Cancel the Audition

Often, we live like we are in an audition to win God’s love and favor. We strive and struggle and fail moment by moment, day by day, to walk close to God in all His ways. We try to scrape ourselves up off the pavement of our failures on our own and scratch our ways closer to His. Maybe if we read our Bible more, serve other people more, sacrifice more, worship Him more wholeheartedly, pray more…we will finally be able to please God. We will finally make ourselves worthy of His love. The sad thing is, when we walk through the door to our audition each day, we don’t read the sign on the door. We assume it says, “Audition.” Instead, it is a list of the names of the chosen with our name cast as “Beloved.”

Loved Before The Audition Started: A Case Study in Jeremiah

Let’s look at the life of a man who was able to endure incredible persecution, see seemingly perpetual failure (from an earthly perspective) in his life ministry, and persevere through intense isolation and pain. The prophet Jeremiah was like a covenant lawyer called to plead with God’s people to turn back to God and to explain the reason for the exile they would choose. The covenant lawsuit he brought was read, torn up, and burned by the king. The people he lovingly served refused to listen and turned on Jeremiah instead, mocking, beating, and attempting to kill him. He preserved through the reign of five kings, the fall of Jerusalem, and the destruction of the grand and beautiful temple of the LORD that Solomon built, grieving with God over the people’s rejection of Him and earning the nickname, “the weeping prophet.”

In spite of all the rejection and pain he endured, Jeremiah offers some of the most comforting messages of hope in the midst of severe pain and loss in all of Scripture. How was Jeremiah able to endure such pain? How was he able to fellowship with God in God’s own sorrow over His people rejecting Him? How could Jermiah grieve with God and offer such comfort in his message, so much that the theological center of his book (Jeremiah 30-31) is considered by theologians as “the book of comfort?”

Let’s look at what the Lord said to him when He called Jeremiah to ministry that would be so dismally dismissed by the people to whom Jeremiah sought to deliver.

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,

before you were born I set you apart;

I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.

Jeremiah 1:4-5

From the beginning of Jeremiah’s fearful step into obedience, he was given a significant assurance and a foundation of security knowing that God had already stamped his approval on Jeremiah. Steven Furtick who wrote Crash the Chatterbox declares that these words have been extremely meaningful to him in his own ministry. Not because he was Jeremiah or a prophet, but

because they reveal a general truth about not only how but when God’s approval comes to me. It’s a reality that has become an anchor for my sense of security.

Steven Furtick in Crash the Chatterbox page 24.

The Antidote to Insecurity

God designed us to live from a place of security. He laid the foundation for this security before He laid the foundations of the world. But many of us live out of a place of insecurity.

From being overly vulnerable to hiding, from people pleasing to controlling, from living like a doormat to manipulating, we all make painful practical relationship choices when we are coming from a place of insecurity.

Like Jeremiah, though, God’s acceptance, love, and approval came to us before we had any chance to show up and prove ourselves or foul it up and disprove ourselves. The approval has nothing to do with what we do or don’t do. Check out Psalm 139. Before we even lived a day, God had seen us, known us, and chosen not just to completely get us but to hem us in behind and before and be personally present with us every moment of our lives. We don’t always realize He is there, and when we do, we often don’t imagine Him with a smile on His face, but He longs for us to know Him as He is- not as we imagine Him to be. You may have heard or even memorized John 3:16, but if you imagine Him frowning at you, check out the very next verse John 3:17.

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

John 3:17

He’s not out to catch us in doing bad so He has a reason to reject us. He isn’t out to condemn us at all. He longs for us to come to Him so He can help us receive the love and approval that has always been there for us- so that He can cleanse us of all our sins and bondage, heal us, and lift us up into all He created us to be. If you have children- can you count how many times you think about them in a day? God says in Psalm 139:17-18 that His thoughts toward us outnumber the grains of sand (imagine all the sand on all the shores, under all the seas, and in all the sandstone under the earth and try to just count the grains in a teaspoon of sand- measureless loving thoughts!).

Embrace the Cancellation

The excellent news is that God cancelled the audition for us before it even started in our hearts. God did this work for us before we even turned our eyes and hearts to Satan’s signs inviting us to a non-existent audition, “Earn His love,” “Oh wait, you can’t,” “Try harder,” “Your failing,” “You have to measure up,” “You’ll never measure up,” “You are just too much,” “You will never be enough.”

Before you had any chance to buy into this lie, God offered the gift of His Son so you could know Him for eternity if you choose Him. (If you aren’t sure you have received this gift, check out God Peace?). If you have received this eternal life of knowing God and being close to Him, you can rest assured that before you bought into any part of the audition,

God declared,

I want you

You’re Mine. I’ve chosen you.

You belong. To Me.

And you can know that you always will, because you always have.

Before you were ever born. I knew you.”

Steven Furtick in Crash the Chatterbox page 25.

So, if notice yourself walking into any future moment as if you were walking into an audition with God, may God, who is right there with you, remind you then that the audition has always been canceled.

If this was meaningful to you,

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Photo edited from photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash

Copyright © 2023 Angela Edmonds. All rights reserved.


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