Why “Chosen”?

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.  –Isaiah 55:8.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
  –Jeremiah 20:1.


Chosen cover ebookI don’t believe in predestination. But I do believe that God has a plan for each and every one of us.

Whether our life ends up following that plan is up to us. God doesn’t force us into obedience, or even making the decisions that He would like us to make.

I never thought I would end up in Texas. Before that, I never thought I would end up in Idaho. I’m a California boy. Early on, I had a bad experience–bad job, bad situation–when we lived in Illinois. When I got back to California, I swore I would never again leave the West Coast.

But I had also made a pledge to God that I would follow Him wherever He led; that I would go wherever He wanted me to go.

Which leads me to my question in the title. Why am I calling my new book, which tells the story of Jonathan, Chosen?

It’s a story that has been with me for a long time, and I thought of the name early one. Saul, his father, was chosen by God as the first king of Israel. What he did with that honor was up to him, but he squandered it. David, his best friend, became the next king of Israel, again chosen by God. So why didn’t Jonathan become king? Wasn’t he worthy?

My first reaction is to direct you to Isaiah 55:8 above. God’s plans are not our plans. But His plan is perfect, and it is to give us prosperity. The path He chose for Jonathan was different.

That flies against what happened to Jonathan. He followed his father into battle and was killed. Well, God told me once upon a time: “It’s not what you do, it’s who you are.” God is not as concerned what we do with our lives as much as what kind of person we become. Jonathan was a witness in his short life, not because he accomplished great things, but because he was who he was. He accepted God’s will for him, and embraced the usurper, David.

It’s a deep subject, but it’s one that all of us need to consider. It’s my privilege to delve it into my next book.

It comes out in early December.