Chosen And Beloved
I’ve never been one to care about labels. MAC or Maybelline. Prada or Payless.
However, in today's society it seems that the better the name on the exterior label, the more something is worth. Yet, what about the labels we wear everyday? The ones people can’t see from the outside?
Labels like: Not good enough. Hopeless. Fearful. Rejected. Broken.
Recently, I prayed at the altar of my church’s sanctuary, asking God why I struggle so much with our relationship. Why isn't it where I want it to be?
God, in His mercy, gave me the answer. I saw the word “disappointment” rise up in my mind’s eye and started to weep. Throughout my life, I’ve felt like a disappointment – in how I look (struggling with weight and low self-esteem), in my personality (an introvert wanting to be more happy and optimistic), and in accomplishing the American dream (aka a career, a husband, and a family).
If I disappointed man so much, how much more must I be disappointing my God?
I’ve come to see that this question is not from God, but from the accuser, Satan.
The enemy of our souls has a way of getting under our skin and into our minds. He takes that one little question, “If…” and uses it to twist our understanding of God and ourselves. He did it with Eve in the garden and He did it with Jesus in the wilderness.
“If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” -Matthew 4:3
“If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down…” -Matthew 4:6
“All these things (the kingdoms of the world) I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” -Matthew 4:9
When I first came to Christ, I felt so new. I felt like someone really, really loved me and not who they wanted me to be. But as I grew older in Christ, my walk became harder and, unlike Jesus in the wilderness, I failed.
Yet, the accuser still uses the same tactic as he did with Jesus in the wilderness:
“If you’re the daughter of God, how could you hurt God so much?”
The enemy reminds us of our past failings in the hopes we’ll be flooded by guilt and shame. We all have things in our past that we regret, which is why we need to soak in God’s truth and release our sins where they belong: in the past and under the blood of Jesus. Jesus didn’t come for the righteous. He came for the sick in spirit, for the failures and the lost.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” -Romans 8:1
This same God has removed our sins as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12) and He remembers them no more, so don’t allow the enemy to remind you of what God has forgotten! Recognize the power of the sin that was forgiven on the cross, but let that fill you with grace and love for your God, not condemnation.
“If you’re really the daughter of God, why don’t you read your Bible more?”
Satan uses our struggles to steal our peace and plant seeds of doubt in our hearts. We may not be in the places in our walk where we’d like to be and if there are struggles like addiction or idolatry within our hearts, we know that God won’t turn a blind eye to it. Why? Because He loves us.
“For whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” -Hebrews 12:6
God will not allow us to stay comfortable with the things that will slowly steal us away from Him. The point of the chastening and the disciplining is to bring us back to Himself and become free from anything Satan can use to accuse against us. We were made in His image in Genesis 1:27 and were predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29).
Instead of seeing myself the way God sees me, I’ve taken every accusation to heart and made it my truth. Jesus never did. He knew who He was even after 40 days of fasting and starvation. Still, He never gave in to Satan’s lies.
“Behold! My Servant whom I have chosen, My Beloved in whom my soul is well pleased!” -Matthew 12:18
To get us to give up on God, satan works tirelessly to convince us that we are failures. Whether it’s because we’ve put on a few (or many) pounds, our single status, or our lack of good deeds.
The truth is you are chosen and beloved. Every negative label that has followed you throughout life was wiped clean when you accepted Jesus as your Savior and Lord. We were given brand-new identities as daughters of our Abba King and we no longer need to walk around with seeping emotional wounds for by His stripes we have been healed (1 Peter 2:24).
God, the Father proclaimed Jesus’ chosenness and belovedness to all who could hear and He does the same for you and me. When we walked down that aisle and said, “Yes” to salvation, we also said “Yes!” to freedom, forgiveness, and friendship with God.
Do you really believe you are chosen and beloved? How would your thoughts, heart, actions reflect that if you did?
// image by Jennifer Hope Enocksen