“But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend, I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:8-10, NIV).
“God calls me. In a deeper sense than any other species of earthbound creature, I am called. And in a deeper sense, I am free, for I can ignore that call. I can turn a deaf ear. I can say that no call came. I can deny that God called or even that God exists. What a gift of amazing grace–that the One who made me allows me to deny His existence. God created me with the power to disobey, for the freedom to obey would mean nothing at all without the corresponding freedom to disobey. I can answer no, or I can answer yes. My fulfillment as a human being depends on my answer. It is a loving Lord who calls through the world's fog to His island of peace. If I trust Him, I will obey Him gladly” (Elisabeth Elliot, Discipline, the Glad Surrender).
I am called. I have been given the freedom to choose or reject that call. It is more than I can fathom. The Savior who gave His life so I might live does not demand my allegiance or my love in return. His love and forgiveness came at the greatest cost, yet He demands nothing of me. He allows me the power to choose. His willingness to carry all my fear, pain, failures, and ugliness to the cross was the greatest act of unselfish devotion and sacrifice. Still He waits for me to choose Him–calling through my fog of pain and fear–offering peace from the world's confusion and heartbreak.
Elisabeth Elliot's missionary husband was killed in South American by Acua Indians. Yet, out of her pain, she discovered the call of a loving God who offered peace in the midst of the painful circumstances that took her husband's life. There was no understanding why. There was only an awareness of the choice to be made in her own life. She could love God and serve Him or she could turn against Him and fester in the pain of her loss. In accepting His call to trust Him no matter what, she learned a great lesson through the years to come. The pain that she felt then became part of the joy she would discover later. In her surrender to the Lord's call to always trust His love, she learned that her greatest fulfillment would always be found in choosing Him. Her husband found his fulfillment in His call. Losing his life for what he believed came as a result of his choice. Although he did not know that death was imminent, it was her husband's choice to risk everything for his Savior.
We each have a choice. It is only when we choose Him that we discover the depth of our purpose. It is only when we choose Him that we discover who we were really created to be. It is a journey of a lifetime, and there is no greater joy that knowing you have said yes, and God has brought forth in your life exactly what He knew was your greatest potential. In Him is the the greatest fulfillment in life. The one who loved us enough to give His life for us has given us the freedom to choose or reject Him. How can we choose to say no?
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