Putting Aside False Identities
Finding our identity can be pretty subjective. I decided early on in my own journey of purpose that it was much easier to let God tell me who I am-who He created me to be-than anything anyone else told me about who I am. I work from the belief and assumption that God created us, made us, shaped us, formed us, and His plans are unique for each of us. With that particular truth at the front of our minds, it makes sense to consult the One who knew us before time began and who knows us better than we know ourselves. He’s the one to give us the answer to our very important questions, “Who am I?” and “Who did you create me to be?” instead of every human being we have ever been in a relationship with, most of who don’t even know their true identity!
I want to introduce you to some verses that I hope will begin to convince you of your uniqueness and significance. For me, these jumped off the page as I read them. They seemed to penetrate my mind, my soul, and my spirit. They convinced me that before time began, I was created on purpose for a purpose. I am praying they have the same effect on you. If you feel inclined, grab some 3x5 cards and write each of these verses on a card, inserting your name where there is a blank.
“I know the plans I have for you, _______________ says the LORD...plans to give you, a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
“Before I shaped you in the womb ______________, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you.” Jeremiah 1:5 (MSG)
“For you, ________________ are God’s workmanship [work of art] created in Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for you, to do.” Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
“The things you have planned for me, no one can recount to you-were I to speak and tell of them they would be too many to declare.” Psalm 40:5 (NIV)
“You created me, in my inmost being, you knit me, ________________________ together in my mother’s womb. Your eyes saw my unformed body, all the days ordained for me, were written in your book before they came to be.” Psalm 139:13-17 (NIV)
“From one man he made every nation of men and he determined the times set for _________________________ and the exact places where ____________________ should live.” Acts 17:26 (NIV)
“Before _________________was born the Lord called him/her, from birth, he has made mention of his/her name. He said __________________, you are my servant, in you I will display my splendor.” Isaiah 49:1-3 (NIV)
“If you, _____________________ remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given to you, ______________. This is to my Father’s glory that you, _________________ bear much fruit.” John 15:7 (NIV)
“I tell you the truth, _______________ if you who have faith in me, you will do what I have been doing. __________ will do even greater things than these.” John 14:12 (NIV)
When I started my journey of purpose, everything in me longed to believe the identity God had bestowed upon me over my own ideas of who I was, and over the identities given to be my people who knew me. The problem for me was that I didn’t have any identifiable talents that the world holds in high esteem. I didn’t have a college degree. I had a job, but its only purpose was to help pay the light bill. I believed my dreams had been destroyed by the choices I had made long ago. But when I read the ancient words from the Bible, when I listened to the still, small voice inside of me, a spark ignited deep in my soul that soon consumed me with the belief that maybe, just maybe, there was something that I was designed to do that no one else could do. To hold on to that spark and new belief, I read these words with my name in the blanks over and over and over.
These words were written for you. Make them personal. Choose to believe they are for you. If they are familiar to you, pretend this is the very first time you have heard these words. Let your Creator convince you of your value and grand purpose. Choose to let this be your new truth. Don’t worry if you don’t feel any different; that is normal. When these words become the truth you choose to believe, your feelings will catch up eventually.
My prayer for you is for God to fan a flame of desire within you to be and do all you were created for and to absolutely refuse to settle for anything less. Take courage!
Thank you for reading and participating with me on this journey of purpose. I'd love to hear from you! Email me at email@example.com and share with me your own stories about discovering your purpose.
A message from Jenny Williamson
Jenny is currently taking requests from churches in the Sacramento area to serve as a host church for this 10-week study with LIVE teaching from Jenny, either Fall or Spring 2017-18. Also, if you are interested in starting a journey of purpose for a small group you would like to host, contact Jenny directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.