Your God-Given Identity

Posted by Janelle Webber on

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17 You don’t need to read indy-mag.com, to be reminded of the 2007 Britney Spears very public tantrum as she exited rehab, filed for divorce and...

Confessions of a (Recovering) Control Freak

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My husband is retiring from the military after 32 years of active duty service. This is a big step for both of us. He hasn’t had to apply for a job since he was in high school. And since we’ve been married, he has always known what he was going to do and when he would get promotions. We haven’t really had to worry about our future. Until now.

As for me, I’m a “recovering” control freak, which is a weird trait for a military spouse. But when things get stressful or uncertain, I default to, “If I can control all the things about this, then everything will be okay.”  So, in this journey of my husband transitioning out of the military and into his next position as he continues his career, I have been trying to control freak it. Every day I was trying to gain control of the unknown by asking him if he took this step, or called that person. And I could tell I was stressing him out.

I finally decided that I needed to talk with God about it. I remember the day well. “Lord,” I said, “he is just not doing the things he said he wanted to do. He is stressed out and this is new territory for us. But God…what if he doesn’t get a job after he retires?”

Immediately I felt the Spirit say, “Do you think I can’t take care of you?”

I don’t always get immediate answers from God when I pray. Sometimes I don’t get answers at all. But I have found that when I am earnestly seeking him, or if my thinking needs to be straightened out, sometimes I will feel an answer from him like I did that day.

When I felt that answer, I took a sharp breath in. Yes! I thought. That’s right! God will take care of us now, just like he has taken care of us for all these years.

At that moment, my worry and angst disappeared. I no longer had to ask every day if my husband was taking care of things. Instead, I prayed each day, lifting my husband up in prayer. And instead of pointing out what my husband was or was not doing, I was able to talk about what God was teaching me; that he is still in control and has a good plan for us. We started agreeing that we just needed to look for what God was doing and follow his lead.

We still don’t know what my husband will be doing after his retirement. But we do know that God has been showing us some potential paths. We know that he has a specific plan for us. And we know that God will reveal that plan to us as we follow his lead, pray, and stay in relationship with him.

Now I am constantly reminded to live the truth of Isaiah 30:21, Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”  I don’t have to know the path forward because I’m listening to the one who is showing me where to walk. He knows the way forward, and I trust him to show me.

Doubting Greatness

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Picture this; Sunday morning, people fill the seats,

Waiting on the pastor’s words of happiness and peace.

But, instead of a message that brings meaning to their lives,

The words coming at them today are somewhat a surprise -

Words that remind them of greatness; of something they’ve never known,

Every syllable slamming against them, painful, almost tearing at their soul.

And there I sat as well, listening, the words eating me away.

Why do words that should encourage make me feel this way?

Making me feel empty, because I know I could be more,

The shoulda, coulda, woulda’s come knocking at my door.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, the message was quite inspiring,

But what I felt behind it, if honest, was just plain tiring.

Because I knew that I had work to do, if I was to embrace this destiny;

The path that God had set me on, which I had strayed entirely.

Why do I feel this way? Why do I dread the path ahead?

Why do I look across this room of dreams, and see only nightmares instead?

Every single person that day, had hopes, and dreams, and gifts

But most of them abandoned that for lack of faith and grit.

For every person near and far is born an empty slate,

Hoping to do something in life that people consider great.

But as the years come rolling in, we accept an unkind truth,

That most in life we’ll shoot for, we’ll miss, so we settle without proof.

We never try for fear of failure, and so fail before beginning.

And on it goes throughout our lives, accepting loss, no hope in winning.

 

But God said..

I know the plans I have for you, the plans to give you peace,

The plans to prosper, love, and hold; my son died for your release.

From the pain and suffering and fear, from doubt and insecurity,

So that nothing in this world could cloud your clarity.

And yet, clouded vision comes, because we lose that faith,

And allow the lies of a dying world to drag us to that place

Where darkness overcomes the light, where death steals every life,

Where happiness is just a dream on a road that’s wrought with strife.

The devil wants to keep us small, to keep us living within limits,

Because he knows the greatness within threatens his very existence.

Maybe not the greatness that we had originally envisioned,

But a greatness that comes from something more - a decision.

A decision to commit our lives to higher, to a God that’s full of love,

To the idea that grace covers everything, from below and from above.

Grace changes everything, and sets us a new path.

No matter how many times we stray, we can always come right back

 

So…

The simple truth is this: that God gave us gifts on purpose,

And even though it’s for his glory, it goes deeper than the surface.

