Who Does God say We Are?
“Who am I?” is the wrong question. It is the right starting place but it is the wrong place to stay. The right question is, “Who does God say that I am?”.
The question of our identity is more important than we might imagine. How we see ourselves profoundly affects our sense of destiny. Every Olympic athlete knows this to be true. They know the importance of a destiny shaping mindset – “Think you can. Think you can’t. Either way you are right!” An athlete who believes in his/her strengthened body, training and mindset will achieve at a high level. The opposite is also true!
Identity is shaped on how we might finish the sentence beginning with the words, “I am …”. Some examples of identity-shaping, destiny-making words are – “I am capable! I can do it! I am beautiful! I am strong! I am worthy of love! I am a much-loved child of God!” All these phrases carry within them the power to help us live an extraordinary life.
Gideon was a farmer. Times were tough for him and his family because of the marauding Midianite oppression. Each harvest season the Midianites would ransack Gideon’s crops and ravage the land. To feed his family he would harvest his crops taking the stocks into a hidden place to thresh the grain. Ingenious, creative, resilient and courageous Gideon was! But Gideon did not see himself this way. He saw himself as being the least in his family and his clan as being the weakest of the tribe. (Judges 6:15) But that is not how God saw him!
Approaching Gideon the angel of the Lord spoke a word of identity into Gideon, “The Lord is with you, mighty man of valour!” (Judges 6:12). Gideon spontaneously said, “Pardon me?” He simply could not believe his ears. He simply did not see himself as being more than the weakest and the least. But God saw him differently. Gideon was a man of valour in God’s eyes.
God was watching and preparing Gideon for his destiny. Gideon did not know he was ready but God did! Do you remember the words of the prophet Samuel when seeking out a king for Israel, “Do not look at the outward appearance … People look at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart.” (I Samuel 16:7) Through natural eyes the task God was about to assign to Gideon was impossible, irrational and improbable after all Gideon was a farmer not a fighter. God knew this too and so He declared, “The Lord is with you…I will be with you and you will strike down all the Midianites.” (Judge 6:12,16). When God looks He looks to the inner life to find what He needs everything else He provides.
The EMCC is Gideon like. The voice of the Lord God is speaking of a destiny He has in mind for us. Through us He wants see an increasing number of Canadians being set free to flourish living a Jesus shaped life. His word to us is of major importance and so, the right question to ask is, “Who does God say we are?” How we answer this question will determine our destiny. Identity and destiny are linked!
Canada needs a Gideon sized community of churches to rise up! Will we say “Yes God! We will rise into our identity and we will step into our destiny!”