Written by Jim Martin
I recently encountered a situation that reminded me of the importance of personal identity and knowing who we are. It involved a young man seeking a place to serve. In his resume he identified himself as a “pastor in search of a church.” I thought this funny, but I wasn’t surprised. Guys tend to identify themselves by their jobs: I’m a mechanic, I’m a doctor, etc. Can you be a pastor without serving a church? Some would say yes.
In God’s call to Israel, He says, “I have called you by name.” He didn’t call Israel to a role. He called out to them as a people. The Father knows who we are. Who we are, particularly in Him, matters more than what we do. If we accept that it is God who works in us and through us to “His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13), then it stands to reason that being grounded in Him takes priority over how we manifest His work in us. Follower of Jesus, don’t get lost in the what. Focus on the who. Who are you? How has God crafted you? What connections have resulted because of life experiences. How has God used these events to mold and shape you as a distinguished instrument in His hand? How has your person been shaped by who the Father is?
“But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.’” – Isaiah 43:1-3