Who are you? What is your purpose?
I’m sure that isn’t the first time you have been asked or have wondered that for yourself? Who are you and what is your purpose?
This question definitely isn’t a new one… it has been asked since the beginning of time. I would say that every person (other than Jesus) has experienced an identity crisis at some point in his or her life. For example, Adam, the first man, faced an identity crisis when it came time to pick between the fruit and his calling as the first human creation. Who was he? Could he be better? He was deceived into thinking so and he took the bait…
We also see an identity crisis of sorts in the book of Jonah… The Lord spoke to Jonah and commanded him to be a missionary or preacher to the people of Nineveh. Although Jonah heard form the Lord, what he was hearing didn’t line up with the plan he had for his own life… he had an identity crisis. Jonah ran from the Lord and pursued his own interests. We all know the rest of this story…
Obviously we know there are other reasons and ways to look at the stories of both Adam and Jonah, but one thing is very clear… we all have a NEED for an identity.
An identity crisis is defined as:
A psychosocial state or condition of disorientation and role confusion occurring as a result of conflicting internal and external experiences, pressures, and expectations.
Too often, people base their identities on what they do or in the acceptance of others, and the perceived expectations that come along with that acceptance… whether it is a job, hobby, relationship, or even positive or negative remarks from peers. Traditionally, we’ve been taught to find the answer in one place…we are what we do. If I write, then I’m a writer. If I play music, then I am a musician. If I play a sport, then I’m an athlete. The world creates easy definitions of people and we look to those definitions far too often. We like to define ourselves based upon what we do. Somehow we have been deceived and allowed the things that, for the most part, we have dominion and control over to define us as people. We are allowing our identity and self worth to be found amongst the things of the world.
Are you being controlled or limited by the things that you allow to define you?
The truth is that God intends for all people to find their identity in Him alone. Our effectiveness as pastors and worship pastors is hinged upon us becoming comfortable with the people God has created us to be. Our identity is found and secured in Christ alone when we begin to follow him… we must simply accept that identity and pursue it wholeheartedly.
Below I will present some ideas that come along with finding your identity in Christ. Who are we? Here are some things to keep in mind…
- A New Creation
2 Corinthians 5:17 says:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
If we have accepted and are following Christ then we are a new creation. Our previous identities are no more! Your identity as a musician pales in comparison to your identity as a son or daughter of Christ. Galatians 3:26 says:
For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.
- Tools of Christ
John 15:5 says:
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
After conversion we become the branches or arms of Christ. It is through us that the Lord delights in doing His Kingdom work here on earth. Our identity can be found in Christ and expressed through the calling He has placed individually on each of our lives. There are particular characteristics that we are called to have or develop as sons and daughters of Christ. Colossians 3:12 challenges and calls us to better ourselves for God’s work here on earth. It says:
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.
- A People with a Purpose
A lot of our seeking for identity comes from our desire to have or know our purpose… people want a purpose. When we begin to follow Christ our purpose is made clear. 1 Peter 2:9 says:
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
In Christ we have a purpose! God has given us an identity and a purpose to serve Him here on earth 2 Corinthians 5:20 says:
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
Having an identity crisis? Seek the Lord and your identity in Him will be made clear. Feeling ineffective or unequipped to do the job ahead of you? Pursue Jesus and He will equip you for the task before you. Be confident in your identity because it has been secured by none other than Christ!
As we all seek out our identities, purposes, and callings in Christ I will leave you with a challenge found in Romans 12:2:
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.