When I played sports, it was obvious which team I represented based on the name, color, and logo on my uniform. In addition, I was pretty bold when declaring and standing up for my team. Today, when watching teams compete, it is still quite obvious which team the players represent. There is no doubt which team is considered “home” or away and the supporting fans. The fans are usually identified by the color of their jerseys, face paint, posted signs, or other notable gestures exhibited in support of their team.
Also, thousands of people march and/or show up for rallies and demonstrations boldly declaring for whom or what they stand. People also become members of organizations, fraternities, leagues, clubs and other causes boldly decreeing their support. I started looking around to see how obvious it is to identify team members of the body of Christ. More specifically, those boldly declaring for whom and what they stand. Unfortunately, I noticed it was not as obvious, even in my own life.
I stopped looking around and I asked the Lord to search me, prove me and try me. After which, the Holy Spirit brought back to my remembrance how radical I had been about making it painstakingly clear which team I represented. I would wear my school colors, stand up and boldly declare “behold the green and gold”. There was absolutely no shame or fear! I was also excited and honored to have been chosen to be a part of the team.
As I continued to reflect, I began to think about how most teams or organizations use a selection process to choose those equipped or qualified to be a part of their team. At the high school and college levels, tryouts are often used to select the “best” players. In professional sports, players are scouted; the draft process is used to select/choose players for the various team camps/rosters. Many are called, but few are chosen to play on the professional level. I then began to reflect on some of the fond and not so fond memories of the selection process used during some of my pickup games. I recall the look of disappointment and rejection on the faces of the players who were not selected. I thank God I was one of the players that was selected more often than rejected during the pickup games. However, I believe the few times I was rejected or deemed not qualified to play, contributed to my walking around with a spirit of rejection. I thank and praise God for His healing and deliverance power!
Looking back even further, I remembered as a child how we played the game of eeny, meeny, miny, moe to make selections. I had gotten so accustomed to the selection processes used by the “world”; I thought the “kingdom” selection process worked the same. I cannot emphasize the importance of us renewing our minds with the Word of God (Romans 12:1-2) so we can become kingdom-minded. Based on my past experiences and lack of knowledge, I thought God would only choose me to be a part of His team based on my qualifications and/or not until I proved that I was one of the “best” players. To my amazement, by His grace, He chose me and I accepted the invitation. He said, “you did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. (John 15:16).
Every once in a while my spiritual opponent attempts to remind me of the times or many reasons why I was not chosen for a position, a pick-up game, or while playing eeny, meeny, miny, moe. He says, “you weren’t qualified”, “you weren’t tall enough”, “you weren’t strong enough”, “you weren’t smart enough”, “you didn’t jump high enough”, “you didn’t speak well enough”, you didn’t smile enough” or anything else he thinks will make me doubt why God chose me for my kingdom assignment. After quickly casting down those negative thoughts (II Corinthians 10:3-5), I realize my opponent’s strategy is to try to discourage and distract me from fulfilling my kingdom assignment. I am no longer moved because I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am chosen.
The Holy Spirit also brought back to my remembrance, just like I made it painstakingly clear which team I represented in the past, I must boldly declare whose team I am on now –Jesus -the winning team. It is not enough for me to have the name of Jesus or a Christian type logo on my uniform. Instead, my words, life, godly character and actions should boldly declare that Jesus is Lord! And, there should be absolutely no fear or shame! He said, “for whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels. (Mark 8:38).
The many times I was chosen to be a part of various teams was very rewarding. Yet, nothing compares to when I found out God chose me. Ever since I believed and responded “yes”, He has been equipping me, blessing me, sustaining and strengthening me. And, He sent the Holy Spirit to help, guide, and teach me all truth. The next time your spiritual opponent tries to remind you of the times or many reasons why you were not chosen for a position, a pick-up game or while playing eeny, meeny, miny, moe, you should respond, “I remember, but He chose me”.
John 15:16 – You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.
Acts 22:14 – Then he said, ‘The God of our fathers has chosen you that you should know His will, and see the Just One, and hear the voice of His mouth.
Isaiah 43:10 -You are My witnesses,” says the Lord, “and My servant whom I have chosen that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me.
Psalm 33:12 -Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance.
Mark 8:38 -For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.