by Pastor Tim Burt
Who are you? Do you remember back in your teenage years when you became interested in pursing the opposite sex and met that person you thought might be your true love? As you began becoming acquainted, the process of mutual discovery began. When it happened to me, I remember that I wanted to get to know who this girl was as a person and likewise she wanted to know who I was. When I think back to my answers of who I said I was, I’m sure there was some reality of who I was mixed with the hopes of who I wanted to be, and probably who I thought she’d like me to be.
Most people learn one way or another that trying to be who you aren’t doesn’t work. We’ve all been guilty of trying to be someone other than who we are so that we could be liked by someone else. We know that we are finally maturing when we learn to get comfortable in our own skin and appreciate who God has created us to be.
Without God guiding us, most of us think about and experiment being many different things. But, unfortunately, without God’s guidance, we stray down many wrong paths—some just wrong paths and others toxic or deadly paths! I honestly believe that had I not found Jesus in my life, I would be dead by now. I believe that because I was at death’s door more than a couple of times. Once I found Jesus and made Him Lord and Savior of my life, everything changed. God’s guidance began to come through the Holy Spirit and His word and they put me on the right path that I am still on today!
One thing the Holy Spirit helped me realize was that if I wanted to discover who I was, I first had to learn how God expected me to live. I had to learn His guidelines and boundaries that would promote blessing, and protect me from the temptations and destructive practices and places the enemy of my soul had tried to lure me into before I gave my life to Christ. Learning God’s ways was like coming out of the darkness. Living for Jesus became the focus of my life and when that happened, it was like the lights were turned on. For the first time I began to see life through God’s eyes and perspective. That was the real beginning of learning who God made me to be. And over time as I matured in my Christian walk, I started to see what God wanted for me—to live a life of influence. That isn’t just want He wanted for me. It’s what He wants for every Christian including you!
It doesn’t matter what your occupation, profession, or calling is. Those often change through your seasons of life. Regardless of what you do, it’s all about being a light to the lost world around you. It’s about learning to develop the ability to influence others with the knowledge and love of God through your lifestyle, and in the opportunities God gives you to speak directly into someone’s life. As it says in Jeremiah 15:19 NLT “… You must influence them; do not let them influence you!” And that will happen because people will want to know why you are different from everyone else.
As I got on a right path and learned to live a life of influence. That is where the real me was formed and discovered. That is our real and ultimate purpose. Being a light and the love of God is a godly influence just as speaking direct words to others about God is. Often times actions speak much louder than words. And that doesn’t change with occupation.
When that became settled in me, my drive to be a light and influence others directly or indirectly with the love of God love shaped who God made me to be. And for the first time, I began to become settled with who I really was. And maybe for the first time in my life, really loved myself! What a life-transforming path that was! I no longer allowed people to lead me down a wrong path. I was leading others to God’s path! And that made me love my life!
Who does God say we are? I hope and pray that to some degree, revelation of who we are in Christ comes forth every time a write a Fresh Manna devotional. But today, let me start out answering the question, Who am I? by focusing on Hosea 14:1-2 (NLT2) “Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God, for your sins have brought you down. Bring your confessions, and return to the LORD. Say to Him, “Forgive all our sins and graciously receive us, so that we may offer you our praises.”
This verse starts off with Hosea the prophet speaking God’s words directly to His people. He addresses them, “O Israel…” Israel means the power and strength to rule as God. This is how God addressed them. This is what He named these people –“O Israel!” Those words mean this: You the people who I established a covenant with. Who I gave power and strength to influence this world in God’s ways for all generations! Think about that! That is what God named these people! To be powerful influencers! Why? Because they were to become His leaders to influence all of mankind to learn and know God. They were to be His light to all people. The ones to show them God’s love, His ways, and God’s power in this earth. How did they react to that? Probably like you’d react to it right now if I said that this is God’s will for you also!
We’ll talk more about that tomorrow in Part Two. For today, ask yourself a few questions. Do you know who God wants you to be? Does your life reflect that now? Do you think, I can’t even lead myself so how could I influence others in a direction toward God? Now pray and ask God to teach you how to be an influence of Himself in this world and then trust that He will answer you! He’ll answer that prayer all day long! (And has actually already begun today!)
Isaiah 42:6 (NLT2) “I, the LORD, have called you to demonstrate my righteousness. I will take you by the hand and guard you, and I will give you to my people, Israel, as a symbol of my covenant with them. And you will be a light to guide the nations.”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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