We’ve been conditioned to believe that DOING rather than BEING is the key to our lives. But the truth is that doing doesn’t make us who we are. Who we are makes a place for what we do.
It’s all about identity.
God created everything in the world to be. Each of us is created uniquely special. Our identity is being his child. His son or daughter.
And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Cor. 6:18
That is our identity. It isn’t in what we do, it’s in who we are.
Ephesians 2:8-10 says:
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works [what we do], so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork [his unique creation], created in Christ Jesus to do good works [as a result of who we are], which God prepared in advance for us to do.”Emphasis mine
Who we are leads to what we do. Not the other way around.
equal WHO WE ARE
WHO WE ARE > WHAT WE DO (our purpose in God)
This should be good news for someone like it was for me. Even though I knew the truth, this reversal of the order allowed me to see that any striving to do more in my life is only that – striving to do more. But when I rest in who God made me to be and allow him to lead me, what I do comes as a result of who I am.
Do you feel the chains breaking? =)
*all photographs are belong to Laura Bennet
“Accepting we are accepted for no other reason than that the God of the universe loves us is the hardest thing you and I will ever do.”
The God of the universe loves you.
Can you wrap your mind around that?
Until we do, we will struggle with our identity as God’s beloved children. Until we take in the magnitude of the fact that the God who created all we see and still have yet to discover, loves us personally, intimately and completely, we will look for other things to fill that void in us.
God says he knew us before we were born, and we were made with awe and wonder. (Psalm 139)
He delights in us and sings over us. (Zep. 3:17)
He gave up his son, Jesus, to die for us. (John 3:16)
Who would you die for? Those you most love?
God accepts us. He doesn’t reject us.
People might reject us. Spouse may turn their back on us. Even some parents have rejected their children. But God never will. No matter what we’ve done, he accepts us with open arms, always welcoming us back when we come to him.
Sometimes, moving forward in our lives means we have to choose to embrace the love and acceptance of God.
We may have been told by others we’re not lovable. Whispers can play in our head about how unacceptable we are. The enemy is a cruel liar and uses hurting people to hurt others. But God loves and accepts us.
Today, can we all take a small step toward receiving the love and acceptance God offers?
The scene above may be humorous, but fear is nothing to joke about.
God wired us with a healthy sense of fear to protect us from danger. But when fear dictates our lives, we can become trapped in patterns that destroy us.
Here are a few things I’ve been learning about fear lately:
- Fear steals our identity
- Fear makes us question our God given attributes and desires
- Fear leads us to question another person’s motives
- Fear causes us to judge others
- Fear makes us assign conclusions about people or situations that aren’t accurate
- Fear causes us to assume we know what someone’s intentions towards us are
- Fear says lying will protect us – it keeps us from speaking the truth
- Fear leads us to read God’s word inaccurately
- Fear causes conflict within us
- Fear keeps us from seeing another person’s pain
- Fear of losing something makes us compete with others
- Fear makes us cling to only one way of thinking
- Fear causes us to lash out if someone has another opinion or perspective than us
- Fear paralyzes us
- Fear leads us to close ourselves off from others
- Fear keeps us ineffective in our lives
- Fear prevents us from being fully engaged in life
Maybe that’s why God tells us not to be afraid; that he didn’t give us a spirit of fear.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…” 1 John 4:18
God is love and he loves us. We don’t NEED to be afraid when we believe he loves us and will take care of us. He knows all and has everything under control. So if we surrender to him, we can rest there and live in freedom.
I’ve been asking God to tell me what I’m afraid of. If we ask, he’ll tell us. And he’ll tell us what to do about it. I’m learning a lot about myself and the places I’ve been trapped.
He’ll also reassure us that he’s right there. Like a kid jumping into a pool into his daddy’s waiting arms. That’s us with God.
That’s a good place to be.