At different points in our lives we are confronted with different forms of the same question –
“Who are you?”
Often the question comes as a challenge to our competence. We are tempted to define ourselves by what we are able to do and/or how well we can do it.
Sometimes we are enticed to delineate our lives in terms how well regarded, received or "important" we are. The eyes and approval of others become our measuring stick.
Alternatively, we may be incited to understand ourselves and portray ourselves in terms of power – how much (or who) we can gain and control for our own purposes.
These three false measurements of identity are common to all of us. Different ones will be weighted in different ways, nuanced with different language and tailored to fit/attack our specific personalities and susceptibilities. However, these kinds of temptations are bait for the traps of pride or self-condemnation for all of us.
Which temptation bites more deeply...
A few times a year we hear about a house, car or building being swallowed up. All at once, the ground gives way and everything above the surface drops and disappears. These sinkholes can be very destructive and terrifying experiences, as they seem to happen with no warning. Engineers, however, say that (particularly in Florida) there are areas where limestone lies beneath the surface. Acid rain and other underground water can dissolve the limestone. When enough stone is melted away the underground cave collapses under the surface weight. It looks like it happens all at once, but the subterranean deterioration takes place over time.
We must tend to the condition and wholeness of our souls, or we may experience a kind of sinkhole collapse in our lives. It might appear that our present circumstances have caused our bondage or our downfall, but often the cause is subterranean deterioration. When we run too fast, push too hard or allow others to have too much sway in our lives, we...
Names are important; they carry meaning. When we name a pet, we usually try to capture its “personality” or some strong identifying trait or characteristic. In Bible times, name giving was an important responsibility. People would pray and share insight in order to understand God’s intent for the new life that He was creating.
Have you ever realized that God invented you, planned you, created you and set you in this particular generation and location for His purposes? None of these things are happenstance. Whether or not your present “natural” name clearly reflects God’s purposes, He does have an intimate and purposeful name for you. (Revelation 2:17)
Other people, and the structures of this world, have their names for you, too. Some of these labels may be harmful or playful or affectionate, while others might describe how you have been useful (or not) for their purposes. We must be careful, however, not to build our identity on the...
When Jesus walked the earth, He declared that the Kingdom of God was at hand. He could do this because He was living under the rule and reign of His Father in Heaven. He said,
“I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” (John 5:19)
Jesus lived, died, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. He purchased for us the same kind of relationship He had with His Father in heaven. He opened the door to life in the Holy Spirit in a way that had never been understood or experienced before. So now, wherever you go, you can also declare that the Kingdom is at hand – if you know Jesus. His rule, resources and insights are with you – God Himself is with you!
The next time you go to work, you can declare, “The Kingdom of God has arrived, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against its advance through me.” ...
The Exchanged Life
How are you doing in your soul? What is the condition of your spirit – the deepest part of you? It may take a moment to access your inner state, but it is good to check-in with yourself from time-to-time.
The apostle Paul said the Kingdom of God is a matter of “Righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 14:17) This is what the Life of Christ looks like in us. Jesus described His life as restful, rightly fit for us and light. (Matthew 11:28-30) Deep down within yourself, do you sense righteousness, peace, joy, rest and lightness? Or do you feel cluttered and weighed down on the inside?
At the core of the Christian life is a death and resurrection. Jesus’ crucifixion is a payment for our sin-saturated lives and a release from sin’s strangle-hold. His resurrection demonstrates the power of the Holy Spirit and is a picture of new, supernatural life. This inner life...
God weaves a recipe of our family lines together, breathes life into our mother's womb and we are mysteriously and uniquely created. He then uses all kinds of things to shape us and make us who we are. Paying attention to these factors, articulating them and owning them is powerful.
Check out the video!
Often the expression, "Who do you think you are?" is thrown at us as a challenge or taunt. You may have heard it on the playground, or in the classroom. Possibly your parents spoke it to you as a way to get you to stand down - to get a handle on yourself - and to fall inline
The enemy of your souls will also taunt you with this kind of expression whenever you are growing, taking positive action or moving into his space. He taunted Adam and Eve with such thoughts ... and he used them against Jesus too.
It is hugely important for you to get a clear sense of who you are - your design and your identity. Who you are - or at least your sense of it - will become the foundation for most of the major decisions and steps of your life.
Take time to Get Clear - it will save you a great deal of time along the way.
~ Coach Tom