Blessed is the man You choose,
And cause to approach You,
That he may dwell in Your courts.
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house,
Of Your holy temple.
Why did God choose me? That’s a question I ask myself at least every other day. It’s not that I wonder why He chose me to preach or to teach, not that I wonder why He chose to give me a voice to speak His Word, but more just wondering why He chose to save and call me to Him. You see, of my own accord I had avoided the Lord, turning from Him and denying Him for decades. I wasn’t nearly as bad as Saul of Tarsus when he persecuted the early Christians, and I certainly felt no special love for God’s people as Moses did when he killed an Egyptian for beating a Hebrew slave. I do not think of myself on anywhere close to that sort of level–not any level at all, really. I’m just a guy, a regular fellow whom God called out from where he was to be something different, something new. But why me?
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Love. God loves me and has called me to Him. I didn’t expect it, and I certainly didn’t do anything to deserve it, but He has called me because He loves me. And having called me, He causes me to approach Him. On my own, I don’t think I would ever have gotten within a million miles of God’s courts. My flesh was–and in many ways, still is–set upon the world, and I daily struggle with repentance.
2 Timothy 2:19
Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”
The Lord knows who I am, and He knows that he has called me to His purposes, to do His will. I depart from iniquity, and I seek Him daily, seeking His face and His salvation. And even as I struggle with this too, too solid flesh, I know that I am victorious because of Christ, because of Him who called me. I know that I am loved so much that I am called to approach the throne of grace without fear of damnation, only with fear at the power and majesty of Him who sits there. I have to remind myself that this is not a dream, that the gospel of Jesus Christ really did call me out to salvation and truth.
2 Thessalonians 2:13-14
13 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth,
14 to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Sanctified by the Holy Spirit of God, I may enter His house, enjoy the glories of His temple, and know that I am there not as a supplicant but as a beloved child. Jesus said to us, “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2) The Son of God went to prepare a place for all whom He has called, all who are called to adoption as children of God. And a place having been prepared for us, we can rest assured that we go there not as invaders nor foreigners but as true residents and citizens of God’s own kingdom.
But why choose me? Because before time began, God knew who I would be and knew He would call me and knew I would respond. Before I was knitted in my mother’s womb, He knew the number of my days and the circle of my life, and He loves me nonetheless. God in His sovereign will has determined the number of those “many mansions,” and He chose many to fill those places. And now that I have responded to His call to that place, how can anything of earth satisfy me?
How can anything compare with the wonders of His courts? How can anything but God’s holy temple be of worth to me? There’s the difficulty. I praise God that I need not be perfected in my own right to enter into His temple, because if that were so I would never get there. No, I am covered by the blood of Christ, and therefore when He looks upon me He does not see me but Christ within me. Yet here in this life I still struggle to cast off the shackles of sin and doubt. I am not perfect, but I am being perfected.
12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
It’s that upward call that brings us to God. The upward call is the gospel which calls us to Christ, the Word of God preached to us so that we may believe. And it is in this gospel of Jesus Christ that we must satisfy ourselves. Chosen by God to be His children, we must listen to His voice and follow His way, pressing toward the goal of our salvation and glory in Christ.
Why did God choose me? Because He loves me. Because He wants His children to return to Him. Because He desires many people in His many mansions, people who are faithful and innocent as the little children we once were. We don’t simply approach Him on our own: He calls us and we go to Him. And having been caused to approach His temple, we may dwell there in peace, knowing that it is our true home because of Jesus Christ our Lord.
I am blessed. I am blessed because I am able to walk daily in His sanctification, because I have the power of the Holy Spirit to keep me on the proper path. I am blessed because I am learning not to be satisfied with the things of earth but to turn my eyes upon the things of heaven, the things of God in Christ. I am blessed because, despite so many years of rebellion, despite my own will toward worldliness and sin, God loves me and has chosen me and caused me to approach Him and see that He alone satisfies my soul.
Holy Lord God, I thank You for calling me. This truly is an amazing grace which has stirred my soul to seek You and to approach Your throne. Therefore, Father, help me always to return to You. Help me always to seek satisfaction in Your gospel and in Your temple. Let me be so amazed by Your mercy that nothing in this world matters but what You have ordained for me to do. Guide me in Your way, O Lord, so that I may indeed dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Amen.