Sometimes we default to defining ourselves by what we do, rather than who we are. I am a mother. He is a teacher. She is a musician.
We may refer to ourselves by the title we bear, the role in which we serve, or the job that we do. The Preacher (as he will always be in my heart) released the title of Pastor-Teacher a few weeks ago. His job has changed, but his heart has not. His title before men has shifted, but not his position before Christ.
“I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord. And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you. And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” says he Lord Almighty.
(2 Corinthians 6:16b-18)
Do you notice how much the LORD DOES in this passage? The only actions that are asked of us are in response to His work: “dwelling in,” “walk among,” “be their God,” “welcome,” and “be a father.”
We simply must come out and be sanctified (separate) and holy (not touch what is unclean)...and we must BE. Be sons and daughters. Be separate. Be his people.
It’s not do, do, do, but be, be, be.
To BE is reflected in action; however, it begins with a true understanding of who (and whose) you are FIRST.
Having served as a pastor’s wife for the last 10 years, and before that, a pastor’s daughter, I must admit, there has been a bit of an identity crisis surrounding the current changes in our life. What this crisis reveals is a heart that has grown comfortable with labels, with roles, with what I do defining who I am.
“I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men...and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.”
(Revelation 2:2a, 3-4)
I am returning to my first love. I want to love Christ because I am his, not because I need to help others do the same. I seek to serve others because Christ has dealt mercifully with me, not because I will receive favor from others. I want to worship with my whole heart because He is my treasure, not because my role or job is worthy.
Thus says the LORD:
"Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD."
The Lord's delight is our boast. It's all that we've ever had, really, and all that we ever will. In this will I rejoice today.