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I went to a writer’s conference a month or so ago and as John dropped me off at the airport, he said to me, “Robbie, no one gets to tell you your identity. No editor, no publisher, not another writer. Only God gets to speak to who you are.” His words had a profound effect on me. I’ve asked him to be a guest Joyvotion writer this week. The following is written by my beloved husband.
“And God said; Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. ” Genesis. 1:26
I drive a car that was “created” by Ford. They had a purpose in mind when they made this car. I can choose to load it up like a truck and I may have some success getting the load from point A to point B, but if I need a truck I should get a truck not a car. The purpose of anything is limited to the design and the design is defined by the designer. A boat is for sailing and a plane is for flying and with very few exceptions the two can’t switch roles.
We humans all have many similarities in design (two legs, one head, opposable thumbs, etc.) so at some level we are all designed by our maker to fulfill the same purpose. But God gave us souls and free will so unlike animals, we can live beyond mere instinct and live out a very diverse and unique purpose.
So who gets to decide your purpose? I would argue that it is as simple as my car. The creator defines purpose. Additionally, I am convinced that purpose comes from identity so to know and live out your purpose you must know who you are.
The Rock Band “The Who” asked the question, “Who are you? Who, who, who, who?” We all struggle with that question and we often feel like we have failed to live up to what we were supposed to be. We feel that if anyone knew the truth about us, they would reject us.
So now we get to the real question. Who gets to tell you your identity? Should you listen to your boss when he/she gives you a rating on your work? What about a family member who decides to tell you your faults? Maybe you have a dream, and a friend tells you their opinion of your chances on achieving that dream. Allowing others to speak into your life can be valuable, but only if you let GOD speak first to your identity and your purpose.
Stop taking this question to other people or things. Instead, take it to your Creator who knew you while you were in your mother’s womb. In the Bible, sometime God gives new names. Jacob became Israel, Simon became Peter, James and John were known as the Sons of Thunder (talk about a very cool name.)
I believe God knows our real name and identity and will tell us if we ask. We often say “God has a plan for your life” and I am convinced that plan for each of us is rooted in our real name and identity that only God knows.
How to ask? Take time to be alone with God. No phone or distractions just time with the God who loves you and longs to set you free to be the real you He had in mind when He created you. When you discover your identity, remind yourself often of who He made you to be. So when the world tries to speak identity and purpose to you, you know the truth. You know who you are.