To live a spiritual life, we have to claim for ourselves that we are “taken” or “chosen.” Let me try to expand a bit on these words. When I know that I am chosen, I know that I have been seen as a special person. Someone has noticed me in my uniqueness and has expressed a desire to know me, to come closer to me, to love me. When I write to you that, as the Beloved, we are God’s chosen ones, I mean that we have been seen by God from all eternity and seen as unique, special, precious beings. It is very hard for me to express well the depth of the meaning of the word “chosen” as for me, but I hope you are willing to listen to me from within. From all eternity, long before you were born and became a part of history, you existed in God’s heart. Long before your parents admired you or your friends acknowledged your gifts or your teachers, colleagues and employers encouraged you, you were already “chosen.” The eyes of love had seen you as precious, as of infinite beauty, as of eternal value. When love chooses, it chooses with a perfect sensitivity for the unique beauty of the chosen one.
-from Life of the Beloved by Henri J. M. Nouwen
I want to be filled with all the fullness of God so that I am not hungry. I want my capacity to be full of God and stretched. I want to be filled full with His love. I want an immeasurable sense of His presence. I want to be maxed out with His peace so that I don’t seek peace elsewhere. I want to be filled with His identity (who I am in Him – who He is in me) so I don’t go searching for identity somewhere else. God, I need You to fill me.
John Eldredge says, “If a man does not find his life in God, he will become a very thirsty man. And thirsty men have been known to do some very stupid things.”
And it’s true, God. I have done stupid things, but not because I’m stupid. I have done stupid things because I am hungry and thirsty. I did not know it was You I lacked! I am hungry because I am empty. I am empty because You have not filled me. No fault of Yours. I want to be filled with all Your fullness today.
Have you ever had the feeling, “I don’t belong here.” Peter did. Remember when Jesus told Peter to let down his nets one more time after fishing all night? The amount of fish on demand caused Peter to tremble in the presence of Jesus and he said, “Get away from me for I am a sinful man.” In other words, “I don’t belong here.”
The word “belong” has a couple of meanings. The most common is to be owned by or be in the possession of. (ex. The dog belongs to me.) But the other is to be suitable or acceptable. (ex. The doghouse belongs outside.) When we think that we now belong to God; it is one thing, a precious thing, to be in His possession, but entirely another to say we belong in His presence. Like Peter, we don’t feel like we belong because we really DON’T belong here! I am nothing like God! We think different, act different, probably smell different too. And yet, John 1:12 says we, “have the right to be called sons of God.” And being sons and daughters means we belong to God – we are His! And it means we belong in His presence. It is fitting and suitable for us to be here. We need not approach sheepishly, but boldly to the throne of grace!
Father, I belong to You!