If you truly saw yourself the way that God sees you; if you lived out completely the identity he created within you, how would that change your ministry?
No small question!
As a twin, Jacob struggled with his brother, even from the womb. Having gotten ahead of his brother in the birth process, his possibly amused parents named him Jacob, meaning deceiver.
The family assigned him an identity and role. He seemed to live into it throughout his life. His mother even coached him into deceiving his brother to obtain the birthright.
Years later, Jacob wrestled all night with the Angel of the Lord and experienced personal transformation. Not only was he a changed man, he received a new name to reflect the change. God assigned him a new identity: Israel, Prince of God.
Still today, families assign roles and help shape our sense of who we are. These roles and early ways of seeing ourselves are quite powerful as we tend to live up to them. They are difficult to change.
My oldest brother affectionately called me ‘kid’ well into my adult life, signifying the role and birth order in my family. Still other situations affected my view of myself as well and I grew up feeling inferior to others, small, and without much of importance to contribute.
Each time God has sent me on a new assignment or called me to do something, I wrestled with the discrepancy between the view I held of myself and the person God was calling me to be. I had to realize that God has called me to be a powerful woman of God.
What about you? Do you really live into your God-given identity? Do you know who you are?
How has your upbringing and your history formed your sense of identity, who you are? Are there ways in which the way you see yourself has hindered you in life or ministry?
Are you living life as Jacob? Or as Israel?
May I challenge to you to ponder that question this week?