Beth Moore - Thriving in our Choices Part 4
Turn with me to John chapter 15. John chapter 15 and I'm also going to open for you, because it's very important that we make the distinction. One of the things I love to do is if I see Jesus speak something over the disciples, then I love to see... one of the questions I'm gonna ask is, "Okay, is that for us also? Or was that for them"? Because, I mean, those were his 12 or his 11 and then, of course, the apostle Paul but can I just take and assure, now, I can pray anything. "O Lord, like you did for them, like you gave them a spirit of boldness in the Word of God".
I can ask for anything, whether or not I gain that. But can I really go to it and just claim it? And can I believe that for myself? Well, I love to see are there other verses where it's written to the church at large where I can say, "Oh, that's not only them, it's also me," and indeed there is. And that's why I've got my Bible also open to Ephesians chapter 1 because I'm gonna compare a verse with you.
So John chapter 15 says, I wanna go to 12 to 17: "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide," fruit that lasts is what the NIV says and I love that. "Fruit that will last, that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another". He said, "You did not choose me. I chose you".
Now, this is so critically important because everything shifts right here on this truth. I want you to write down number four: "Choose to wholly embrace your chosenness". The most important choice you can make after you choose Christ is to fully embrace your chosenness. There are several different places I could send you. I'm thinking, also, be sure you pore over Colossians chapter 1. But I want you to hear this portion out of Ephesians 1. I'm reading 3 and, oh, I'm gonna wanna go forward, but I'm just gonna try to stop at 4. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him". It says: "In love he predestined us to be adopted".
It tells us in the next little paragraph that in him we have obtained an inheritance, we've been sealed by the Holy Spirit who is our guarantee of our inheritance, is an earnest deposit over it until we have the full measure of it, face to face. We are chosen in him and, listen carefully, chosen before the foundation of the world. That means that he already knew everything about you. He knew every pathetic decision I was ever going to make, and he still says, "You did not choose me; I chose you. I called you". I don't know, does that rock anybody's world? Because what would happen if we truly, truly accepted that, that the God of the universe who by his voice said, "Let there be light," and there was, who created the heavens and the earth by the power of his voice. He did not have to lift his little finger. He took his hands to create the form of man, so that he could get his hands into it, touch, feel to it. Everything else, the sound of his voice, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. That one, that one, has chosen you. You are choice, child of God, choice.
Remember when I told you that of all the things about a human that convey that we are image bearers, that whisper the image of God, I am not sure there is one that more flagrantly testifies to it, than the pure power of choice. I think somebody thinks, you know, just act like he tolerates me. He's obligated to me. No, he made a choice. You were his choice. He chose you. I looked at the opposite terms. I love antonyms. I just love words. So I love to see synonyms and I love to see antonyms. I looked up the opposite words. You know, already know what it's gonna be. It's gonna be rejection. It's to be ignored or rejected. Ignored. That is when you're not even noticed. When I'm not even noticed. And then there's just, "Oh, I'm noticed all right and a judgment was made that I'm not worth it. And so I'm rejected".
Do you know that it would be us embracing our chosenness that would bring healing to so much of the brokenness we have suffered over being ignored and rejected. Chosen, chosen. I just want you to say out loud: "I'm chosen". Say it again: "I've been chosen by God". See, when Jesus, I mean, looks before the foundation of the world, sees all the generations. It's like, I just picture just like laying out the day planner from the beginning to the end and choosing what generation. He's chosen the generations, the Psalmist says. And the book of Acts says that he even determined what places in the world we'd be in and what generations we'd live in so that we might seek him and find him. Chosen, chosen. I don't know. I don't know how much this means to somebody but I pray this is gonna land, I mean land, with a person in this room.
Listen carefully. You did not come up with you. Is that good news to anybody? 'Cause you're thinking, like, "I don't think it was a good idea". No, you did not come up with you. Jesus did. You did not plan you. Jesus did. You did not choose you. You might go, "I wouldn't have chosen myself". Well, good, you didn't have to. Because it wasn't you. Jesus did. You did not nor have you ever fearfully and wonderfully made yourself. Jesus did. Jesus did. You did not set you apart before your birth for works prepared in advance. Jesus did. Do you hear what I'm saying?