For what you see outside, is not always what’s beneath.

God knows that what we do, ripples beyond our reach.

So each and every day, the choices that we make,

Spread beyond the paths we walk and show His love innate.

Though still I doubt myself, I know that God believes.

And all the gifts I have, are all I’ll ever need…

Your God-Given Identity

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This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 
2 Corinthians 5:17

You don’t need to read indy-mag.com, to be reminded of the 2007 Britney Spears very public tantrum as she exited rehab, filed for divorce and shaved her hair off. Ms. Spears was having an identity crisis.

Some famous people handle these kind of identity-crisis situations much more gracefully, such as first lady Michelle Obama. According to huffingtonpost.com, she admitted her controversial bangs were a midlife crisis move. Shortly after her 49th birthday Mrs. Obama said, “I couldn’t get a sports car. They won’t let me bungee jump. So instead, I cut my bangs.”

Famous or not, it seems we all struggle at times to find our identity. There was, however, one very famous man who never wavered in knowing his identity. It was declared before, at, and after his birth. It followed him to his death, becoming crystal clear after he exited the tomb.

This of course was Jesus Christ. He may have never had to “find himself,” but he did regularly find it necessary to defend his God-given place in the universe - he was and is the Son of God. And in that identity he made it clear that this made him a servant. He told this to his disciples in Matthew 20:28a, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others…”

What does that mean for us? With Jesus as a servant how does that affect or change our perspective and/or our behavior?

If you understand your identity as a child of God it will have a profound effect on everything…every day and in every way.

In Ephesians 1:5a Paul writes, “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ.” In accepting Jesus Christ, we can then stake our identity in Christ. We become sons and daughters of God. We then take our rightful place in the family of God as we inherit all the glory and responsibilities given to Christ, including servanthood here on earth.

We are just like Jesus in the following ways:

  • a child of God.
  • sharing the inheritance of Christ.
  • here to serve others. 

This is us.

This is you.

Read it again.

Say it out loud.

Post it on the refrigerator, your computer screen, above the kitchen sink, on your bicycle, your gaming device; any place you regularly hang out.

Read it.

Memorize it.

Live your identity. 

And the next time you are asked, “Tell me about yourself,” instead of saying “I am a student, a manager, a mom, or _________(you fill in the blank)” you will be prepared to clearly and confidently state your true God-given identity!!


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His name will be the hope of all the world.

Matthew 12:21

There is something about the identity of knowing you are a child of God that will give you more confidence than your resources and position ever will! Jesus didn't only have identity, He had purpose! There was a reason why He was here! There was a reason why He walked planet earth. 

In fact, Matthew 12:21 tells us what that reason was: "Look at my Servant, whom I have chosen.  He is my Beloved, who pleases me. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. He will not fight or shout or raise his voice in public. He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. Finally he will cause justice to be victorious. And his name will be the hope of all the world."

Isn't that amazing? He had identity and He had purpose and I can tell you that if you're a child of God, God has put a passion in your heart, He's given you something to do - you have a purpose! -Pastor John B. Smith

The Perfect Power Plan

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For you are all Children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 

(Galatians 3:26)
 

The President decided Monday was a good day for a round of golf, and with that the course at Andrews Air Force base was cleared. Any other golfers who wanted to play at Andrews on Monday had to scramble to make other plans.

Today, President Obama can clear a golf course. In a few short months the American President will be replaced. Then Obama will hand off his golf course clearing power, as well as an assortment of other presidential power perks, to the next president. Human power: temporary, fleeting, and most certainly unfulfilling. 

We have access to an another power plan. A perfect plan that is eternal and unending. Through membership in God’s family we have Jesus power which is found in identity and purpose. Jesus power is much greater and fulfilling than anything that could ever be offered though human power. God’s power is real power.

Do you know your identity? When you looked in the mirror this morning what crossed your mind...

Oh my, is that yet another pimple?

What dreadful bags those are under my eyes! 

Is that hair gray?

How could I have done that last night?

(sigh) Yet another long day to get through.


Did it occur to you that you were peering into a mirror that reflected a child of God? Jesus Power--that’s the first and only thought we need when looking at ourselves. 

When we are confident in our identity as God’s children, then our purpose is easily defined. It’s not to get the to do list done, make more money, win the “#1 parent” award, or say “yes” to every request. It’s to use our passions in the Kingdom of God.

So take another look, remind yourself that God sees you through his Son, and put into action the things you love to do--while looking to glorify God, your Father in heaven!

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