Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What defines who you are?

So tonight at 722, what Jared said really hit me right when I needed it to. His series right now is called Re:Purposed, and tonight the focus was on work. We all know that one of the first questions asked when meeting someone new is "So, what do you do?" But have you ever asked someone "who are you, really?" instead? 

Mark 6:1-2 "Jesus left there and went to his hometown...when the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. 'Where did this man get these things?' they asked? 'What's this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles! Isn't this the carpenter?'

Often times, we learn to define someone by their job, or their title, instead of who they really are as a person. Even Jesus, at this point, was defined by these bystanders by what he did..."isn't he a carpenter?" It's commonplace for society to tag you by your position- "Oh, he's a doctor, he must be smart, kind, in good moral standing..." blah blah blah. With this constantly pressed upon me, I'll be honest, it's sometimes hard to escape defining myself by anything other than what I do from 8-5 (ok, 9-5, haha). If Jesus allowed himself to accept this definition of carpenter, how would he have accomplished what he came to do? What I realized tonight, is it's the same for me. 

Take this one in: Mark 1:9-10 "At that time Jesus...was baptized by John in the Jordan. As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open...And a voice came from heaven: 'You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." If you know the life of Jesus, at this point, he wasn't even officially in the ministry. He wasn't out preaching yet, or traveling performing miracles. He was still just a carpenter. What had he done up to this point that was of earthly value? He was just a carpenter, but God still said "I love him because he's my son, and he's established in me." Jesus' worth and identity came from knowing who he was in God. 

This is something I need to be reminded of daily, hourly sometimes: truly knowing the heart and character of God will allow me to know who I really am. My purpose is to do the will of the One who created me. I long to know the heart of God- to know that he is my Abba Father, my friend, my protector, my redeemer, my provider, my healer, my lover. And by know, I mean KNOW- I mean understand, grasp, receive. But how am I to know this about God, to know his character and to know how he views me, if I don't spend quality time with him? Some days, since I'm still new to Atlanta, i have absolutely nothing to do, and still I spend time watching movies, or playing around on the computer. If I truly want to know who God is, why don't I strive harder to get there? I could bypass alot of stress, and times of no confidence, if only I would know God, which would in turn allow me to know who I am. Jared was right, instead of focusing on what I do, and how I perform in that job, the right way of thinking should be

        Who are You (God)? ---> Who am I? ---> What do I do?

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