(and then WAIT, and Listen for the Answer.)
Don't you love it when you are digging in to something, and suddenly, that 'something' is all around? It seems like out of the blue, everyone is talking about it... you see it show up wherever you go, in whatever you read or listen to or watch? I know there is a scientific name or phrase for it (Baader-Meinhof) but really, to me it is God pouring out confirmation...
For me, lately - it's been all about Identity.
~Who and Whose we are.
I have written about it all over this little corner of the interwebs and I will never ever stop shouting it from the mountain tops and whispering it soft into hair and hearts and tears... It is a vital message... and in order to answer the call to be real and live authentic and be vulnerable, well-- we simply must know who we are.
Too many of us... quite probably all of us -at one point or another- play act and put on masks and we will be whatever we think you need or want us to be... in all that pretending, we lose sight of the real us. But I am excited to tell you that those days are nearing an end!
Can I get an Amen?
For over a decade, God has been reminding me of who I really am... He sings it over me, He loves it in to me, and when I am tempted to believe old lies, to revert to old ways, to put on old masks, He laughs at me with wonder... because He knows...
He knows the truth.
It doesn't take much time for those old masks to no longer fit!
He sees the Real Me! ...and He sees the Real You, too, my friend!
When we begin to step into who He created us to be, the old ways of hiding or pretending are not so easy to fall back into.
Oh - don't get me wrong. You can do it... (*I don't recommend it!) but the longer you live out loud and step in to who He originally meant you to be, the taller you stand and the braver you get... and it's amazing to me how we all want to be free - but we're often unconvinced of how freedom comes in letting go of all the trappings of being enslaved.
We think there is comfort in blending in, in being like everyone else, in going along with the majority... but comfort and freedom are often not the same thing!
Our sense of comfort can keep us small and hidden... locked up and locked out.
No... what I long for - for me, and for you... is FREEDOM!
Now this message of True Identity is not a new one.
We have all heard that our Identity is hidden in Christ. That we are His and loved and worthy. Hopefully we are stepping into a Knowing that we are valued and valuable and that we are royalty and influential and carriers of the Kingdom.
But recently, as I am compiling some things on Identity for an upcoming talk, what the Lord is impressing on me is that He means it when He says that we are created in His image and when He whispers, "I made you on purpose, with purpose and I am madly in love with who I made you to be!"
We've heard the message of identity and how we are His... and we are!
Praise the Lord, we are!
But I believe He wants us to know that He loves everything about us.
All of our little quirks and personality ticks... our individuality and character. He loves our sense of humor and the way we cry... He loves our style - not what is dictated to us in fashion magazines or billboards, but how we put together an outfit or a meal or a sentence and how it just oozes our own style.
He loves how we create art... with our hands and words, our voices and hearts, yes - but also how we create art with our forgiveness, our willingness to take a risk, with how we love and how even sometimes doing ANY of those things still cause us to sweat and shake a little!
He is madly in love with us... with all of us... and all of who He made us to be!
You are already seen... you are, as Holley Gerth says, already amazing!
I believe you were created to be awesome...
To stir up Wonder!
I think we have only grabbed hold of half of this Identity message and we know that we are supposed to identify with Him and how He is... sure.
But I believe we are also supposed to identify with the person He made us to be. We have been grafted in and we carry within us the very DNA of God... but we also carry within us something that no one else on earth carries... no one can bring to the table what you have to offer!
So I invite you to put down your mask(s)...
Let's lean in... get quiet, and do a little Listening Prayer together:
I invite you to read this prayer but then stop...
close your eyes and imagine Jesus standing in front of you... Ask Him the question and then wait for Him to answer!
Oh how He longs to answer!
Turn your heart and attention toward Him...
Breathe in deep... slowly inhaling... slowly exhaling...
(for real... as in, right now... take a few deep breaths.)
Now, join with me in prayer:
Holy Lord, we come to you today and we ask you to help us to lay down our masks. Father, thank you that you see us... really see us as who you intended for us to be. Help us to step up into our true selves.
Jesus, we stand before you and we offer you our masks... all the ways we hide and shrink back... all of our insecurities and the ways we are unsure. As we hand them all over to you, our hearts' cry is this: "Who do you say I am? Who did you create me to be?"
Lord, what is our true identity... what have you put in our DNA that, when partnered with you, can change the world?
As we hand over the ways we hide, what would you give us in exchange that speaks to who we really are?
Is there anything else you would like to say to us about who you created us to be?
(Now... wait for Him to answer!)
Lord, we love you! Thank you for meeting us here... for speaking into who you created us to be! Thank you that you see us how we really are... and you love us, still! That your desire for us is to rise up into who you created us to be...
...precious, beloved, yours!
In Jesus' Name, Amen!
For some of you, Listening Prayer* may be a new practice. And it is just that... it is a tool and it takes practice, but I believe when we slow time, breathe deep, and ask Him to meet with us... well, it just blesses His heart!
Maybe you, like me, have been on a journey in discovering and rediscovering who you really are!
Maybe you are confident in Whose you are, but the who you are part is still pretty blurry and out of focus.
Maybe this is all brand new and scary and feels overwhelming.
Wherever you are on your journey... trust that He sees the real you... and He adores you --not what you can do for Him, or because of who you know or what you've already accomplished so far... no, He may love those things about you...
...but always, always,
He is after your heart!
Remember, He created you on purpose,
FOR a purpose!
"It is the glory of God to conceal a matter,
But the glory of kings is to search out a matter."
Proverbs 25:2 NKJV
Search on, my friends!