“They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.” (17:14)
Called, Chosen, Faithful. These words humbled me today. I can’t believe I am those things to God. Especially when there seems to be another huge population described as:
“dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world.” (17:8)
This theology of predestination makes a lot of people uncomfortable, myself included. I’m reminded of a day, back in Camarillo when Carly and I were roommates, reading the Bible across the breakfast table from each other. One of us (who can remember) looked up from reading Ephesians 1 and said, “You know, it really sounds like Paul believes in predestination.” To which, I think the other one of us said something like, “Yeah. Yikes.”
My name has been in the Book of Life since the foundation of the world?! Why?! Why me and not someone else?
Many have speculated about how this works, God existing outside of time and all, but it draws me to lean on how beautifully trustworthy He is. I wrestle with the concept; as I so deeply love people who wouldn’t call themselves “saved” and plenty of them have passed on already. As I feel myself getting emotional about it, I cling to the hope I see in the love of God, which flows through me, making it possible at all for me to be bothered by the eternal state of my friends in the first place.
Then I’m drawn back to an overwhelming gratitude that I’m known and loved by God. I know my name is in His book of life because He’s given me the deposit of His Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14).
He’s been speaking to me since I was a little girl. I know He chose me, and I not Him initially, because I was so young when He came to me. In fact, I feel I was never without Him. Why was I chosen to receive this blessing?
Not only this, but I dare say I was placed in the best family, raised in the best part of the best city, attending the best church. I am overwhelmed.
I’ve spent more of my life trying to make the most of this abundant privilege. Indeed I can love generously because I am so generously loved.
So how do I ever manage to find things to stress about? I think I have more power to fowl things up than I actually do. All the best things in my life came to me, completely outside of my control. I see that’s rare, and I choose gratitude.
I don’t know what your story with the LORD is, but consider with me today His love and His choice of us; giving us His Spirit and calling us faithful.
When we get stressed and overwhelmed by life, maybe praying that Jesus returns today, let’s exchange that anxiety for prayers of thanksgiving and remember:
“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)