Identity Crisis

A God-given vision often includes an “identity crisis”.

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I’ve been writing about vision lately probably because I am meditating on and seeking clarity for the future of my own work and ministry. 

Now, if you’re like me, focusing on your vision entails asking God for specific direction as where to lead the ministry or organization, what strategies to pursue and wisdom for certain crucial decisions.

However, the truth I’ve realized is that God often answers by shining the spotlight directly on us first. 

Remember the story of Isaiah that I wrote about last week? Isaiah’s commission begins with an encounter. In the year King Uzziah died, he saw the Lord. In response to this glorious vision, Isaiah exclaimed, “I am unclean!”

His vision of God created an identity crisis for Isaiah.

Then, a seraph took a coal from the altar and touched his lips. His identity as one unclean purged, God gave Isaiah specific instructions about the message he was to deliver.

Identity – how we see ourselves – dramatically impacts what we do with our lives and ministry. We tend to live out our vision of ourselves.

God dealt with this matter of identity so directly in the lives of many He called in scripture.

Think of the people whose names – symbolic of identities – God changed.

Consider Gideon who was beating out wheat in the wine press in order to hide it from their Midianite enemies. The Angel of the Lord came to him and announced, “The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valor!”

I am pretty sure that Gideon did not view himself as God’s mighty man of valor prior to this visitation.  In fact, it took a while to embrace this new concept of himself!

Still, we see here the pattern again. God revealed Himself through the Angel of the Lord. He addressed Gideon’s new identity, mighty man of valor. Only after that could God direct him to deliver the people out of the hand of the Midianites.

Ministry flows more from who we are than what we do. Our visioning process begins with a divine encounter followed by an “identity crisis”.

What about accepting the following challenge for the coming week?

Contemplate these questions. Who does God say that you are? Has your sense of identity reflected that reality? Or has your view limited you in some way? What do you need to do this year to address this or other areas of personal development in 2018?

Click here to access Jeannie Miller-Clarkson's Vision Tool for Pastors