The Difference Between Called and Chosen
The Scriptures declare that God has a higher purpose and calling for every person. Finding God’s amazing will for your life and ministry is easier than you think. To understand His will for your life, you must first understand the difference between being called and being chosen.
1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
God has called us all out of darkness.
- We are called to show His praises to our world.
- We are called to let our light shine before men.
- We are called to be the salt of the Earth.
Most of us understand that this is God’s will for our life. We’ve all been called by God.
Matthew 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.
This Scripture lets us know that there is a definite difference between being called and being chosen.
- One should desire to be both called and chosen.
One of the most important aspects of knowing God’s will for your life is to understand what it means to be chosen.
This parable Jesus taught clearly illustrates this;
Matthew 22:2-14. The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son. And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.
But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.
Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.
And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.
- When this king invites his friends to his son’s wedding, they refuse to come.
- He invites them a second time, but some ignore his servants while others kill his servants.
After taking revenge for the killings, the king said, “those who I called to come were not worthy.”
- The guests who were previously called were now considered unworthy because they ignored the King’s invitation.
The king then calls his servants to go out into the streets to invite everyone they see to the wedding, both the good and the bad.
These guests accept the invitation, and the banquet hall is filled with people.
- When the king comes in to greet his guests, he notices that a certain man is not wearing the proper clothes for a wedding (wedding garment).
- When the king asks why, the man has no answer for him.
- The king casts this man out into outer darkness and says, “Many are called but few are chosen.”
There were two differences between being called and being chosen.
- Their response.
- The first group who was not chosen were the guests who did not respond to the invitation.
- Their preparation.
- The person who was not chosen was the man who responded to the call but did not want to wear the wedding garment that the King had prepared for him.
These two responses represent the choices many make today when they miss the call of God upon their lives.
Notice, the calling had nothing to do with who the people were.
- The servants simply went out into the streets and began to invite everybody they saw.
- They called the good and the bad.
- It didn’t matter where they were from or what they looked like.
- They were all called.
God has called you;
- It makes no difference what your background is.
- Regardless of your education, profession, or status.
- In spite of the mistakes you have made in your life.
What really matters to God, is how you respond and prepare yourself for His call.
- If there are things that are more important to you than God’s call on your life, you will not be chosen.
- If you respond to God’s call in a casual and half-hearted way, you will not be chosen.
To understand this parable as it was written, we must understand the culture and time it was written.
- History lets us know that when one rejected the invitation of a king, it was considered an act of treason or a declaration of war.
- This rejection of the king’s invitation was a very serious offense.
- The fact that the king made a second invitation to the people who rejected his first, shows his mercy and patience.
God always patiently waits on us when He calls, and always gives us second chances.
History also tells us that the kings of this era had a custom of providing garments befitting the occasion a guest might be invited to.
- If it was a wedding feast, the King would have wedding garments available for all who were invited.
When the guest in this parable chose not to put the wedding garment on, it was an insult to the king. Because of this, the guest was banished into outer darkness.
Those who put the wedding garment on were chosen.
Another interesting part of the culture of that day was;
- These wedding garments were often white gowns that were intended to unite all of the guests together at a common level.
- The poor who were invited did not have to feel ashamed of what they looked like.
- The rich, who were proud and arrogant, would be dressed the same as all of the other guests.
- To the king, everybody’s status was equal.
Christ’s wedding garment enables us.
When we are covered by His blood and filled with His Spirit, we become enabled by Christ to fulfill His plan in this world. We become Chosen.
You have responded to God’s call and God has chosen you for a specific place and purpose in His Kingdom.
- You don’t have to worry about being good enough.
- God’s righteousness (wedding garment) has made you good enough.
- Your past mistakes and failures are erased.
- You don’t have to worry about somebody else being more qualified than you.
- God’s righteousness qualifies everybody in the same way.
How Can I Know God’s Will for My Life?
Once we realize that God has called us and chosen us, we need to understand God’s specific will for our life.
A person might ask:
- “What am I specifically called to do?”
- “Where do I fit in the body of Christ?”
- “How do I go about following His Will?”
It’s important to answer these questions.
The Bible states;
Eph 5:17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
It was Paul’s desire that the church be filled with the knowledge of God’s will for their life;
Colossians 1:9-10 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
God’s Word reveals His will for your life.
It is clear that God wants us to know His will. God’s will is not a mystery, nor is it difficult to understand.
- The first and most obvious way to find the will of God is to read His Word.
Here is how we begin finding God’s will.
- We read the Word (will).
- We study the Word (will).
- We listen to the Word (will) preached.
As we learn more about God’s Word (will), we immediately begin implementing His Word (will) into our lives.
- We start by doing what we’ve learned.
The Bible states; Eph 5:10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
In the Message Bible, this is translated, “Figure out what will please Christ, and then do it.”
You figure out God’s will by reading His Word.
John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
The Scripture teaches;
- It is God’s will to pray often; so we pray more.
- It is God’s will to come church; so we come as often as we can.
