We are in the middle of an interesting time and I know there are many lessons we have learnt during lockdown. One of the books I read during this time was “And David perceived that he was King” by Dale Mast. A phrase from the book has stuck with me: “It took faith for David to defeat Goliath BUT taking the throne required identity.” Faith believes what God can do – identity believes what God can do through you.
I admit to not finishing the book yet, but this statement really got me thinking. So many sermons and series deal with the topic of identity – yet for most it seems more of a cliché than a felt truth. Oftentimes, a gap exists between intellectually knowing these truths about who God says we are and living them out. This affects how we see ourselves and respond to life experiences and the ways we allow the world to define us. It’s the crux of our faith; it’s impossible to move into our destiny without it, and it’s the one thing the enemy is committed to stealing.
The Word uses the metaphor ‘roots’ to describe Identity. To be rooted is one of the most basic, and at times, least recognized needs of the human soul. Only when you are rooted, can you grow. So when we understand our Identity in Christ, we become firmly ‘rooted’.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NLT) “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.”
What happens during these times of uncertainty, where everything – our health, schooling system and income etc – changes? The very foundation of our identity gets shaken. When you are “rooted” in Christ and His love for you and what He can do in and through you – your identity is grounded, rooted – you can identify and dismiss the lies that want to rob you of your identity. When we think of who we are; the first thing that comes to mind is our identity/status as: “someone who is deeply loved by God.”
This lockdown has had that lesson to teach us. When you cannot control your surroundings, your identity can be immovable and bring you immeasurable peace.
This results in gratitude, rather than fear. It’s in this place, like David, we can take hold of the things that are in front of us, the destiny God has planned and prepared for us.
I’m sure during the ‘lockdown’ that a common complaint was that there was nothing you could do. There are many moments in our lives where doing is not an option but waiting the only one.
Certain things get accomplished in action such as faith, bigness of heart and courage, but entirely different – and sometimes more important – things are accomplished when all we can do is wait. Action often makes us quite unaware of our own faults and blind spots. We plough on, dulling our need for adjustment and change by never standing still long enough to actually perceive what that change demands of us.
It’s hard not to lean into action when we live in a world that rewards action above all else. What happens, though, when action gets in the way of who you were really meant to be? It’s easy to lean into the adulation of the crowd “Saul has slain his thousands but David his tens of thousands”. The lockdown has reminded me again that waiting is, many times, an essential component of bringing our inheritance into view…who we were really meant to be.
When Jesus walks out of the water after baptism, you can almost hear the world pause in the writer’s account of the event. In the pause, the heavens are split open and the Father speaks “This is my beloved son in whom I’m well pleased”.
When we wait we become open to the whispers of heaven that remind us who we really are. Use this uncertain time to lean into the lessons God is teaching you. Waiting is key to identity. Waiting is not wasting time – it is a time of gestation, where God works, forming us, shaping us and securing us into the people who can traverse this strange, new world that we are entering.
2 Samuel 5:12 (AMP) “And David perceived that the Lord had established him king over Israel and that He had exalted his kingdom for His people Israel’s sake.”