There is a very real, true, and literal sense in which God choses us. However, that does not take away from our choosing God nor does it diminish from our freewill. Notice, with me, the following points:
God Choses, collectively
God chose the descendants of Abraham because He loved them (Deut. 7:7). Notice this is a collective choosing. Individually one could walk away from this covenant between the Israelites and God.
Paul explicitly states that we are “chosen in Him before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4).” Paul even goes on to say that we are predestinated unto the adoption of children according to the good pleasure of His will (Eph. 1:5). This causes many people who look no further than this passage to preach a pernicious doctrine. Some say that we, individually, are predestined whether we chose God or not. One must notice further in Paul’s letter we call Ephesians where Paul reveals the mystery of this choosing, calling it the “fellowship of the mystery (Eph. 3:9).” We notice that Paul, preaching the unsearchable riches of Christ, tells the reader that it is in the church, which is the manifold wisdom of God, that we have the fellowship of the mystery that was from the beginning of the world (Eph. 3:9-11) The church (called out group of people) was the eternal purpose of God in which we stand and are chosen before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4; 3:11-12) So, we see from this passage that it is the body of Christ or the church of Christ that was chosen, predestinated, and God’s eternal purpose (Eph. 1:22-23; 4:4; 5:23).
God Choses, individually
Notice God chose Jeremiah specifically, “Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations (Jer. 1:4-5).” Now, even thought God specifically called or chose Jeremiah he was not bound to obey like an automaton. The first thing he did was offer excuses (Jer. 1:6). Then, after he started his ministry he got discouraged and wanted to quit. On one occasion he said he was going into the motel business (Jer. 9:2). On another occasion Jeremiah purposed in his heart to quit but he had to much zeal for the word of God to do so (Jer. 20:9).
Also, notice that God chose Moses (Exo. 3:1-4:17). Moses’ story is much like that of Jeremiah. However the interesting thing about Moses’ account is what we read in the book of Hebrews. We see, from Hebrews 11:24-24, that Moses, when he had come of age, chose God. There can be no argument that Moses was specifically chosen by God. However, there can be no argument that Moses, also, chose God.
There are many many other examples of this in Scripture. The point being is that God choses but the one chosen can refuse.
God chooses, seekers
One of the great examples of God being found if one seeks Him and one of the greatest examples of an if/then statement is located in 2 Chronicles 15:2. King Asa was trying to do what was right in the sight of the Lord and he got some reassurance from God. God, through the prophet, said that if Asa would seek Him then He would be found of him (2 Chr. 15:2). On the flipped, If Asa forsook God then God would forsake Asa (2 Chr. 15:2).
God choosing seekers is also evident from a passage in Proverbs. Seeking and receiving is extolled in Proverbs 2:4-5. In its context the lesson is that one needs the knowledge from God to be able to be pleasing to God and one will not receive that knowledge unless one seeks. If one seeks after knowledge then one understand righteousness, judgment, equity, and every good path (Pro. 2:1-9).
The idea of seeking and finding is also found in the New Testament.
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened (Mat. 7:7-8).”
God choses, by the gospel
No study of any biblical topic is worth much if there is no application made to us today. After noticing how How we can chose God and how God choses us the question is left, how does God chose Christians. Maybe a better question would be, How does God chose people to be Christians. Logic tells us that the pool of people from which God has to chose is the world, those outside of Christ. So how does he bring those outside the body of Christ into the body of Christ?
We are called by the gospel (2 Thes. 2:14). The gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus (1 Cor. 15:1-4). How do we hear the gospel? It is declared unto us (1 Cor. 15:1). The chosen method of declaration is preaching (1 Cor. 1:21). If we do not heed the call there are consequences (2 Thes. 1:8). There is a pattern or form of obedience to that which was delivered, the gospel (Rom. 6:17). The form, which we must obey from the heart, is the symbolic death, burial, and resurrection with Christ in order to walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:3-5). Upon the obedience to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus (baptism) we are added to the church which is delivering us out of the power of darkness and translates us into the kingdom of His dear Son (Acts 2:47; Col. 1:13).
Now that we have put on Christ in baptism, been added to the church, and put into the kingdom we are part of the church, the manifold wisdom of God which was his eternal purpose and the mystery about which Paul wrote in a few words whereby when we read we can know the mystery as well. (Gal. 3:27; Acts 2:47; Col. 1:13; Eph. 3:3-4,9-12).
All the above was to state, simply, God choses us and we chose God. God has given a promise and we have a responsibility. God is sovereign in his choosing and we have freewill to obey the conditions of that choosing.
Have you chose God? He has chosen you and He is calling you. Wont you make the decision to be part of the body of Christ and allow God to cover you with His grace.