Wednesday, June 17, 2009

How Would You Introduce Yourself?

Hello! I would love to hear your thoughts and comments on this posting as it stands very near and dear to my heart, and, unless you have subscribed to this blog by email, I have no way of knowing who is reading it. Please feel free to hit the comment link and let me know if, and how, this speaks to your heart. I’d love to know you’re out there and be blessed by your reflections!

Sunday’s teaching from Genesis 17 really spoke to my heart, and I wanted to share its core with a broader audience (I will try and remember to let you know when I am able to catch the church’s web page up and post an mp3 copy of it). The teaching focused on the point in Abram’s life when God changed his name to Abraham, which means “A Father of Multitudes” (God had previously told him his offspring would be like the stars if he could number them).

Here is the situation: Abram is 99. Sarai is 90. They have already proven they can’t have children together. God changes Abram's name and says their baby is one year away—so they are at least three months from conception and four to five months from even being sure she is pregnant. The question that rings in my heart is this: “If I am Abram, what is my name for myself those first few months, and how do I introduce myself to others?”

This is huge. Don’t dismiss this quickly. Dig deep in your heart and ask that of yourself. God has declared over you something that contradicts everything physical circumstance, logic, anyone else, and even yourself says about you and your life. Do you require anything beyond God’s Word to believe something? If you are Abram, is God’s Word enough for you to proudly declare of yourself, “Hello! I am a father of multitudes!”?

This is really important because God has awesome, wonderful things He has declared over our new life in Him if we have surrendered our lives to His Lordship. Words about our new identity. Words about our destiny. Words about how He sees us. Words about His new role in our life. But, these words so often stand in opposition to our circumstance, previous experiences, how others see us, and how we see ourselves. So often the “voices” that have spoken over our lives for so many years (our own, and others) are so familiar that we assume them to be true and we receive them more readily than God’s. We have to train ourselves to recognize and believe God’s voice, through His written and spoken Word in our life. It is a battle to see and receive ourself as God sees and receives us. To paraphrase Bill Johnson, “We can’t afford to have any thoughts in our head about ourself that aren’t in His (about us).”

So, sit back, pour some coffee (or whatever it is you sip while you reflect), and ask yourself, “If I were Abram could I have begun to introduce myself to others (and see myself as) a father of multitudes, simply on what God has said over my life that is still in the future and that I can’t see any evidence of?” Then ask yourself, “So, what HAS God said about me and MY life . . . and have I received it?”

The logical extension to this then becomes, “Do we see others the way God sees them, despite how they act or seem?” And that is an entirely different battle we face.

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