- It is God’s will to witness to others; so we witness more.
Oftentimes, this becomes a battle of the mind.
- Many people say that they want to know what God’s will is when He may have already shown it to them.
- The truth is, they have not prepared their mind and heart to submit to God‘s will.
This is why the Bible calls this proving God’s will.
- You must first prove to yourself what God’s purpose is and also that you are willing to do it.
- Then you must prove to God that you can, and will, do His will.
This involves a renewing of one’s mind;
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
When we start with the small things we know to do, God will trust us with bigger things.
- If a person is never willing to clean the church or mow the grass, why would God trust that person with a greater responsibility?
- If a person never reads and studies the Bible, why would God call that person to be a Bible study teacher or preacher of the Gospel?
- If a person never witnesses in their community, why would God call them to be a missionary in another country?
The will of God is an evolving process that progresses more and more as we prove ourselves to Him.
Proverbs 3:5-7 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Wouldn’t it be nice if God instantaneously revealed His plan for our entire lifetime?
But if He did that;
- We wouldn’t understand it.
- We would question it.
- We would not be able to handle it. It would overwhelm us.
- And worst of all, we would probably not accept it.
God only reveals as much of His Will to us as we are able to handle at a given moment.
If you will do what you know to do right now, then God will direct your future.
Many have the misunderstanding that career plans and education should be put on hold until one receives a revelation from God about their calling.
- God expects everyone to be able to support their own families and also help support the Church.
- If, and when, God needs to move you out of your career choice, He will make it very clear to you at that time.
The Bible instructs us to “Tarry until Jesus comes.” (John 21:23)
The Greek word for ‘tarry’ means to, “continue in your given state or condition.”
God doesn’t want us to stop living our lives when we become a Christian. God wants us to continue living as a Christian in our given profession until His purpose changes for our lives.
It’s important to;
- Make plans for your life and profession.
- Get an education.
- Make sure you can support your own family.
- Make plans for your retirement.
In the course of your life, allow God the opportunity to influence and even change your plans by being sensitive to the voice of God.
John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
Ps 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.
God will open the right doors and close the wrong doors if you allow Him to order your steps.
- The disciples of Christ were all in the middle of their careers when Jesus called them to be His disciples.
Until God specifically calls you away from your career, do everything you can do to become successful and financially stable.
What’s more, God will use your profession to fulfill His plan in your life.
You can be as much in the will of God in a secular career as you can in full time ministry.
- The church needs intelligent, capable people in professional careers.
- Our careers are also important avenues of ministry. The Bible says, “We are epistles, known and read of all men.” (2 Cor 3:2)
- Joseph became the 2nd highest authority in Egypt. God used him to save Israel from starvation.
- Moses was the Prince of Egypt. God used him to deliver Israel from Egypt’s bondage.
- There are others such as Esther, Daniel, Joseph of Arimathea and Lydia, whose professions played an important role in God’s Kingdom.
Many people wait on some supernatural revelation from God that may never come.
God may never:
- Write on your wall.
- Swallow you up by a fish.
- Speak to you from a burning bush.
This doesn’t mean He is not talking to you. In this dispensation, God speaks to us through His Word and His Spirit.
- In the Old Testament, God’s Spirit came upon men, but was not in men.
- We have a much greater advantage in hearing the voice of God today because His Spirit lives inside of us.
His voice may not be as dramatic to us as those Old Testament examples, but hearing His Spirit speak to us is even more miraculous.
Here are some keys to consistently finding God’s Will for your life:
- Read the Word.
- If your decision goes against the Word of God, it is never right.
- God’s Word never changes.
- Ask God for direction.
- Ask for wisdom. The Bible is full of prayers seeking wisdom.
- Common Sense.
- God gave us a brain and a conscience, we need to use them.
- God will never do what we can do for ourselves.
- Spiritual Counsel.
- God uses pastors and parents to give direction. (often even unchurched parents)
- Get counsel not only from your Pastor, but also from spiritual mentors in the Church.
- Often, the cumulative effect of spiritual counsel points you in a certain direction.
- You will find that you may not follow all of their advice, but it will open new avenues of thought.
- Ultimately, we should always make our own decisions and be responsible for them.
- Be stable and consistent in your relationship with God. God honors consistency.
- Always put God first.
- The call of God requires great commitment.
- If your relationship with Him is unstable or inconsistent, He will not be able to use you in the measure that He desires.
Throughout the Scriptures there are numerous people who were sensitive to the voice of God. This allowed them to find the will of God for their life. Despite sin, human weakness and adversity, they accomplished extraordinary feats for the Kingdom of God.
- Moses, who despite committing murder and having a severe lack of confidence, became the great deliverer of the nation of Israel.
- David, who although born the son of a shepherd, and the least amongst his brethren, was chosen by God to slay a giant and become the greatest king of Israel.
- Peter was outspoken and abrasive. He denied the Lord three times and then forsook the Lord and fled. Yet, he went on to preach the message of salvation at Pentecost and became one of the greatest apostles in the history of the church.
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.