This is the first entry in a series about the labels God gives us. I had originally wanted to start with the first label in the series given in women’s ministry, but last week’s label was so powerful for me and the young women in my small group, I knew I had to start here.
“ So then you are no longer strangers and aliens,but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” – Ephesians 2:19
Have you ever felt like you don’t belong? I know that I have. I have often fretted about belonging and being chosen. I was single for a long period of time after college and I wondered if I would ever be chosen again. Sometimes, I wondered if God had called me to a life of singleness for the purpose of ministry. I wanted desperately to follow God’s will for my life, but I longed for an earthly partner to walk beside me – to work beside me.
I recall a time in my singleness where I released that desire to be chosen. I realized that the only thing that mattered was that I was chosen by God. If no one on earth ever chose me again, I had been chosen before the foundations of the world. My identity rests in that – rests in Him. He called me out of my sinfulness into the light of the family of God. What could be better than that? And, I took comfort in knowing that this place is not my home. I may be a stranger here, but in the Kingdom of God, I’m a known, beloved and cherished daughter.
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” – 1 Peter 2:9
Even as a married woman, I can still fight the feeling of not belonging. I sometimes feel misunderstood or somehow on the outside. And, although our marriage is strong and I don’t worry that Nick will stop choosing me – the truth is that humans get themselves into all kinds of messes. So, if he does ever stop choosing me (may God forbid it), that won’t change my heavenly citizenship or the fact that I’m chosen for eternity. I belong to the family of God.
Lynne shared with us this song by Matthew West and then asked us to write our “label” on a name tag on the table. Here’s the song:
And, here’s my “label”:
This is what I’ve been learning throughout my life (and, by no means have I mastered). No one gets to tell me my worth, whether I belong, or whether I’m chosen other than the One True King – my Creator. This is beautiful. This is truth.
So, my label went from “Not Chosen” to “Chosen”. I belong to the family of God.
“For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet,
until her righteousness goes forth as brightness,
and her salvation as a burning torch.
2 The nations shall see your righteousness,
and all the kings your glory,
and you shall be called by a new name
that the mouth of the Lord will give.
3 You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord,
and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
4 You shall no more be termed Forsaken,
and your land shall no more be termed Desolate,
but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her,
and your land Married;
for the Lord delights in you,
and your land shall be married.
5 For as a young man marries a young woman,
so shall your sons marry you,
and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
so shall your God rejoice over you.”
– Isaiah 62:1-5
What would your label be? How will you allow God to redeem the man-made ones and help you embrace the ones He intends for you?