"God is the only One who has authority to tell you who you are."
Sarah Mae (InCourage)
This week I have been writing a speech about Joel's 35 years of ministry, getting ready to share it with those who gather on Sunday for his farewell and recognition at Faith Lutheran. In doing so, I learned something new about my cowboy preacher. It seems he has had dreaming about preaching long before he ever stepped into a pulpit. He can remember being only 12 years old when he began to have dreams at night about preaching. He also used to dream about being a warrior for God, protecting the church from harm. I found this fascinating. God was writing on his soul who he was ordained to be. He was sharing His plan for Joel's life when he was still a child. Whispering to Joel in his dreams while he slept, about who he was and Whose he was.
When I saw the quote above I thought of the many different people who tell us who we are. Starting with our parents, then those in our community, our schools, our churches, the world that comes into our home through that flat screen or our computers, iPads and phones. The words spoken to us and over us have a deep and profound affect on shaping us. So do the actions of those we come in contact with. And lets not forget our personalities and how we perceive life. Wow.
I do believe that God speaks to us about who we are and His plans for our lives. So, what gets in the way of us hearing God's plan...His still small voice...the dreams we have? Sometimes it is understanding how God speaks, sometimes it is what I shared above....those who influence us speak loud and write on our souls words that are hard to change. Sometimes it is our own fears, desires, or insecurities.
We are not 12 years old anymore, but it is never to late. Here's an idea.....Take a notebook and pen to bed tonight, and when you are falling asleep tell God you are listening...tell Him you want to hear what He has to say to you...you want to hear who you are and be reassured of Whose you are. Ask Him to reveal His plan for you at this season of your life. And don't listen to the voices who do not speak love and life over you. God is the only one with authority to tell you who you are, and oh, my, the wonderful things He wants to tell you.
My friend Linny has recently released her book, "Rescuing Ruby". She talks often about how God speaks to her, whispering to her His plans. Rescuing Ruby from death in Africa was part of God's plan. Linny shares that she went through horrific abuse as a very young child, but by age 4 she knew that God was with her and that He loved her. She let God write on her soul even while her days will filled with pain and suffering. It took years of growing, some counseling, and a learning to trust and not fear, but she hung on to who God told her she was, and she is now a powerful woman of faith, advocating for the orphans, and changing the world with her words and actions.
Knowing who we are and Whose we are, being willing to surrender our will for God's, rejecting anything negative that people speak over us, and focusing on His Word and His whispers.....you will hear:
"You are my beloved" "I delight in you"
"I love you with a perfect love"
"You are a daughter of the King"
"I have a plan for you, a plan for good and not evil"