You Are Not What You Do

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For so many of us our identity is in what we do or what we’ve done. But that’s not who we are. God loves us based on our position not our accomplishments – our position as His son or daughter. Nothing we ever accomplish (good or bad) can ever change that. Nothing we do can make Him love us more or less than He does in this moment. In every moment. He’s that consistent.

We all say we believe that, but many of us secretly don’t. I say “secretly” because often it’s secret even from ourselves. We can test ourselves to see if we inwardly believe we are what we do, though. When we get mad at someone for disagreeing with us, when we take someone’s disagreement with what we said or did as a personal affront, it’s often because we believe that we are what we do. “If you attack what I do or say, you’re attacking me!” Do you see it?

You are special to God because you are you. You are valuable because you bear the image of God (see Genesis 1:26-27) whether you realize it or not. The trick is to understand who you really are, the unique person He made you to be.

Psalm 139:13-14 says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” So before you were even born and had done anything good or bad, you were God’s wonderful work. And nothing we do can ever undo His work.

So let’s stop trying to be what we do. Let’s discover and walk in who we really are. Ask Him to take you on a journey of discovery.

Have you started this journey? What are you discovering? Do you identify with this? Tell us your story in the comments. What do you think?

“That’s Just the Way I Am”

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Do you ever feel stuck? Do you ever believe you are stuck? Have you ever said, “Oh well, that’s just the way I am”?

This is my “favorite” ungodly belief. “Favorite” in quotes, because I absolutely hate it when people say this. “I’m just ____ and always will be.” Fill in the blank with your stuff. “Angry.” “Overweight.” “Controlled by out-of-control emotions”. “Addicted to alcohol, porn, drugs, sex, or TV.”

The next word out of my mouth is always, “No.” As kindly as possible, and in love, but “No.”

“No,” that’s not who you are.

“No,” that’s not how God made you.

“No,” that weakness is not stronger than the blood of Jesus and the work of His Spirit in your life.

Just plain, flat-out “No.”

No, that’s not just the way you are. Well, it could be, that’s a choice you make. But it doesn’t have to be. Not by a long shot. Jesus died so it doesn’t have to be. His blood gives you the grace to make another choice.

Freedom is out there, if you want it. Getting free is simple, but it’s not easy. It means dying to yourself. It means trusting God, and being willing to risk the consequences if He doesn’t come through. Will you take the risk?

Do you identity with feeling you’ll always be stuck on this thing forever? Did you use to feel that way, but got free? Tell us your story in the comments.

When the Hurt Rules the Head

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We are three part beings – body, soul, and spirit. And our soul is composed of our mind, will, and emotions. So often, because of the hurts we’ve received in this life from other wounded people, our hurt and our wounding take over and we live from our soul instead of from our spirit.

When we live from our soul, either our mind or our emotions are in charge. If our mind is in charge, we think we’ll be safe if we have it all figured out. We are in control – nothing happens without a plan, without our pre-approval.  We deceive ourselves into thinking we can push down the pain if we’re in control. We can become a sterile shell of a person. We look great on the outside and fool everyone else, but inside we’re empty.

If our emotions are in charge, we’re focused on what will make us happy in this moment, ignoring the long term consequences. We can lose our grasp on cause ‘n’ effect completely, and get into addictions – food, drugs, alcohol, sex, porn, TV – whatever makes us feel like we feel good at the moment. We know the pain is crouching ready to pounce any moment, but we delay it for just one more.

Too many Christians live out one of these two tragedies. That’s not life, that’s just existence. But Jesus died and lives so we can have abundant life (John 10:10).

In contrast, when we live from our spirit, our will is in charge. Our spirit is connected to Jesus, who sets the direction for our life. From our will, we choose to believe His promises instead of believing our own fear and pain.  Our emotions, like pain sensors in our body, are there to tell us when we’re hurting, but they should never set our direction. Our mind is there to devise a good, solid plan for going where our will has chosen to go, but it should never set our direction.

So how about it? Will you ask God to help you live out of your will? Will you choose to believe what God says about you and blow off your fear and the other lies our hurt and the enemy so realistically impress upon us?

I’ve got close experience, either myself or with family members, with both of these two deceptions. How about you? Do you identify with either? Have you learned to live out of your will and from your spirit? Do you still struggle? Tell us your story in the comments.

What’s True Vs The Truth

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So many of us are paralyzed by what’s true about us, but God’s Truth is really the thing that matters. There’s a difference.

When God called Ananias to go pray and restore Saul’s sight (see Acts 9:10), Ananias had a better idea. “Lord,” he answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name!” (Acts 9:13-14 NIV)

Everything Ananias said was absolutely true! And God completely ignored it. He didn’t respond, “Oops, gee you’re right, Ananias. What was I thinking? Being God, running the universe and all, got a lot on my plate, you know? We try to keep it quiet but sometimes one slips through the cracks. Hey, don’t tell anybody, ok? Anything I can bless for you while I’m here? Ok then, I’m out.”

God didn’t respond that way because Ananias was just speaking what was true about Saul (soon to be called Paul) – earth’s truth. No, God completely ignored earth’s truth responded with Heaven’s Truth. Because Heaven’s Truth is The Truth about us, not just the truth about what we’ve done. Heaven’s Truth trumps earth’s truth every time. You are not what you do.

What is true about you never disqualifies you from God’s Truth about you – who you really are in Him and His calling on your life and your mission for His kingdom. God responds in verses 15-16, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to _____” and God gives Saul’s mission.

Fill in the blank for you. What is God’s Truth about you? He has a mission for you; do you know what it is? You are his chosen instrument for…, what? That’s the Journey of Discovery you get to go on with Him. If you don’t know, start praying for that answer, start asking Him. Start the exciting Adventure!

Will you, like Bilbo the Hobbit, go on this Journey? Tell us in the comments.