Ephesians 2:10, that he even thought, "You know what? I am going to make her really, really gifted at this. I'm gonna set her in this generation. This is the DNA I'm gonna entrust to her. This is where I'm gonna put her on the planet. I'm going to make sure that I equip her with these spiritual gifts when she comes and receives the gift of salvation that I'm going to woo her with. I'm gonna set her up for works. I already know what I want her to do before the foundation of the world," Jesus did. You do not get to determine your worthiness, Jesus does. You do not get to decide your lovability. Really, that's not up to you. You don't decide, "Well, I'm unlovable". You don't get to decide that. Jesus already decided that you are completely and wholly lovable. He who is all knowledge, all brilliance, he who is creator, maker, potter to the clay, cleanser to the leper, redeemer to those sold under slavery to sin, has pronounced you lovable, effectual, and beautiful.
Now, I mean, either you can deal with that or you can't. But that is who you are in him. I wonder, would anybody in the room be prepared to just simply decide today, "Maybe I will believe that for a change". I need to see a hand. I need to see a hand. Chosen, effectual, I have been equipped, I am called. I am called. I love to look up words. I thought, "What does it mean that we are called"? Well, it means this. "Beth"? That's as well as I could come to it. "Kevin"? It means called by name to be a follower of Jesus fore-ordained, planned for, holy, completely loved and purposed. This next few minutes, I wanna spend on something I think is really important. And, man, you know, maybe some of you are gonna go, "Well, I think that she really transferred what she has struggled with to the rest of us," and that would probably be true. But I have a feeling that I am not the only one.
Number five: Choose to wholly embrace healing grace for chronic regret. Listen, I am not hoping that God makes us feel better about this issue. I am praying he liberates us completely because what I'm talking about in this point to you today is that our chronic regret can go on years, years, after our repentance. I need to see somebody's hand if you know what I'm talking about. Will somebody just be bold enough because I'm gonna tell you, it takes some boldness to really take Jesus up on his deliverance. And so I'm not for playing games. If I'm in a particular situation and they're wanting to talk about something at a gathering and about Jesus would do for us if we'd let him and I need it in the worst way, Bill, I'm just I'm gonna wave my hand for it.
There was a time that I went to a conference in Australia and it was such a powerful conference and so the host of it said, "Now, we just wanna pray for anybody that needs healing. Would you just come to your feet". And so it was such a powerful moment and I'm just one of those people, I want whatever God's doing. I thought, "How do I know I'm not sick"? And so, I stood up. I mean, nothing was wrong with me but I wouldn't have known that for sure. I mean, I could have had something brewing I didn't even know about. And so, 'cause I just thought, "I want prayer. I want prayer". Well, when they had people come and lay hands on us, I gotta tell you that I did: I went, "You know, y'all, really, there's really not anything wrong with me. I just wanna make sure".
But, I mean, you can sit back if you want to but I'm just gonna tell you something. If Jesus is offering it, I want it. I want it. I want it. I'm getting up. I went on my feet because I want whatever he's doing. I'm praying this over us this weekend that we would be set free because this thing will kill you. I mean, repented long ago, long ago, and you just keep replaying over and over in your mind. Do you see the victory the enemy is getting here? But for any of us, did you have a season of your life or a time in your life or an event in your life or whatever, that honestly was your nightmare and it needs to be, in this case, one that you feel responsible for, it not that you outrightly did. So I need to know if anybody's involved with me here. So then, picture, I mean, there's your nightmare.
So what would the enemy have more important on his agenda if he did not want you to get on with it and be victorious in Christ since he cannot undo your forgiveness, he's just gonna try to make you feel like you're really not forgiven. And so, he just keeps you in your nightmare. So the more we replay it, we're just staying there with it. And I mean, we do need to deal with it, but I'm talking about things that could have been, they were years ago, years ago. Somebody in this room had an abortion 15 years ago. You've been brokenhearted since this time. But, I mean, it is all you can replay every time you come into an environment like this, you look around. I mean, it's just all you can replay. All you can replay. All you can replay.
Somebody else had an affair ten stinking years ago that you repented of, that you went and you received godly counsel, you dealt with your trash, you did what you had to do, you are living in freedom, you have not returned back to that sin, but you constantly, you are fixated on that regret. You really messed up somewhere in your work in such a way that you lost your job and it just catapulted you into a time of financial disaster. And it's just like, "But if I could go back, if I just, ooh, just, wouldn't if I just, I wouldn't have".
