Being chosen by god can have two meanings. The first is the one popularised by Calvin’s view of predestination. According to John Calvin, God chose the ones who will be saved long before he created the earth. This Calvinistic view on salvation means that there is a finite number of people who can be saved by God which is predetermined by God’s choice. The second view of being chosen has to do with being set apart for a unique purpose or assignment. This is the definition that will focus on in this article.
The scripture has lots of examples of people who were chosen by God for a specified assignment. For instance, God chose Abram, who came from a pagan background, and used him to create the nation of Israel. Other examples include David who God chose to replace Saul, the 12 Apostles who Jesus handpicked, and Paul and Barnabas who were chosen by the Holy Spirit for the work of ministry.
What are the signs that God has chosen you?
There are many signs that signify the call of God but these include salvation, strong desire, and innate abilities. While there are other signs to look for, these three are typically enough hints at God’s calling on your life.
Let us examine these signs with some relevant examples from Scripture
As basic as it may sound, salvation is the first sign that God has chosen you into something bigger than yourself. While it is true that there are some people that are specially anointed in the Church, God has a unique purpose for each of his children. In Proverbs 16:4 Solomon reminds us that God does everything for a unique purpose – this includes your salvation. There are instances where God used lay people in the church to do great works. There are instances where God used available vessels who were not necessarily called into pulpit ministry to do God’s work.
A good example is Cornelius the centurion servant in the book of Acts 10. Even though he was in the civil service, God chose him to bring salvation to the Gentiles in his region. Another example is the Jailer that was watching over Paul and Silas in Acts 16. After Paul had preached to him, he got convicted and asked what he needed to do to get saved. The jailer not only got saved but he also became a point of contact for his entire family to be saved as well as baptized.
If you are born again, it is a good idea to start prayerfully finding out why God saved you because more often than not, he has a unique assignment for you. It could be the salvation of your family like Cornelius and the jailer but it could also be something bigger than your family.
Never underestimate the power of desire. When God is calling you into something, he will put in you a strong desire for it. If you are not careful, you might assume it is just your own thoughts while in reality, God is tagging at your heart towards a unique purpose. There are several examples of this in scripture but the case of Nehaemia is arguably the most prolific. Even though the Israelites were in captivity, Nehemiah was living a pretty comfortable life because he was in the king’s service. But when he learned of the state of Jerusalem, he got so disturbed that he wept and fasted about it.
When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. Nehemiah 1:4
This was no ordinary desire- it was a divine desire that God had placed on the heart of Nehemiah. As destiny would have it, God used this desire to cause Nehemiah to respond to his purpose of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.
Moses is another example of this. Just like Nehemiah, Moses was not suffering like his brothers and sisters who were slaves. On the contrary, Moses had been adopted into Pharaohs’s family and he was enjoying all benefits of royalty. But when he saw an Egyptian mistreating one of Jews, Moses was some moved that he took the law into his own hands and killed the Egyptian. After this, he had to flee the palace, and the rest, as they say, is history.
God created all of us uniquely. Author and pastor Rick Warren notes that Giod custom-made each person according to their unique purpose. As such, you were equipped with capabilities that are meant to help you in your calling. For instance, some kids are talented in athletics while others are not. Others are book-smart while their colleagues struggle with the same. If you examine your abilities and gifts, they could easily point you toward your calling.
An example of this is given in the Book of Exodus. Here it is:
See, I have called by name Bezalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. And I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship, to create artistic designs for work in gold, in silver, and in bronze, Exodus 31:2-4
Buzi had a unique ability to create artistic designs in metals. And his gifts and talents came in handy when Moses was setting up the Tabernacle.
Check your abilities and gifts. Are you naturally good at something that other people struggle with? If you answered yes, it could be a sign that God has called you for that specific purpose.
As we have seen, God doesn’t save you in vain. If you have accepted Him as Lord and Savior, there is a good chance that he has a unique call for you. Granted, some people are called into large noticeable ministries – like pastoring a mega-church or leading a global non-profit. However, others are called to perform some seemingly small and mundane assignments which are still in line with God’s will for their life. Check the signs suggested above and start finding out if you have been called for a specific task.