A Conversation With God

Thursday, August 18, 2005

"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."
~John 15:16

So I think I know exactly what is wrong with me. Yesterday, I was explaining to Pete that part of the reason I am struggling in my relationship with the Lord is that I'm an all-or-nothing person. If I don't give God all, I generally don't give Him anything, because it just feels fake. The way I figured yesterday morning, I just needed to come to the point where I was willing to give all again so I could talk to God again.

Got to work, and my verse for the day was the above.

"Oh, Kelly? By the way, you didn't choose me. I chose you."

Great. Just what I need. A sovereign God.

That's humbling. It kinda means that I don't actually know what I'm talking about. (Which means you can feel free to disregard the rest of this post as you see fit! *grin*)

Um, what are You saying exactly? Why did You choose me?

This is me, hoping to hear a kind, "Because I knew you would love Me, that you deserved to be chosen, and that you had something that nobody else had."

"Hey Kelly, I chose you that you should bear fruit."

Huh. That doesn't have a lot to do with me. Exactly.

I'm trying, God. I need to choose You first.

"Ahem. I chose you."

Right. What am I missing? I try to bear fruit.

And so the circle went. I'm still chewing on this one, but the more I'm thinking about it, the less of me I'm seeing. I'm the branch, He is the vine. (I KNEW losing weight made my legs look like sticks!)

Yesterday, I decided to try and talk again. I often question the wisdom of sharing from my heart. It seems like every time I do, somebody thinks the exact opposite of what I'm trying to say, and true to form, it happened again. In this instance, I shared how God had been teaching me not to judge others, which I've been judged for all of my life. So got judged for judging others who judge others, which wasn't what I intended to do at all!

I was ready to quit. Then God reminded me, "I chose you to bear fruit that would remain."


But it was strangely comforting. It wasn't, "That big, bad person shouldn't have hurt my baby-waby..." *chuckle* Sympathy isn't something I often get from God. He's not much about stroking my ego. I wonder if I take after Him in that way.

Instead, God encouraged me, and some things started falling into place. The fact that I no longer desire to judge and reject others who don't agree with me or what I believe is fruit that comes from Him. The love He has placed in my heart for others is not something anyone would accuse me of accomplishing. "Kelly, you are bearing the fruit of My Spirit. Someone's words or misunderstanding or rejection cannot take that from you. That fruit will remain."

I'm not going to lose it, God? I mean, I'm horrible, and I'm so selfish, and I don't know how to talk to You most of the time or how to walk with You the rest of the time...

"I will finish the work I've begun in you."

Whoa. That's my job. See, I have to strive to perfect myself and be more like Christ and then I can die and go to heaven and show you what I've done. Counting the cost and all that.

"That whatsoever you ask of the Father in My name, He may give it you."

Does that mean that I'm not bearing fruit so that I can get what I want, or that in my bearing fruit what I want will be what God wants because I'm not the one bearing fruit?

Based on the fact that I didn't choose God, but that He chose me in Jesus Christ, and on the fact that He chose me to bear fruit and that He causes my fruit to remain and that it's a sovereign, comforting thing... What do I want to ask the Father for?

Comfort. Protection. A defense. Hope. Joy. Gentleness. More fruit. I want to ask Him to help me love Him, because I've been trying and trying to figure out how.


All of this leads me to believe that God deals with people as people, not as automatons meeting a certain criteria to gain access to Him or to superspirituality or even to "good Christianism." It rather paints a picture of a God who would rather give Himself to the weak and foolish who mess up on a regular basis and act like children.

I look down on Israel sometimes because they were so dumb about God. But God chose them. A weak, foolish people, to be His people. And Jesus came for them. They didn't get it. Neither do I most of the time. So God figured out a way that He could redeem them without their getting it.

I think it's called mercy. And grace. And the blood of Jesus Christ through the power and love of a sovereign God.

I don't want to be the fool... but it sure makes Him look good.


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