Sunday, June 3, 2012

Not a Secret Identity, but a True Identity

On Thursday night my husband and I, our two kids and two friends crammed into our crew cab truck and drove to Spokane to listen to a speaker named Graham Cooke. The fact that I stayed up until midnight is an even bigger indicator of my determination to see in the flesh someone whose sermons had impacted my thinking so greatly over the years.

I was not disappointed. It wasn’t flashy but it was truth.  And it was truth I needed to hear. Graham contrasted the way we see ourselves versus the way God sees us.  We are so prone to focus on our weaknesses, failures, sin. We stare at all of that garbage and are sure God sees us that way as well, maybe even worse because, after all, He’s perfect.  What Graham said was that Jesus’ blood covers all of those sins. He paid for those sins. So when heaven looks at us, we are seen without all the garbage. We are seen as we truly are--the person God had created us to be.

Are we in touch with that person? Do we know the person whom God sees? Do we know the person we were created to be, or are we stuck looking in the mirror at something God isn’t focusing on at all?  He went on to talk about how to connect with the vision that God has for us.  Do you have a verse that you feel is “your verse”? You might call it a life verse. Or maybe someone has spoken this verse over you. He suggested that we take that verse and meditate on it. Pray over it. Talk to God about it.  Ask Him to show you how this verse is connected to your true identity in Him. It’s a cool idea, isn't it, having an identity not marred by sin, one ordained by God? The thought that God has a destiny and purpose I am uniquely designed for is inspiring to me! It makes me want to push forward.  One of my “life verses” is Isaiah 61. I’ve been reading it every night before I go to bed, asking God to show me who I am that gets so stirred every time I read it.

One other exciting thing Graham said was that our trials and struggles are tailor made to help us on the road to the person God sees.  It made me think of the difficult spring I’ve had in a whole new light. Lord, what do you see in me that would grow through those trials? What in Isaiah 61 speaks to the spring I’ve had?  Below is one verse from that chapter that I know I learned something about this spring!

Isaiah 61:3
To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”  

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