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Archive for January, 2013

Each of us, if we are of driving age, has a driver’s license, to identify who we are, what our age is and where we live. Even our schools provide each student with a number and ID card so the schools (here in my county it starts from elementary school up) know whose grades belong to whom and which student belong to which school.

Many people today, if not most, carry other identities, such as lawyer, accountant, manager, or even bus driver. These identities become their success, what makes them important, in the eyes of the world.

I have always struggled with my identity from the time elementary school through middle and high school into college. It didn’t help that I had to overcome a learning disability in elementary school. I had to be and do something to be important. So I tried everything. I think I changed my degree four or five times in college and then only received a two year degree.

I use to tell God “I need to go back to school to get my degree.” The reason is, if something happened to Mike the only job I could get was a minimum wage one. There is no way I can do anything without a degree. I don’t know how many times I looked at friends, even my husband, and was jealous because they got a degree. I saw myself as a failure for most of my life.

This transferred to my relationship with God. The more I did for Him, the more important I was, and the more He loved me. So I thought. My life got to the point that I was involved in four ministries at once, not to mention the one at home to my family. That was okay, because I was doing God’s work and He was going to accept me and think I was important.

In reality, I burned out. I didn’t know who I was anymore than before, due to being pulled in so many directions. I lost sight of who I truly was. Looking back, there has always been desire to find my niche. The longing to find something I really enjoyed doing, was so strong, I couldn’t say no to anything. I needed to find it.

God is patient. It took me a long time to understand where my true identity and success comes from. He had to take me out of everything to learn one simple thing; I am important, and my identity is that I am His child. I show I belong to Him by obeying His word and being an example to those around me.

Incidentally, through one of those ministries, I did find something I loved to do. I put together newsletters for our church’s MOPS (Mother of Preschools) program, writing articles to encourage those who I ministered to. I love putting words together to encourage others in their spiritual walk as well as facilitating Bible studies. But I do still have to be cautious that writing or teaching doesn’t become my sole identity. I wouldn’t be able to do this if it weren’t for God. I have also learned to take breaks and say “no” and my number one priority is my family.

Do you struggle to know who you are? Do you find that your job, hobby or even your family have become your identity? If those were taken from you today, who would you be?

If you’re one of God’s children, that is who you are. There is nothing more important than that. If the activities and “things, you use to form your identity were taken away, you would still be His child and be important to Him.

Ask Him today to make Himself real to you and to see who you really are in Him. He longs for you to know exactly that.

Place your name in the blank.

For you                       did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you                  received the Spirit of sonship/daughtership*. And by him we cry “Abba Father.  The Spirit himself testisfies with our spirit that we are God’s children.  Now if                           is his child, then                       is an heir – an heir of God,  and co-heir with Christ…”  Romans 8: 15-17a (NIV)

*added for emphasis

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It’s that time of year again.  If you’re anything like me I have good intentions to keep my resolutions only to find myself in December making the same ones because I didn’t follow through the year before.

 

In 2013 I want to be different.  Where have I heard that before?  But this year I have only two things on my list so it should be easy.  Right?

 

First, is the number one resolution most people make, lose weight.  As I get older I am realizing the importance of eating well, exercising and keeping my weight down.

 

The second is to love the Lord with all my heart, all my soul, with all my mind and with all my strength.  When I do this everything else in my life will line up.  It will affect me as a parent, wife, individual, ministry worker, and writer.  It will literally touch every aspect of life because I will be obedient to God and recognize His voice.

 

In the book of Deuteronomy chapter 6, Moses told the Israelites, that one loves the Lord completely by obeying the Law.  He told them to write it and place it on the foreheads, and arms.  Even today some sects of Judaism still tie little black boxes on their foreheads and arms that contained the law.  It was to go with them as a reminder of who they belonged to.

 

I heard Beth Moore address this very idea in her Bible study on “Deuteronomy”; I said to myself “We don’t tie little black boxes to our bodies today, so what do both of these have to do with me?”  And as if she read my mind, Beth mentioned those t-shirts or jewelry we wear with Biblical thoughts or verses.  You know the ones.  They sell in them on-line and in Christian bookstores.  They’re knock offs of the current movie, or social status pages.

 

But then she asked a pivotal question.  “Do we really believe what we wear?” Moses was telling them to take it deeper.    It wasn’t the letter of the law they were to follow (tying the boxes to the forehead or arm)  but it was the heart of the law, don’t just learn the Word but believe and live it out.   Do I really believe what one cross pendant I have says, “With God all things are possible”?  When my Father tells me to do something that seems impossible do I say “Sorry I can’t do that” or do I say, “Okay I will trust You and step out of my comfort zone.” Sadly it seems to be more of the first, than the second.

 

I’m tired of good intentions.  I want to follow through, not just to become like Christ, but to point others to Him.  Change comes by meeting with Him on a daily basis, memorizing His word, applying it and praying.  It won’t be easy, but it is doable with the Holy Spirit’s help.

 

How about you?  Do you love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength?  Are you tired of the way you life is going and want to live in a Christ like way in 2013?

 

Seek Him out.  Change starts with a relationship with Him.  Ask Him to show you what loving Him so completely looks like. Loving, trusting and being obedient to God is not a one size fits all deal. Each person is unique.

 

If you have never come into a relationship with Him, I encourage you to go to the page “An Invitation” (tap is at the top of the screen).  The page will walk you through what it means to do just that.

“Love the Lord your God, with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be written upon your heart.”

Deuteronomy 6:5-6 (NIV 1984)

 

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