by Wade E Taylor
“Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, to obedience….” I Peter 1:2
“Elect… to obedience.” Our “election” is the result of the inner spiritual potential that the Lord sees to be within us. In “foreknowledge,” He knows those who will respond to Him in submissive, willing obedience.
“If you be willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land.” Isaiah 1:19
He then chooses or “elects” those whom, in foreknowledge, He sees to have the capacity and fortitude to fulfill the potential that is hidden deep within them.
“For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered to them his goods. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.” Matthew 25:14-15
The Lord is at work, preparing those who, with a pure heart toward Him, willingly “choose” to rise above all the pressures and problems of their life circumstances. This requires a determined “set of spirit,” and “heart obedience.”
Through “foreknowledge,” the Lord knew before we were born, the choices that we would make. Therefore, He quietly guides us accordingly, toward His will and purpose for us.
“I have compared you, O My love, to a company of horses in Pharaoh’s chariots.” Song of Solomon 1:9
This becomes a very powerful and penetrating compliment when it is properly understood. Challenged by the “spiritual potential” (a company of horses) that had been undeveloped or dormant within this one who is “elect,” the Lord revealed His intention to bring into open view the very best, and use this for His eternal purposes.
Pharaoh was the greatest of the world’s rulers at that time. His agents were sent throughout the known world to seek immature ponies with “potential.” From among these, the horses that would pull Pharaoh’s chariot were prepared through intense, progressive training and discipline.
Then, at special times, these carefully chosen horses were harnessed to the chariot of the king, and in a resplendent demonstration of beauty, power, and harmony, they brought forth the king into full view, displaying him in all of his regal glory.
So also, the Lord is preparing those whom He sees (foreknowledge) to have this potential, to be “harnessed” to the chariot of the King of all kings, and bring Him forth in all of His regal glory, to be displayed before the nations in “that day.”
“And have made us to our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” Revelation 5:10
“For many are called, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:14
In 1944, I entered a small chapel in an Army Camp, west of Savannah Georgia. When I was sure that no one was there, I knelt and prayed, “God, if you will get me through this war alive, I will go into the ministry when I am discharged from the army.”
This deeply affected me, as I had no intention of saying this, but afterward, I felt that something tremendous had happened. I ran to the PX to listen to the news, because I thought that maybe Hitler had surrendered. I was disappointed when there was nothing different.
I had no ability at that time to understand that something very important did happen. I had opened my life to the Lord and He responded. In “foreknowledge,” He saw my life committed to Him, and this article being written many years later.
While praying alone in this chapel at Fort Stewart, an “election” had taken place, and from that day forward, my life was altered and directed by the Lord, even though I was not aware of it. The circumstances that could have frustrated or hindered His plan and purpose for my life were being altered by the Lord.
Through “foreknowledge,” the Lord saw that I would choose Him and rightly respond, and therefore, His “election” was established upon my life.
The Lord knows the intent of our heart (all that we desire to be and have), and “if” we will yield this to His higher purpose for us. Thus, His “election” is not an arbitrary choice that is made by Him, but rather, it is the result of the fact that He sees the end from the beginning in each of our lives. He is the Alpha and the Omega.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:1-2
There is much that will be required of us, and the Lord knows whether we will rightly respond or not.
“To him that overcomes will I grant….” Revelation 3:21
For us to “overcome,” means that we will rightly respond to the Lord and “rise above” all that could hinder our walk with Him.
“Now therefore, if you will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then you shall be a peculiar treasure to Me above all the people: for all the earth is Mine: And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel. Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words… and all the people answered together and said, All that the Lord has spoken we will do….” Exodus 19:5-8
The intention of the people was good, but they did not do as they had said. Good intentions are not enough. I had told the Lord that I would serve Him, if he would protect my life. I was discharged from the Army in the fall of 1945, and hardly went to church for the next five years, totally forgetting the promise that I had made.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works….” Ephesians 2:10
Due to the Lord’s “foreknowledge,” I was now “His workmanship” and He was very busy, working deep within my life circumstances. I had come into the ownership of a very prosperous business, but somehow felt that there must be something more to life. I began to feel a “tug” at my heart to sell this business, submit my life to the Lord, and go to Bible school.
The Lord had placed this desire within, as He knew that when the right time came, I would give Him specific permission to break into my life and do as He pleases. He is the “workman,” but He will not work within our personal lives unless we give Him permission to do so.
I had totally forgotten the commitment I had made while in the army. But I had responded to His tug on my spirit, and placed Him first in my life. The same day, after I sold the business, the Lord quickened my memory and said, “You forgot, but I didn’t.”
In that day, as I knelt before Him in the army chapel, the Lord saw that I would choose Him above a prosperous business.
Except for His foreknowledge and election, I would not have the relationship with Him that I presently have. Today, I am serving the Lord, because He remembered what I had forgotten.
Each one of us has a testimony as to how the Lord apprehended our lives, and how His “election” brought us to where we are at this present time.
May His “election” upon your life have its full outworking, so you can have your part by being harnessed to the chariot of the King of all kings, to bring Him forth into open view, as every knee bows.