If you’re like me, you feel like God must have lowered the bar a little to accept you with all your flaws. Like he must be bending some sort of rule to give you another chance when you weren’t faithful with the last one he offered. Like God must tolerate you, but he doesn’t really adore you. Like he’s going to let you in, but you wouldn’t be his first choice. Like you will only ever qualify for the cheap seats because something within you just isn’t quite good enough.
So, you and I walk around in this one life we have been given, playing a little less-than. Assuming last pick. You know, last pick like in gym class. I can still feel all the emotion wrapped up in hearing our Junior High PE Coach say, “Chrystal and Heather will be team captains and each choose their teams.” Chrystal chose all the popular girls first for her team. Heather chose all the athletes first for her team. And that left the rest of us, including me … the undesirable dead-weight that would surely pull the team down. Neither team wanted us, we were only chosen out of obligation.
Is that kind of what it feels like to be chosen by God? Like he had to, but you certainly weren’t his first choice. He would have preferred someone better. He would have opted for the girl without your past, without your problems, without your baggage … but you’re all that was left.
Well girlfriend, God wants you to check the source of those assumptions that have created these feelings. Did God ever say you were a burden? Did God ever say he will accept you but doesn’t really want you? Did God ever imply you were only chosen because you were all that was left?
You know that voice well. The one that says God will never forgive you. The one that says God will never be pleased with you. The one that says God will never use you for great things. Yeah, let me tell you who’s talking there … the one who got kicked out of heaven. Yes, the one who was ban from God’s glory is now down in the pits of hell trying to pull you down too. He hates to see you win. He hates to see you happy. He hates to see you confident. And he really, really, especially hates to see you praise God, because that was his job.
Did you know God created angels with specific roles?
The angel Gabriel is God’s messenger. When Mary needed to hear of this baby she would carry in her womb, God sent Gabriel with the message. When David prayed for clarity on how to proceed in battle, God sent Gabriel with a message. Gabriel is God’s messenger.
The angel Michael is God’s warrior. When there is a battle, God sends the head archangel Michael who brings victory. Michael is God’s warrior.
And then there was the angel Lucifer. He was the most beautiful of all with the assignment of leading worship. Lucifer grew jealous of God and the continual praise which he was to lead, and rose up to lead a revolt against God, persuading 1/3 of the angels to join him. And this got him fired from his position as worship leader and kicked out of heaven!
This is what God says of Lucifer. Ezekiel 28: 12-19:
“You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you. Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared.
You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones.
You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you.
Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones.
Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings.
By your many sins and dishonest trade you have desecrated your sanctuaries. So I made a fire come out from you, and it consumed you, and I reduced you to ashes on the ground in the sight of all who were watching.
All the nations who knew you are appalled at you; you have come to a horrible end and will be no more.”
Banished from the heavenlies in disgrace. Now, he wants to poke at you! He wants to scream from the pits and disrupt your game. He wants to convince you of your unworthiness, but he is the one who has been declared unworthy, not you. He’s just throwing rocks because it’s all he has to hurt you.
But, he has hurt you, hasn’t he? You’ve believed his lies, haven’t you? You’ve believed that others are better than you. You’ve believed that you could never be chosen first for something great. You’ve believed that God couldn’t possibly totally adore you exactly as you are and be 100% for you.
And what does all of this cause you to do?
It causes you to shrink back and not sing your song. It causes you to play little and not reveal the full glory of what God has done for you. It causes you to tuck away your praise in an attempt to not draw attention to yourself because the last thing you need is someone watching when you know you very well might screw up again. Let someone else praise God and give him glory, you’re not good enough for that.
And THAT was exactly what Satan, the angel formerly known as Lucifer, the angel assigned to lead worship, most wants. He wants to shut you down from living big and praising God, because honey, that was his job! It was his job to praise. It was his job to worship. It was his job to show up in beautiful splendor and honor God. AND HE GOT FIRED!
The one thing he most wants to keep you from doing is the job he was specifically created for.
So how about the next time he pipes up from the pits of hell and tries to tell you you’re not worthy or good enough, and God couldn’t possibly want you or use you, you remind him HE WAS KICKED OUT OF HEAVEN AND YOU’RE NOW SINGING THE PRAISES OF GOD HE GOT FIRED FROM!
God fired the angel Lucifer, and honey, he hired you! He has chosen you to reveal his splendor and glory. He has chosen you to sing his praises and worship him. He has chosen you to work in and reveal his power through.
1 Peter 2: 9-10 MSG “But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.”
You have been chosen for the team, Sis. Hand selected because God wanted you. Your job is to be his instrument. To speak out for him and tell everyone of what a difference he has made in your life. To share of what he has done for you. This is praise. The praise Lucifer was fired from doing and you have been chosen for.
Does God expect you to be perfect first? Does he expect you to clean yourself up and know exactly what you are doing? Nope, that’s what he does. God’s work is perfect. God cleans us up, makes sense out of nonsense, and uses all things together for good. If we focus on praising him and telling of all he has done for us, he does the transformational work in our lives.
So, to that little voice that says, “God can never forgive you. God never wanted you. God could never use you.” We say, “Hey Satan, you got kicked out of Heaven, I’m praising God now! I’m in, you’re out, and I don’t listen to you anymore.”
Shut down the pokes from hell, and praise God for all he has done for you!