Chosen Vessels (Part 1) by Pastor Carl W. Mann, II
Acts 9:15-16 (KJV) “But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.”
You may recall, in my sermon titled “Abraham, Faith When God Asks for Your Best,” I said, “Abraham was a man who was ‘Blessed and Highly Favored!’ Everyone who claims this privileged status must be prepared to live up to it!” Well, the same thing goes for everyone who claims to be “Chosen,” they had better be prepared to accept the challenges of such a status!
As I search the Scriptures, I am not able to find any contradiction to the principle that not all believers are “Chosen Vessels,” although God “chose” all believers to be in “the beloved:”
Ephesians 1:3-6 (KJV)“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved” (Emphasis Mine).
2 Thessalonians 2:13 (KJV)“But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:” (Emphasis Mine); thus, when the Lord sent Ananias to Saul, He stated the Scripture we discuss today.
I hear many believers flippantly state that they are “Blessed and Highly Favored,” without any thought to the depth of consecration and calling required to make that statement in a truthful manner. Likewise, I hear preachers tell believers that they are all “chosen” with the meaning that they are all “Chosen Vessels.” This is not a correct statement; and, if it were true, being a “Chosen Vessel” is NOT all about being blessed, it is about being “Chosen” to bear the burden of being identified with Christ. Of course, the reward for such identification will be made manifest when Christ is revealed.
Upon reviewing Scripture, I discovered that ALL “Chosen Vessels” share challenges and characteristics in common. I found 5 (the Biblical Number for “Grace”) characteristics that all “Chosen Vessels” exhibit.
“Chosen Vessels” live lives that are wrought with…
It appears that the man or woman God selects as a “Chosen Vessel” will experience a depth of loneliness while walking in the Perfect Will of God. Paul certainly exhibited this… 2 Timothy 4:16 (KJV) “At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.”
- John, the Revelator, certainly experienced loneliness on the Isle of Patmos.
- Elijah experienced loneliness when he spent time alone at the Brook Cherith and felt that he was the only one who was standing up for God’s honor.
- Moses experienced a depth of fear and loneliness when he fled to the “back side of the desert.”
I believe that God designs “loneliness” to empower His “Chosen Vessels” to be able to stand alone with Him. In this empowerment, “Chosen Vessels” learn to look to no one else for sympathy, they look to God for His approval. They are also able to continue in their pursuit of pleasing God when most everyone else, who is “feeling sorry for themselves,” are “sleeping.”
Jesus experienced a depth of loneliness unlike any other…
John 16:32 (KJV)“Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me” (Emphasis Mine).
When Jesus made this statement as the Son of Man, He was still unaware of the impact of loneliness He would experience at Calvary! It was in the Garden of Gethsemane that He “discovered” the magnitude of His personal sacrifice in being the Lamb of God. It would require Him to go into the “Jaws of Death & Darkness” alone; for, His Father would not be able to look upon Him at that time.
God is too Holy to “behold evil” …
Habakkuk 1:13 (KJV) “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?” (Emphasis Mine).
Jesus “became” Sin (Sin Offering) for us; and, as such, ALL sin that mankind had committed, was committing, and will commit was placed upon Jesus – the Lamb of God!
2 Corinthians 5:21 (KJV) “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (Emphasis Mine).
The Father could not look upon His Son as He “became sin for us.” NEVER has there been such a sense of loneliness as when Jesus hung on the Cross of Calvary…
Matthew 27:45-46 (KJV)“Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Emphasis Mine).
“Chosen Vessels” live lives that are wrought with …
“Chosen Vessels” share in the burdens of God’s Heart to seek the lost and manifest His Forgiveness and Redemption. Often, the burden of rejection becomes so pronounced that “Chosen Vessels” desire to “Go Fishing,” become silent, or just “get away.” However, the burden of God’s Heart is as eternal as He Is!
Paul stated, 1 Corinthians 9:16 (KJV) “For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” (Emphasis Mine)
Jeremiah desired to unburden his heart, but he ended up stating, Jeremiah 20:9 (KJV)“Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay” (Emphasis Mine).
Jesus desired that His “Cup” would pass from Him; nevertheless, He accepted the Will of His Father.
I know there will be some who will think, or say, “Jesus said His burden is light. Pastor, you are incorrect in this teaching!” Of course, these will be referencing where Jesus spoke to the people, Matthew 11:28-30(KJV) “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Emphasis Mine).
Going back to the beginning premise of this writing, NOT all who call upon the Name of the Lord are “Chosen Vessels!” Jesus makes His invitation to all who will come to Him; however, to those who will be “Chosen Vessels,” like Himself, they will bear the burden of His Father’s Heart, and His Father’s burden is not light.
To be continued next week…