Godís Chosen

By: Rob Evans


How seriously do you take God's calling?

Is it special to you?

Do you realize that there is more to God's plan than just being called?

Matthew 20:16 states: "So the last shall be first, and the first last: for MANY be CALLED but FEW CHOSEN." I would like to ponder this very important verse regarding our calling a little further.

Called

Many believe that there is only one aspect to God's plan and that is being called in the first place. Many do little or nothing beyond being called. They have become so focused on themselves, the world, and the comfort and security of their present circumstances, they forget that there are choices to be made.

Revelation 17:14 reveals three distinct phases in which God deals with his people: "These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are CALLED, CHOSEN, AND FAITHFUL." Notice that God's people are not just "called", they are "chosen" and "faithful." Many of us make the false assumption that once we are called and chosen that we just need to live as righteous as we can until Christ returns and makes us a part of His kingdom.

The story of Gideon and his army facing the Midianites in Judges 7 reveals much about the process that God uses to deal with His people. Let's start reading in verse 1: "'Then Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the people who were with him rose early and encamped beside the well of Harod, so that the camp of the Midianites was on the north side of them by the hill of Moreh in the valley (Judges 7:1).

The people with Gideon were the people he called in that day to do His bidding. Now notice what God instructed Gideon to do next: "And the LORD said to Gideon, "The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, `My own hand has saved me.' {3} "Now therefore, proclaim in the hearing of the people, saying, `Whoever is fearful and afraid, let him turn and depart at once from Mount Gilead.' " And twenty-two thousand of the people returned, and ten thousand remained" (Judges 7:2-3).

Twenty-two thousand people became afraid. Were they chosen? They certainly were not faithful and they left the camp of God.

Put On The Whole Armor Of God

Now I want to take a short trip back to Ephesians 6:10 and I want you to notice what God says about being prepared for battle: "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. {11) "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. {12} "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. {13} "Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. {14} "Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, {15} "and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; {16} "above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. {17} "And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; {18} praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints."

Chosen

Did you notice that God has given us a spiritual suit of armor to prepare ourselves for battle.

Let's go back to Gideon now and we will see some fascinating parallels between the physical army of Israel and the spiritual army of Israel. Let's continue to read in Judges 7:4: "But the LORD said to Gideon, "The people are still too many; bring them down to the water, and I will test them for you there. Then it will be, that of whom I say to you, `This one shall go with you,' the same shall go with you; and of whomever I say to you, `This one shall not go with you,' the same shall not go."

Did you notice here that God has begun a process of choosing those who will fight for Him? A real fascinating aspect of this process is that God does not physically choose His people but through testing, the people make their own decision and they either continue on with the process or they are eliminated. This certainly tells us that we, as God's people, are required to make certain decisions and take certain actions in order to continue to be a part of the army of God. Now notice the procedure God takes to determine who the final warriors will be, Judges 7:5: `So he brought the people down to the water. And the LORD said to Gideon, "Everyone who laps from the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set apart by himself; likewise everyone who gets down on his knees to drink." {6} "And the number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was three hundred men; but all the rest of the people got down on their knees to drink water. {7} 'Then the LORD said to Gideon, "By the three hundred men who lapped I will save you, and deliver the Midianites into your hand. Let all the other people go, every man to his place." {8} 'So the people took provisions and their trumpets in their hands. And he sent away all the rest of Israel, every man to his tent, and retained those three hundred men."

At first glance, you look at this scripture and you may say, "What a haphazard way to choose a warrior!" but a little closer look tells you a lot about the men who used their hands to get a drink of water. You can begin to see why God did not want the men in His army who laid on the ground and lapped the water with their tongue when you realize what they had to put down to get that drink of water, their helmets, shields, and weapons. Do you remember the armor of God, the helmet of salvation, the shield of faith, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God's word?

How many of God's people today have laid down the armor of God thinking they were His chosen people? There are going to be some very rude awakenings and I think we only see the rumblings of it now. Did you also notice that God set-up the situation but it was the actions and decisions made by the people that determined whether or not they would be chosen? God's people are having to make those same decisions today and these decisions have everything to do with being prepared for doing battle. Only a few have responded in the manner God desires and requires.

Faithful

You see, many are called to the battle but only a few are chosen and once chosen, you must continue to make decisions and commit to actions that are in keeping with being a part of God's family and that requires faith, the third step in the process. You will notice again Gideon's army and what God required of the three hundred who had been chosen, Judges 7:16: `'Then he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet (shophar or ramís horn) into every man's hand, with empty pitchers, and torches inside the pitchers. {17} "And he said to them, "Look at me and do likewise; watch, and when I come to the edge of the camp you shall do as I do: {18} "When I blow the trumpet, I and all who are with me, then you also blow the trumpets on every side of the whole camp, and say, `The sword of the LORD and of Gideon!"'

It seems just a little strange that God would send Gideon's army into battle with a trumpet and an empty clay pitcher with torches lit inside them. As we have already seen, there was more to Gideon's army than the physical aspect and Paul helps us understand this in II Corinthians 10:3: "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. {4} For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,{5}casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, {6} and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled."

Paul tells us that we indeed have a fight on our hands and that we cannot use traditional weapons to win the war. In fact, the very fighting of this war subjects us in all humility to God and the glory of the victory will be His when we are faithful to Him. The clay pitchers with the torches inside are just a type for us to consider.

Let's look at II Corinthians 4:6: "For it is God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. {7} But we have this treasure in EARTHEN VESSELS, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us."

The light that shown from the pitchers in Gideon's army is symbolic of the light that Christ shines through our hearts and minds illuminating us to His truth and knowledge.

Now notice the final events between Gideon's army and the Midianites in Judges 7:19: "So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outpost of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just as they had posted the watch; and they blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers that were in their hands. {20} "Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers. They held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands for blowing, and they cried, "The sword of the LORD and of Gideon!" {21} "And every man stood in his place all around the camp; and the whole army ran and cried out and fled. {22} 'When the three hundred blew the trumpets, the LORD set every man's sword against his companion throughout the whole camp; and the army fled."

Be Humble Before God

The breaking of the pitchers is symbolic of God's people being broken by God and fully submitting himself or herself into the hands of God. It is then that the light of Christ can shine through us and be a light to the whole world. The trumpets are types as well and has a part in our warfare as stated in Isaiah 58:1: '"Cry aloud, spare not; Lift up your voice like a TRUMPET; Tell My people their transgression, And the house of Jacob their sins."

I find it very interesting that God tells us to proclaim to the house of Jacob their sins, but this would best be left for another article, however, this does give you an idea of the kind of battle we are going to have to fight.

Just like Gideon's army, we have been called for a purpose. It is now up to us to make that calling sure by remaining faithful to the Almighty and gird ourselves with His spiritual armor. Our calling did not stop with a "calling." We are required to act on that calling, just like Gideon's army, and have faith in the Almighty God that he will see us through to the end. We must remain faithful by wearing the armor of God and taking up the sword of His Spirit so that we may overcome and be found worthy to sit down with Christ on His throne (Rev. 3:21).

Many are called but FEW are chosen. Do not take your calling lightly, remain faithful and make it sure! ! !


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