behind the scenes even when I can’t see You. I love you, Lord, because You loved me first. In your name, amen!
- Arnold, A. (2022). The Eden Option. NavPress. Tyndale House Publishers
- Eldridge, J. (2004) Epic: The Story God is Telling. Thomas Nelson, Inc. Nashville, Tennessee
- Geronimi, C., Wilfred, J. and Hamilton, L. (Directors). (1951). Alice in Wonderland [Motion Picture]. Walt Disney Productions. RKO Radio Pictures.
- The Lucado Encouraging Word Holy Bible New International Version (2020). Nashville, Tennessee
great post! thank you for sharing. i’m going to add ‘the eden option’ to my reading list. 🙂
It’s a great book that helps us to see clearly the life God intended for us to live since creation.