Identity

[One of our goals at the Royally Relational Institute is to share the stories of women…even women who gravitate to the back, rather than the front of the room. In this vain, here is an installation from our written collection of work, Crescendo.]

I recently hosted a play date at my home. I planned this gathering for one of my children. The goal was to foster connections with friends outside of other scheduled activities. Picture several preteens doing all manner of things. They were all very respectful so I had no issues with insolence or questionable conduct. But preteens,…need I say more?

Surprisingly, the afternoon we envisioned during our planning process is not what transpired 😱. It was a great experience for our family but it was a bit outside of our expectations. After the gathering I engaged in some reflection. Here are three points which resonated with me.

1. Everyone is unique. We each have a specific sets of skills and talents which define us and set us apart from others. Even if you share a similar skill set as another person how you expresses and utilize that skill will differ.

2. Our experiences will influence our expectations. What I expected was based on my experience with my child. These expectations were not what these children presented.

3. It is important to remember who and whose you are. It is so easy to get caught up in what others are doing or to get wrapped up in the identity of the world. It is important to maintain your God given identity regardless of your circumstances or experiences.

So how do we reconcile our uniqueness and lived experiences in light of God’s plan for our lives? How does our story unfold in light of God’s story. Here are a few points to consider.

Who are you? 

This is a very important question. The answer to this question is life altering for a Christian believer. The answer to this  question moves the believer into their God ordained destiny. God calls us His very own possession. We are His, created by Him for Him.

But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9 NLT

God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world. 1 Corinthians 7:23 NLT

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. Psalms 139:14 KJV

What are you called to do? 

What specifically is the calling, the role, the God given assignment, placed on your life? This is not necessarily your job or your career. Whether we function as a stay at home mom, an Elementary school teacher, doctor, custodian, or Museum curator, we each have a primary function in the body of Christ.

Here are some of the parts God has appointed for the church: first are apostles, second are prophets, third are teachers, then those who do miracles, those who have the gift of healing, those who can help others, those who have the gift of leadership, those who speak in unknown languages. Are we all apostles? Are we all prophets? Are we all teachers? Do we all have the power to do miracles? Do we all have the gift of healing? Do we all have the ability to speak in unknown languages? Do we all have the ability to interpret unknown languages? Of course not! 1 Corinthians 12:28-30 NLT

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10 NLT

Where do you do it?

Where has God called you to serve? This question can foster great anxiety for some. We want to know. We are eager to serve God. We forge plans, weigh our options, seek counsel, and set out on a course. While planning is profitable it is more important to ensure you are following the right path.

In determining where you are called to serve remember to make your plans and leave room for the Holy Spirit to work. Allow God to determine your path. He will lead you where He needs you to go.

We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer. Proverbs 16:1 NLT

Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3 NLT

We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps. Proverbs 16:9 NLT

Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11 NLT

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT

We may throw the dice, but the Lord determines how they fall. Proverbs 16:33 NLT

When do you do it? 

Timing is extremely important. What season are you in currently? Where is God leading you? What has God asked of you?

Solomon reminded us that there are seasons in life. And each season demands a different response. Esther’s caregiver Mordecai drew her attention to an important season in her life. Joseph with full confidence told his brothers that he was sent ahead to save their families in this season. Each of these Biblical characters recognized the importance of timing,…God’s timing in their individual lives.

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1 NLT

If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this? Esther 4:14 NLT

God has sent me ahead of you to keep you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors. So it was God who sent me here, not you! And he is the one who made me an adviser to Pharaoh—the manager of his entire palace and the governor of all Egypt. Genesis 45:7-8 NLT

How do you do it?

What does your process look like? Whatever you are called to do remember God is the one who called you. You are not in charge, He is. So allow Him to work in and through you. Plan to allow God to interrupt your plans. Your current season may not be your place of fullness but it is part of the process. So embrace where you are and work diligently.

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for peopleColossians‬ ‭3:23‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct. Galatians‬ ‭6:4-5‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom. Ecclesiastes‬ ‭9:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Accept Godly Assurance/Inheritance 

God will equip you to do the work. You are equipped to do some work today.

And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it. God’s purpose is that people should fear him. Ecclesiastes 3:14 NLT

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 NLT

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 NLT

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