As I was doing my daily Bible reading this morning, reading Joshua 15-18, today’s portion of Scripture in the through the Bible plan I’m using this year, I was asking God what He wanted to show me from this rather boring portion of Scripture. It was easy to see the original meaning of these chapters. Joshua had led the Israelites in taking the land he had promised to them, and they now had rest from war. It was time to settle down in their land, and Joshua was giving clear directions concerning where each tribe was to settle, which cities and villages they were to occupy, and the boundaries for each specific tribe. But where I was lost was in making personal application of this passage. How did these chapters apply to my life?
As I was asking the Lord what He wanted to show me through these chapters, the word “chosen” came to mind. Israel was clearly chosen by God for His purposes. Deuteronomy 14:2 says of Israel, “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the Lord has chosen you to be his treasured possession.” Yet Scripture makes it clear that believers in Christ are also chosen by God.
What does it really mean when Scripture says we are chosen? 1 Peter 2:9 clearly says we are a chosen people, and it also gives a general purpose for which we are chosen: to declare the praises of the One who called us out of darkness into His wonderful light. This is one common purpose for which all Christians are chosen. Jesus Himself said: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” (John 15:16 NIV). Chosen to bear fruit, which includes the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and the fruit of new believers. Another general calling is to prayer: “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Timothy 2:1-2 NIV). Finally, Ephesians 1:3-4 says “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight (NIV). These are all callings common to all believers in Christ.
But does God also choose us for specific work, for His specific purpose in our lives? Paul clearly believed this. In Galatians 1:15-16, he spoke of God’s specific calling on his life. “But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being” (NIV). Ephesians 2:10 confirms that God does have specific callings for us: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (NIV). Our task is to seek God for that specific calling, for understanding of the “good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
In my own life, I believe God has called me to support my husband in his calling to produce Christ-honoring videos, television, and movies. This includes helping him with editing and record keeping and doing the bookkeeping for his business. I also believe God has called me to write. As I walk in the light of what I already know to be God’s will for my life, starting with the general callings for all Christians and then with the specific callings I know, God reveals the next steps. As a pastor friend of mine says,”When we walk in the light God has given, we receive more light.” Until we are obeying God in the things we know He is calling us to do, there is no need for Him to show us more details. But when we step out in obedience, He is faithful to bring more light.
My exhortation to those who read this blog is to walk in the light God has given in Scripture concerning His will. Then seek God for His specific calling in your life. Form a daily habit of doing this, and the path will become clear that you are to walk.