"But now the Lord Who made you, O Jacob, and He Who made you, O Israel, says, “Do not be afraid. For I have bought you and made you free. I have called you by name. You are Mine!"--Isaiah 43:1(NLV)
God says in Isaiah 43:1, that he has summoned YOU and claimed YOU as his own! What does it mean when God calls you his?
1. You are chosen, special, and royal (1 Peter 2:9)
2. You are an heir (Romans 8:17)
3. You are sought out (Isaiah 62:12)
4. You are not forsaken (Isaiah 62:4)
5. You are a crown of glory and a royal diadem in the hands of God
6. You are loved with and everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3)
7. You have been given access to the Kingdom (Matthew 16:19)
8. No one and no thing can ever separate you from the Father's love
For some, it may be difficult to embrace these divine truths. Even Gideon struggled with God summoning him and calling him a mighty warrior:
“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”--Judges 6:15(NIV)
Years of Midianite oppression and being viewed as the "least" in his family altered Gideon's view of his value and worth. But when Gideon embraced his God-given identity, his life was radically changed. He went on to do great exploits that sent his family and community into a tailspin!
"That same night the Lord said to him, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one seven years old. Tear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it. Then build a proper kind of altar to the Lord your God on the top of this height. Using the wood of the Asherah pole that you cut down, offer the second bull as a burnt offering.” So Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the Lord told him. But because he was afraid of his family and the townspeople, he did it at night rather than in the daytime. In the morning when the people of the town got up, there was Baal’s altar, demolished, with the Asherah pole beside it cut down and the second bull sacrificed on the newly built altar! They asked each other, “Who did this?” When they carefully investigated, they were told, “Gideon son of Joash did it.” The people of the town demanded of Joash, “Bring out your son. He must die, because he has broken down Baal’s altar and cut down the Asherah pole beside it.”--Judges 6:25-30
When we make a willful, faith-filled decision to side against the opinions of others and our distorted view of self and embrace our God-given identity--we can expect our lives to change. We will transition to a place of unapologetic, purposeful living because we have chosen to grab hold of who we are in the Father's eyes.
Thoughts for Reflection:
1. What have you been told as it relates to who you are? What messages have you received(verbal/non-verbal)? Do they line up with scripture?
2. What messages (self-talk) do you give yourself? Are you your own worst critic? If so, can you identify the origin of the negative self-talk?
3. Is it difficult or easy to embrace who God says you are? Why or why not?
Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray for those who are struggling with the way they see themselves. I pray that you would heal and restore them of the agony of abuse and self-loathing. I pray that you would blanket them with your love now. Give them the strength and grace to do the hard work to move beyond the trauma of the past and the hurt of the present. Thank you for restoring hope for the future according to Jeremiah 29:11:
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
May they receive that truth now, in Jesus' name. Amen.