Do you see what we're doing? We're just living in our nightmare because we have a nightmare and we keep having it and we don't just have it by night. We have our nightmare by day. We're just fixated. And so we stay right there 'cause it's all we can think about. I so regret it, I so regret it, I so regret it, I so regret it, I so regret it. We need healing. We need healing. We got to have us some healing. Do you remember when I told you that we've gotta get out of the mindset that we've ruined our lives because we are still alive and there's still a lot of life to live? Remember had a wreck? But that if we'd surrender that to Jesus, he could either repair that wreck or he could buy it back from the devil.
That's what you call redemption. Buy it back from slavery to darkness. Some of you, I try to think because I like conversations, I like dialog, I like a class where we can talk and discuss. So I try to think what you would say if we were in class and we could really talk. So I know what I would probably have wanted to say along the way. I'd probably wanna raise up my hand and go, "Well, you know what? I object. And the reason why I object is because I don't think that's always true". Some people don't live long enough to see him do either one of those two things, but I wanna say something to you, that is because you are assuming that when your earthly life is over, it is done. And this is where we have got us some skewed theology that is not what the Word of God teaches.
Listen carefully to Philippians 1:6: "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ". So you think just when you drop off this body and it's dead, that all that's concerning you, all that concerns your life, is just done. Are you out of your ever-loving mind? He keeps on working and keeps on working and keeps on working. Our testimony about this life is not even finished until the day Jesus Christ appears for every eye to see and every mouth to confess that he is Lord and every single knee to bow before him.
That's when our testimony for this lifetime will be complete. 'Til then, he's doing all sorts of stuff we can't see, all sorts of stuff we can't see. But tell you, I really had some wreckage. Just really had some wreckage in my own life and one of the things he's done to redeem it, this hit me afresh this week and I know it was to bring this to you as part of our lesson. Because about Tuesday, I was studying for you and I got so excited, I started crying. Just starting seeing the lesson coming together and just anticipating you and I just was getting ready and I just felt such joy in my heart and the tears were just streaming down my cheeks. Maybe that was part of the redemption because I don't know why any other reason except his sustaining grace, why it still hits me that way.
I can pull into the parking lot for Bible study in Houston and I don't know how to explain this to you but I'm still surprised cars are there. And I think that part of the redemption was just thankfulness. I just can't believe I lived and that I lived to tell about it and that he would put his name on me and let me have the privilege to serve you. It never, 30 years, it has never gotten old to me. And I just have to wonder and I jotted down, I don't know that I've never jotted this sentence down. I jotted down, "Grace appreciation kills self-condemnation". I wonder if that could be true. That grace appreciation, that if, okay, so we blew it, so we blew it. We've repented, we're so sorry, we've wept over it, done what we know to do to make reparation if we hurt someone.
Now, as the apostle Paul said, he called himself the worst of the worst, "I'm the least of all the apostles. Greatest sinner of them all". Yet he said these words and I love 'em so much, they mean so much to me: "But his grace to me was not in vain". I want you to stand to your feet and can we just pray through this? I just wanna pray through this with you. There are some verses that God used to bring me some healing and I'm gonna tell you something, girls. I there's a lot of precedent in the Word of God where acting the posture out of something is very, very much part of bringing us into that kind of a mindset and heartset. In other words, when we bow, there's something to that. I just believe it. I mean, there's just something to coming to the altar.
Like, today, you won't forget you came to the... there's just something about it, to just bend the knees. I'm not just talking about, "I'll bend the knees of my heart will". Let's let the knees go ahead with the heart. You know what I'm saying? As long as we're bending something, let's just go ahead and drop it to the floor. And so I just... so when I really went through this with the Lord, I mean, I acted it out and I want you to in some ways do that with me today. If this is you, you've just got chronic regret, I just wonder, I wanna read these verses out of Hebrews 10:19 through 23. This is in the NIV because I love the way the NIV words it.
"Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, since we have a great high priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart," so we're not gonna come to him with a bunch of bull, Hailey. And we're gonna bring our real-life story, the real thing. We're not gonna tone it down. We're gonna own it, we're gonna own it. So we come with a "sincere heart, with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience". "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful". I just want today, could anybody just stand, to just, Lord, will you just please come and tend to my guilty conscience.