Sunday, April 7

His Identity for who I am

"He has given us an identity, so that HIS identity will be unmistakable in the world." - John Piper. John Piper's sermon on Christian destiny ( - 20 minutes in) covering 1 Peter 2:9-10.

How true is that? I mean no matter WHAT kind of identity God has given me it will somehow show God in an unmistakeable way. If I am following Him whole-heatedly then, obviously what I am doing is outside of myself, because the default for deep suffering is not to find peace and Joy in a loving God. On the side if I freak out and run around screaming, closer to what a traditional response might be, then it shows how much of a gap there is for God in our lives to provide things like peace and love. Either way things go, His identity remains different, holy, set-apart... righteous.

1 Peter 2:9,10 "...called you out of darkness and into a marvelous light..." God wants us to be like Him... in the light, which causes our identities to be different from His. Even as we are reflecting more of God in our lives so we look more like Christ, we are still a long ways off.

I find this so encouraging. I was talking to my brother on Friday as we drove to get chicken wings (a story 11 years in the making) and I was mentioning that some people (I don't hang around many of them, and mostly it's second hand information) as they get closer to death by cancer tend to throw in the towel and say, "Ok, Lord. I'm done, take me." I teared up then when talking about it, because I think as long as God has something to teach me, (Be it about cancer, parenting, reflecting HIS gory, anything) that I will not be perfect here on earth, and that there will always be a challenge of something to work on in my life, and some way that I am not like God. My identity will always be my own, attempting to draw closer to God, but on this side, always born into the challenge of the try.

I have a fire, and a passion to try new things. That is the thing that is weighing down so heavily on me about cancer is that God HAS given me a passion and a fire to do so many things. I wrote my staff at work and told them that I think it was about time I handed the IT Directorship at OC to someone else. The thing though is that THIS is not my identity. I love doing it, I will consult on it as long as I can. (Or maybe the IT Directorship needs to go on hiatus while we work on designing a CIO position for OC... ? We'll see where God leads.) The thing is though is that I am NOT worried about finding something to do at OC. Besides my technical skills I could bring to bear there is also the communications and marketing group, or I could probably even try and start something new, or help out with a bigger solo project. It doesn't matter.

What matters is that God has given me a desire and a passion to DO what He has called me to do. My identity isn't wrapped up in a two page job description that can be rewritten at any time. My identity "is in making the freedom of God known." (Piper) And when working where I am working there is no limit to ways and places I can do that... frankly anywhere in the world there is no limit to what I can do to pursue that identity/ job description.

This started out as a simple little Facebook morning post about sometime I had been mulling over a few days, combined with a John Piper sermon "I stumbled" upon this morning as well lead to a much bigger post that has spoken to me about my purpose at the moment. Yes, I do love my job title and position at OC, but my identity isn't tied into that. If, and John Piper says, my identity is in showing people what the freedom of God looks like, then I am on a great track talking with you all. But it also frees me up to be doing that in any capacity at OC, or in any other organization. I feel like in some ways this is the "42" answer of Christianity. (*see Douglas Adam's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) I can grasp this concept, "what am I here for?" and that is to display what freedom in Christ looks like. So set me at a job Lord, heal me of these tumors (I know I can do this within the range of cancer Lord... I would just ask that I get a chance at trying it other places as well? Please?)

That is what I have learned today. Freedom in Christ is my identity, and that can happen anywhere, in anything. The beauty of it is that my identity in Christ does not look the same as yours. (I would argue it IS the same, but the aspect it takes is different) We are all different, designed to do different things and yet identify the same thing. Dwell on that for a moment... what does that mean to you? Your walk with Christ? Your job? Your relationships? This could literally turn a dumpy job into one with direct purpose.

Thanks everyone for even reading this far. This blog is for me to record lessons and to learn things that have been bouncing around in my head for day, week, hours... seconds. It's very exciting serving a God who is more aware of the goings on in the world than I could ever be. And I really, really want to be a part of that in so many ways and places. (I know I am part of that where I am now as God has put me here... is that discontentment wanting to be somewhere else? Wanting to be part of something else?)

God has blessed me. He has blessed me with all of you, that provide so much in every aspect. Thank you, it is my hope that this doesn't just end from this one experience, but that God will continue to use me in a living way to do different things. Thank you all for joining with me.

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