Yesterday, I expounded on three varying degrees to which we are God's, taken from Isaiah 19. We are the works of His hands regardless of our buy-in (He made each of us; we are His). We are His people when we put ourselves under His leadership but maintain the freedom to work as we see fit within His paradigm. And we are His possession when we are fully sold out and wholly bought back by the power of the blood. Check out yesterday's post for more on all of that.
I promised today that I would tell you a little more about what each of these means, and to do that, we have to branch out into other parts of the Bible. I'm not going to quote Scripture here because 1) I'm basing this off the remembered references I have in my head from daily reading, which makes them insanely hard to find. and 2) These are phrases and words used more than once (I think) throughout the Bible, so you will run across them again and again as you read. And please read your Bibles. They are full of good stuff. Like this:
What more can we say about the works of His hands? They are His creation, His beautiful masterpiece. The Bible talks frequently about the care He puts into each and every one of them, about the interplay between the Potter and the clay. We are reminded that when He's working on something and it's not turning out right, He is within His discretion as the artist to lump it all back together and start again. That means that regardless of how much you care about God at any given moment, He cares a great deal about you and He labored over getting you just right. Do you understand that you're just right? And that when you're not...you're still being worked over, still being worked on, still being tenderly crafted until you are the very perfect you? He loves you, even if you're content to be only the work of His hands.
What more can we say about His people? Plenty, but let's focus on this: when you read through the Scriptures, you find fairly often that Israel, in particular, is not merely a nation of "God's people." They are, instead, a nation of "God's chosen people." You think you have put yourself under His leadership. You think that you have joined His nation. But the truth is - God has chosen you. Like a schoolyard pick, He's standing there and sees all that you have to offer, all that you can bring to His team, and He has chosen you to play for Him. Being His people means that you've opted to play as you've been picked rather than walk away and abandon the playground. Earlier this week, I celebrated the anniversary of the day I gave my life to Christ. Isn't that how we view it? We picked Him. But the truth, my friends, is so much more beautiful. He picked YOU. That is one of many reasons it is an honor to be among His people.
Chosen by God sounds pretty good, and it is for most of us. But what more can we say about His possession? I've actually been going over this verse a lot as I've worked with the editing of a recent chapter in my second book (coming this fall!) - because it's in there. This is another phrase that's missing a key describer. Just as we've gone from God's people to God's chosen people, when we read through the Scriptures, we find not simply "God's possession" but "God's treasured possession." He treasures you! He doesn't just own you. You're not just sitting on His shelf. He didn't buy you up and put you in storage or put you in a box or stuff you in His garage. He treasures you. He uses you. He puts you on display. He dusts you every day to make sure the grime doesn't build up. He takes tender care of you because He doesn't want you to crack. He doesn't want you to break. He doesn't want you to fall into disuse or fall into disarray because you are His, but that's not all you are. You are treasured. Doesn't it bring tears to your eyes just to think that God could treasure you? Has anyone ever treasured you? God does.
I asked you to spend some time thinking about to which degree you are God's. Are you the work of His hands? That's cool. Are you His people? Even better. Are you His possession? That's great! But it's not just about where you are; it's about what you are. I invite you to take some time, knowing which group you fall into today, to think about what that means. Consider what it is to be carefully crafted, to be chosen, to be treasured.
And don't overthink it. This is not one or the other. It's a progressive movement. If you have been chosen, you are also carefully crafted. If you are His possession, you are also the work of His hands. These things build on each other. Let that thought blow your mind.
Can you imagine living, knowing you are carefully crafted, chosen by God, and treasured?