“Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.” (Ephesians 1:4)
With our finite minds, it really doesn’t make much sense at all. To imagine that before one blade of grass appeared in the Garden, or one ray of sunlight sliced through the brand new swath of sky, the Creator had already chosen us to “be holy and blameless” in his sight. The whole idea defies comprehension and is altogether beyond the understanding of us mere mortals made in the image of God.
Since he has been thinking about us for quite some time, he must certainly have incredible plans for our time here on earth. If he chose us even before the first “Let there be…” left his lips, surely we can rest in the fact that he has a grand purpose for us to fulfill.
Throughout history, God always chose particular people for his divine purposes. We see his selection of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to carry out his plans for the children of Israel. We learn about Joseph’s journey, agonizing with him at his brutal treatment by those who should have loved him best of all. Then right before the first book of the Bible wraps up, God explains through Joseph that his divine plans are never thwarted by the misfortunes that topple our world. In fact, he actually uses what others mean for great harm to produce great good in the lives of a great many people (See Genesis 50:19-20).
We think that God’s choosing is all about doing something of significance, but the “being” he wants for us takes precedence. Paul’s explanation that God desires us to “be holy and blameless” connects closely with “Be still, and know that I am God” from Psalm 46:10. John Ortberg illustrates the powerful principle of this one verse when looked at this way:
- Be still, and know that I am God
- Be still, and know that I am
- Be still, and know
- Be still
When God dramatically called Paul and sent the prophet Ananias to him, God wanted Paul to understand that he was “a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and king and the children of Israel” (Acts 9:15). The Lord desires that we accept, too, that we are his chosen instruments to fulfill the purposes he designed “before the foundation of the world.”
It makes sense for us to “be still” long enough in his presence for him to impress on us what on earth he has planned for us to be and to do!
Elizabeth A. Mitchell
Photo Credit: Dee Kallgren