Whatever you believe in, and whatever is your view of the world, I want to challenge you today. Maybe you have a lot of knowledge and you understand the depths of God’s mysteries in every fathomable way. Maybe you are even able to explain and teach these unraveled mysteries to others. Or maybe you don’t even believe in God at all and think what is this weird lady going to tell me about? Or maybe you do follow Jesus, and know all about the gifts – and one of yours is music. Your voice has the power to stir up the spirits of others and draw them into worship, as your singing brings healing for the souls. Or maybe music is not your thing, but you’re the one who knows how to build things and get the practical stuff done. Or maybe you have words of wisdom. Or maybe you’re someone else, with some particular gift that God has ordained for you.

What would you say, when you find yourself in this place, where you can usually use your gift – if only you use me, my Lord, you might say. In case you’re a Christian. Just take that sentence out in case you’re not :). You might just do what you like to do without addressing God. So you stand in this place, where you open your mouth and knowledge runs forth with the truth; your cheeks vibrate at the pure sound of your melodious voice and the air is filled with God’s Spirit; the prophecy falls right into your heart with power and you speak it with confidence; you serve, sweat, construct and build magnificent works of art; the place that God has brought you to – a place where you just make people joyful by doing something for them, by doing something you are good at. God gifted you so you could be a blessing to others by using your gift.

What would you say, when let’s say you are in this place, and you – as a Christian –  expect God to move through you – because that is what He did before and this is of course your inheritance as God’s son or daughter, isn’t it? That being said – as Christians we believe the blessing we can be to others only truly is fulfilled when God works through us. That means we need to communicate with Him, ask Him what He has on His mind, be in steady exchange with Him. And I might argue in some cases, by becoming something like little grown-ups in the faith, it also means we learn to do the things He has on His mind, without having to ask at every occasion. We learn from Him, the longer we walk with Him. Just like a kid learning certain things as it grows up. But to get back into the situation – I’ll put you back in: you stand there, in the place where you expect God to move, and then nothing happens. Like, you expect to bless someone with your talent, with your gift – but your gift somehow doesn’t get activated. Or in a more elevated language: your gift is done away. I once was able to sing, but my voice has faded. I was able to build towers and houses, but now I don’t know how to use the mortiser anymore. Maybe exaggerated, but you get the principle. So what then? You might say, hey wait! I don’t even believe God exists!! Ok, fair enough – just take something in your life you are really good at. Now multiply the talent. Take something where you know, when you do this thing, it always works. Let’s say 99 per cent. Just imagine this thing – is gone, all of a sudden! You were good at sports – so maybe you break your knee and can’t play football anymore. You were a musician – maybe you were denied entry into this music school you wanted to get in. You read all the newspapers and you have all the knowledge. Maybe you have been diagnosed with brain cancer and you lose your mental capacity. You will find something in your life that matters to you enough to be part of your identity. Whether you are a believer in Christ or not – we all have things that define us, that shape us, that we are good at and that we enjoy doing. Now imagine this is gone. Do you know who you are without the gift?

 

In the bible the apostle Paul writes, “If there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; and if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away”. Isn’t that great? No more partial knowledge! “Now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known” (1.Corinthians 13close1 Corinthians 13 The Way of Love 13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (ESV) close1 Corinthians 13close1 Corinthians 13 The Way of Love 13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (ESV) The Way of Love 13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (ESV) ). Fully known, you ask? Yes, indeed, fully known by God. He knows our every thought even before we think it, He knows our every prayer before we speak it – and yes, He even counted the hair on our head. Although I don’t fully get what that was for. Oh I should ask Him about it! 🙂 Because I’m pretty sure He had a great reason for it.

But the partial stuff will be done away. The partial talents, the partial knowledge… Only one question will remain: will you know who you are in Christ?

5 Responses to Identity ~ Do you know who you are without the gift?

  1. NBrewer4

    These are great words Nadine. I can resonate with “You were good at sports – so maybe you break your knee and can’t play football anymore.. You will find something in your life that matters to you enough to be part of your identity. Now imagine this is gone. Do you know who you are without the gift?” Now that I’ve given up Fussball, it helps me understand even more what it means to have my full identity in Christ

  2. Rebecca

    Thanks for pointing to this truth. I have experienced myself in 2011 what it means to ask yourself where your true identity lies. God has shown me in a powerful way that no career, no IQ and no affirmation from men can be the basis of who you are because from one day to the next, it might be gone. The only solid foundation that remains through the storms of life, is to identify through him who set us free from all bondage, who made us into a new creation and who now lives in us and gives us strength and hope every day, Jesus Christ.

  3. Nadine

    huh, yes coz everything else is really loose ground…when we are convinced “this is unshakable” – i believe that these places are most endangered to be shaken in our lives – not because God wants to hurt us intentionally, but because He wants to lead us to Himself…if He shakes things that do not really matter to us, where is the point? we don’t even notice these things. i’m thinkingn of when my mp3-player said goodbye to me. i never missed it…
    only when the personal loss is great, you start searching for your lost “identity”. but then you realize, you cannot get this “identity” back, so you suddenly need a new identity! and this ultimately, leads to what Becci said.. – the only solid foundation, the only Unshakable One…. Jesus Christ.

  4. This really is some thing I need to do more research into, appreciation for the posting.

  5. I dugg some of you post as I cerebrated they were handy very beneficial

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