James 1:2-4

Don’t run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters. As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure. And true patience brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journeyand cross the finish line—mature, complete, and wanting nothing. James 1:2-4D

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Identity In Christ Part 2 - Roles

In my last post (http://www.narrowgatetraveller.com/?p=302)  I talked about self-worth and how our identity should always be in Christ.  Our worth should never come from people, roles or "things" that are here today and gone tomorrow.  Our identity must be grounded in Christ and who He is and who the Word says we are in Him.  So, if we are Children of God first, what is our purpose for being on this planet and what significance if any do our roles play in our lives?

Our roles on Earth are not worthless, they are essential to our spiritual growth, so we must not negate them.  They are part of who we are and they are an important part of our identity in Christ.  They are in fact where our purpose lies, and it is okay to embrace these God-given roles, remembering always that we are children of God first and that we must never get our worth from this world.

God has placed inside our spirits many purposes.  That is why it is so important to become spiritually aware.  If you go through life spiritually asleep, you may completely miss your purpose and not live out the purpose you were created for.  Many do die spiritually dead and that is why we need to receive Jesus and be born again. The minute you accept Him into your heart you begin to awaken spiritually, in fact, a new spirit is born in you.  You begin the process of what the Bible calls sanctification.  Which means "set apart for particular use in a special purpose or work and to make holy or sacred."  We all have that purpose and that is why He created us to be set apart for His glory, to be used to glorify God in this world.  That is our greater purpose the one we all have in us and the one that is fulfilled when we accept Christ and when we begin to walk out our journey with the Lord.

2 Timothy 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, [and] prepared unto every good work.

Hebrews 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

This is where our roles come into play and where our creative God really goes to work.  Within His master plan there are mini-purposes or assignments so to speak.  God put into everyone’s spiritual DNA roles with which we are to fulfill in our lifetime to help us live out His master plan to bring glory to His name and bring His love into this world.

When you see this bigger picture and you begin to embrace that roles are not really about you but about accomplishing this greater plan, you will be able to live in this world with purpose and without anxiety.  We are ministers of the Gospel, conduits of God’s love, that’s who we are.  That saying, "Bloom where you are planted" is exactly what God is asking of you and should always be your guide.  The role you are in right is now is where God has placed you and wants you to serve Him.  If you are in the role of a parent, serve God with all your heart by serving your children.  If you are married then you are called to serve your spouse as if you are serving God.  You may be employed in the workforce or ministry, that is where God has placed you to shine your light before others.  In all the roles God gives to us it is always about seeking first His Kingdom and His righteousness.

Matthew 6:30-34  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Do you see?  There is nothing to strive for, just be who you are, in the role God has given you, whether it’s a parent, spouse, sibling, sister, grandparent, friend, geologist, whatever.  Just be who you are until God gives you another role to play, that's who you are, your purpose.  Your role exists to give you the opportunity to serve Christ, not to give you your worth, your worth once again, is found in your relationship with God.

When you approach your roles in life this way, and you know who you are in Christ, know that whether you succeed or fail, are good or bad at your role, you are still amazing and wonderful just because you are you, doing what God has given you to do.

Neil T. Anderson says it this way: “You occupy a unique role as an ambassador for Christ where you work and live. These are your mission fields and you are the worker God has appointed for the harvest there. Your greatest fulfillment will come from accepting and occupying God's unique place for you to the best of your ability. Sadly, so many miss their calling in life by looking for fulfillment in the world. Find your fulfillment in the kingdom of God by deciding to be an ambassador for Christ in the world. Paul said, "Do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry" (2 Timothy 4:5).

I'm in the midst of a huge transition in my life and have no idea what’s next.  I have to daily resist the temptation to go back into my old habit of just doing anything to stay productive and to feel worthy as a person, and quite frankly “pay the bills”.   A good friend of mine said, “You need to ask God what He wants you to do and keep on asking and see what He says.  This is exactly what Jesus tells us to do in Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

The NLT actually captures this text a better to the original Greek.  Jesus wants us to press into Him until we the right door opens.  Literally to keep asking Him, seeking Him and knocking on doors, until the right one opens and leads us into the next season of our life and the role we are to play next.  Luke 11:9 –  “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.

So today know this, that when you are truly seeking God and waiting on Him, for your next role or for a purpose, what He gives is a divine assignment and you are called to go and do it with all your heart and do it as unto the Lord.

Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

This is what I heard the Lord saying about our purpose:   Put your trust in me and I will open doors.  I will move you into new beginnings, new purposes, and opportunities to be ambassadors of Christ in this world.  Know that when doors close it’s an end to what was and that’s why they need to stay closed.  What was can never be again and what is here and now is all you have, it’s what you are – it is your purpose.  All the doors of your life combine into your great purpose which you may not realize until I show you the full picture when we meet in my Glory.  You see Child of God, there is one big purpose for your life but there are also many smaller ones, as you walk out your journey, they all will unfold.  They become my masterpiece which will culminate at the end of your time on earth.  You are being trained for something so much greater, but you must not let that be your motivation in living your life.  You were created to live each moment as if it was your last.  Love as if you’ve never loved.  Laugh with deep unending Joy.  Your purpose is all around you.  Embrace today’s assignment with zeal and do not worry about anything, what you need will come to you as the next door opens, just watch.

Prayer:  Thank you Father, that you are the author of our story and you have a created purpose for each human being.  Help us to trust in you and not our own understanding, to follow you and you alone.  Lord, may we represent Christ well in this world today.  We humble ourselves before you and ask that you show us the way.  Thank you for your love and for the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon us today.  AMEN!

If you don’t know Jesus as your Lord and Savior but want to,  pray a simple prayer like Jesus I need you, come into my heart, and make me new - Amen! If you prayed that prayer - email me at laura@narrowgatetraveller.com so I can celebrate with you, and help you start your journey to finding your identity in Christ.

Laura Sterling – narrowgatetraveller.com