If you are new to On Purpose Wednesdays, you might want to read the first post and last week's post to catch up. I have so enjoyed sharing these personal insights with you as we desire to live "On Purpose" with God. The first week we discussed our need to make a choice to actually live with a purpose in mind, and not "by accident." And then last week, we discovered that to find our life purpose, all we really needed to do was "Seek Him." Sounds so simple, but so important.Today we lay another layer of that critical foundation necessary before we begin to live out our life purpose. Today we will talk about our identity in Christ.
For many years of my early adult life, I found myself in so many different positions trying to serve God. When someone asked me to teach middle schoolers on Sunday morning, I did. When someone else asked met to keep the nursery, I did it. When I was approached about singing in the choir, I said yes. When I was asked to lead a women's bible study, I did that as well. Are you getting the picture? I couldn't say no. But it wasn't just that. I couldn't say no because I thought that my relationship with God was rooted so much in what I did for Him. So, the more I did for Him, the greater our relationship would be. Somehow He would love me more. My service to Him served as the foundation of my relationship with Him. (Or so I thought.)
"As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased." Matthew 3: 16 -17
These verses provide a beautiful picture of God's relationship with Jesus. God speaks a word of identity over Jesus, "You are my Son. I love you so much! And I am so very proud of you!" Interesting that these significant words of relationship were spoken before Jesus ever performed the first act of ministry or service. That would come later.
So, what was God so proud of? Why did God love Jesus so much? It wasn't what Jesus had done. It was WHO he was. God calls Jesus His Beloved Son and says how delighted He is with him before Jesus began serving God and the people.
This is so important! It is so important to know that our identity is that we are children of God. Our relationship with God is based on who we are, not what we do for Him. If we don't realize that we are His Beloved period, we will somehow confuse our identity with our purpose.
So, as I matured as a child of God, and I allowed God to speak truth of His grace and love into my life, I realized that my service had to come out of the overflow of His love for me. In other words, I am so overwhelmed by His love, I must share it with others by serving God and people. What a difference! My relationship with God became the foundation for my service to Him.
We must put first things first. We must be poured into before we can pour out. We must be fed before we can feed others. We must know who we are before we understand what we have been called to do. Identity before purpose.
So, what do you think about this? Have you struggled with this? I would love to hear your comments.
Unwrapping the gift of identity in Him,