the set up

Posted: October 7th, 2009 | Filed under: God, life | Tags: | 3 Comments »

The authors of the New Testament refer to ‘the elect’ twenty five times. The ‘elect’ are ‘God’s chosen’, God’s ‘divine selection.’ Mark called them ‘God’s chosen ones.’ Matthew called them ‘Those God has picked for Himself.’

Isaac, son of ‘Father Abraham’, was supposed to be a link in a long, long line of son’s. Yet, Isaac’s soulmate couldn’t have kids. How can God’s plan be carried out when His people can’t even make the right choices?

We spend so much of our time trying to figure out God’s will for our lives so that we don’t mess up His plan. We’re harsh to others who ‘obviously aren’t following God’s will for their lives’ and we make fear based decisions because we don’t have a clue how this thing works.

Even so, in order further to carry out God’s purpose of selection (election, choice), which depends not on works or what men can do, but on Him Who calls [them]. -Romans 9:11 AMP

God can do (and does) whatever He wants to do. It’s in spite of you and it’s through you.

God ‘opened’ Rebecca’s womb and she carried twins. God chose Jacob before he was born and not his twin brother, Esau. God chose, yet still Esau was born first. God had a plan, man has free will and the two collided to play into God’s purpose. Lies, deception, manipulation and secrets are all part of human nature clawing for their own way and they are all used by God to fulfill His plan.

God isn’t unnerved about those who don’t understand and He’s not freaking out about those who are acting opposite of what you would think He wants. He doesn’t need you to be the MVP and He’s not concerned about ‘weak links’.

It’s because of the certainty that everything ends up the way He wants it to, that He can let the worst players have their turn on the court. He’s paid all the fines because He knows you’ll wrack them up, so He lets you play and be part of something that you would always want to be a part of, but never be able to qualify on your own.

The score is fixed. It’s been a set up from the beginning, but sometimes we forget and need a little reminder. You can’t mess this up. If He wanted to, He could hand you a piece of paper with every single one of your tailspins and wipeouts listed, but then why suck the mystery out of life? Life is a gift, it’s a chance for us to learn, grow and love.

He’s actively a part of your life, He talks to you where you are, on your level, because He wants you to win. Have you ever learned some spiritual truth right before you needed it? How about the ‘timely’ devotions that make it seem like He’s spoon feeding you through a valley of who-knows-what?

Many will find comfort in these words, but the truth remains that if it were not for God’s choosing, you would be out in the dark. None of this would make sense.

Is that grounds for complaining that God is unfair? Not so fast, please. God told Moses, “I’m in charge of mercy. I’m in charge of compassion.” Compassion doesn’t originate in our bleeding hearts or moral sweat, but in God’s mercy. -Romans 9:14-15

God does things, allows things and uses things to play exactly the way He wants. He does this without touching our free will. He doesn’t entrust His plan to us because He knows what’s in our hearts.

He hardened Pharaoh’s heart when Moses came to lead the Israelites out of slavery. God chose Pharaoh to play a role. How does that feel?

The same point was made when God said to Pharaoh, “I picked you as a bit player in this drama of my salvation power.” All we’re saying is that God has the first word, initiating the action in which we play our part for good or ill. -Romans 9:17-18

Are you okay with that? Some find their point of submission when they hear the truth in such an unapologetic way. Pharaoh got be a huge part of God’s story of salvation….just not as a hero. Is this why our disobedience is taken care of? We don’t know what’s going on, we’re just supposed to do the best we can. Meanwhile, God gets to suck the power out of Satan’s toys when He uses them to make the world talk about how God saved them.

The only thing Satan has left is to attack what you believe. What do you believe?

Are you going to object, “So how can God blame us for anything since he’s in charge of everything? If the big decisions are already made, what say do we have in it?” -Romans 9:19

Satan convinced Adam and Eve that they could rule themselves. Before their disobedience, they didn’t even know they had a ‘self’. After they chose, they were so aware that it freaked them out and sent them hiding in shame and vomit inducing remorse. Have you forgotten what it’s like to feel that? Do you still think you can choose your own way and label it ‘God’s will’? Are you so far away from where you started that when you hear about God’s sovereignty it makes you uncomfortable? Did you not get the part you wanted?

Who in the world do you think you are to second-guess God? Do you for one moment suppose any of us knows enough to call God into question? Clay doesn’t talk back to the fingers that mold it, saying, “Why did you shape me like this?” -Romans 9:20

God chooses and we can either submit or not, but He still gets His way. He made us with a purpose and we always just assume we’ll like the details of that purpose. If you’re after your own glory, you’ll be hugely disappointed. If you’re after His, then take your role and do your best. If it’s your failure that He used, then you’re in good company. Every character in the Bible went through it, too.

If God needs one style of pottery especially designed to show his angry displeasure and another style carefully crafted to show his glorious goodness, isn’t that all right? -Romans 9:32

He tells us not to worry, but we worry because we don’t know what He is doing. He tells us not to be afraid and we’re still afraid because we don’t understand that He’s not bound by anything. God’s sovereignty is what we should be afraid of, but His goodness is what we should put our hope in.

Scripture reassures us, “No one who trusts God like this—heart and soul—will ever regret it.” -Romans 10:11


3 Comments on “the set up”

  1. 1 janelle said at 7:20 am on October 7th, 2009:


    I will read this one over and over slowly to fully grasp the depth of your passion as a vessel of the Lord. This is so much what I

    believe and don't have the gift to speak/write

    it. Amazing words. Thank you. Thank you.

    Thank you for allowing your soul to speak.

    You are a huge blessing in my life and we've never even met.

  2. 2 Tia said at 7:57 am on October 7th, 2009:

    What an eye-opening reminder of truth. I felt the conviction of the times I've thrown my own pity party regarding the part I've been asked to play. – Lord may I remember i am only an actor and not the director of this play.

  3. 3 Ashley said at 10:41 am on October 7th, 2009:

    I feel like you are my "timely" friend. Grace seems to be a reoccurring thought in my head the past few months. I refer to you in my blog without actually saying your name today. Have you read Brennan Manning? I think you speak the same language.

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