Being Known by God
“O God, you have searched and known me.”
A friend of mine is an executive for a company that I will call the ABC Corporation. He was telling me how he got his present job. He was working in another company and he got a phone call one day from an executive headhunter. The headhunter said, "We have an opening you may be interested in." "No, I'm quite happy right here," my friend said.
But these headhunters have been around the block more times than we have. They don't even hear your "no's." Without even catching his breath, he said, "We have done extensive research, and there are only three people in Chicago who are qualified for this job. And you're one of them."
My friend was dumb-founded. How did they find him? "Oh, we have ways," the headhunter said, and indeed they do. The headhunter then went on to say, “Why don't you just talk to these folks? No harm. Nothing to lose. You'll get a free lunch, and besides, even if you're not interested in the ABC Corporation, it will confirm that you're in the right place doing the right thing."
Now, that's seductive, that's seductive, isn't it? Because, nearly all of us have a grass is greener feeling deep inside us. So, my friend had lunch, and he was astounded at how much the ABC Corporation knew about him. They had their eye on him, and after a few conversations, they let it be known that they really wanted him. So he took the job.
At the heart of our understanding of baptism of infants is the fact that before we know anything about God, God knows us. In baptism, God takes prior action. In baptism, God chooses us to be His beloved children.
I was talking with a man in his late 30's who for the first time in his life is trying to take the claims of Jesus Christ seriously. As I learned about his background, I found out about the Sunday School he attended as a child, about the Methodist college chaplain he admired. And I said, "It seems to me that God has been gently tapping on your heart for a long time, but your life has been so filled with noise and clamor that you weren't able to hear."
Jesus said, "You did not choose me, but I chose you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should abide."
This is what Calvin meant by election: God has put his brand upon us, and nothing can take it off.