About a year ago, maybe more, I was on the phone with one of my favorites – a young woman I love with all my heart. Life’s been a struggle for a while and because of it, she felt doomed. She believed life was supposed to be easy and since it wasn’t, then something must be wrong. With HER.
Since we’ve had similar conversations before, I knew she wouldn’t get it if I tried to shake her of that lie, so I decided to do something different.
So, right there on the phone, 90 miles away from each other, she agreed with me to ask God what lie we believe about Him. She listened for herself and shared with me. And I listened for myself and I shared with her… about how shocked I was to hear what I heard!
Did I listen right? Did I really hear God say to my heart,
I’m not a user.
My first response was, “I don’t think You’re a user!”
But for the next several days I kept running into my own words. God used me to reach that person… God used you to bless me. And so on.
How could something that sounds so good not be right?
Not only that, God knows my heart. He KNOWS I know He’s not a user, right? But He was clear to me. He wasn’t a user and he didn’t want me to talk as if He was.
I’ve since discovered this is a hot-button topic. Especially when brought up with people who really LOVE God and LOVE people. When I’ve said, “God isn’t a user. He didn’t use you,” there would be massive push back! (I’ve since learned to be gentler in my approach on this topic.)
For quite some time – months, I think – I sought out a clear answer to this question: If God is not a user, then he must be the opposite. But what is the opposite of User?
I spent weeks searching out the bible and praying, looking for a good word, something clear enough to be a nickname. He’s not The User, but calling him, The Opposite of User just didn’t feel right. Neither did The Blesser, The Blessing Maker, The Pool Maker, or anything else I came up with.
Then one day I was getting together with a couple of close girlfriends. By this time we had talked many times about God not being a user. They knew about my search for the right nickname and suddenly Melody stood up. She had it, the right word. It was perfect.
Melody said, “God says He’s a not a user. He’s a chooser.”
Of course! How many times does it say this very thing in the bible? Probably hundreds. At LEAST dozens. And how many times have I experienced being chosen? It’s amazing when it happens.
He never chooses something random or vicarious for me. He always chooses to partner with me on tasks that fill my heart and my being with complete satisfaction and joy.
Even if there’s pain in the task, there is still joy. Much joy.
And it’s not just me. He does this for all of us who let Him. I’ve watched Him do it with my friends. He hand picks each choice to match our hearts, our spirits and our unique designs. No one else chooses like Him. He’s a great chooser!
So the other day I was reading a book by a pastor I really like. What he teaches, meets me where I am in life right now. But talking about God and how he uses us is everywhere in my Jesus-following culture. Even with this great teacher.
So, in the middle of the book, I had to pull out a pen and cross out the word, “uses,” and replace it with, “chooses.” Because He is not a user. He IS… (Drum roll please…)
The Great Chooser!