The Importance of Knowing Who You Are
The Gospel of Mark spends a significant amount of time focused on who people thought Jesus was. You have God declaring Jesus was His Son at the baptism by John and the Mount of Transfiguration (Mark 1:11 & Mark 9:7). Jesus is constantly telling the demons to be quiet about identifying who He was (Mark 1:24-25 & Mark 3:11-12). Pharisees couldn’t figure Him out (Mark 3:22). Others thought He was either Elijah or John the Baptist raised from the dead (Mark 8:28). The disciples were not even sure who He was (Mark 4:41). Finally Jesus pushed the point, and they only knew by divine inspiration (Mark 8:29-30).
We naturally see the importance of correctly knowing who Jesus is. However, I conject that we also need to accurately know who we are. Each of us were created with a unique purpose and combination of giftings. And, the more we embrace who we are, the more we will enjoy the flow of the Holy Spirit in the things we do.
Too often we doubt our contribution and go two unhealthy routes. 1. We may pull back thinking we cannot accomplish a certain task and then deny others the opportunity of what you offer. Or, 2. you try harder to overcompensate your doubts and thereby overextend yourselves beyond what is good.
King Saul Didn’t Know Who He Was
King Saul exemplifies both of these issues. When King Saul was introduced to the people as king we find him hiding (1 Samuel 10:20-22). While in today’s culture, we may interpret this as humble, but what confidence does this give the kingdom if your king is too afraid to show himself.
We also see King Saul’s failure to show up at the battle with Goliath. He sits there for forty straight days listening to the threats of the Philistine champion (1 Samuel 17:16). He allows his army to become immobilized with fear instead of walking in his calling as king and leader (1 Samuel 17:11).
King Saul also overextended himself at times to cover up his doubts. The obvious example is when he made the sacrifice at Gilgal instead of waiting for Samuel (1 Samuel 13:11-13). However he also condemned his own son to death in attempt to motivate his troops (1 Samuel 14:39).
The Importance of Being You
When we know who we are, we are more confident in our circumstances. We may not make every shot, but we want the ball in our hands when everyone is counting on us. We trust what has brought us to that point, and we do what we have been prepared to do. By showing up, we further God’s plan in our world.
The year after I left university, a shooter walked down the main street of campus firing his gun at people who passed by. One store employee saw what was going on and ran into the street tackling the gun man. His quick actions save many lives. As reports later came out, this hero was an ex-Marine and just followed his training. He knew he could help, and he showed up saving lives (Hero of Chapel Hill).
David and Samson Knew Who They Were
King David also showed up. When Saul was trying to motivate someone to fight Goliath, David heard the threats and was moved to actions. He knew he had been anointed as the next king of Israel, but if he didn’t act, there may not have been an Israel to be king of. David did show up, and God directed the stone to win the battle (1 Samuel 17).
Samson often made bad choices. However, he did have a role in Israel. It was prophesied that he would defeat the Philistines. While he often won little battles with them, his bad decisions left him a captive of his enemies. In one last effort, he asked God for strength again to fulfill his destiny. Then with the renewed strength he brought down the heathen temple killing more Philistines at his death then he ever did before (Judges 16:28-30). Knowing who he was allowed him to make a request of God despite previous poor decisions.
The Holy Spirit Helps As You Are Being You
Jesus knew who He was and knew where He was going (John 13:1). And, His life was characterized with supernatural activity. He knew about the donkey he was to ride, he knew Peter would find coins, and he knew the plans against Him (Matthew 21:2-3, 6, 7:27, & 26:2). He could heal the sick, walk on water, and feed a great number of people (Matthew 8:16, 14:25, & 14:21). He wasn’t showing off, He was just being Himself. By knowing who He was and what He was called to do, the Son of Man could show us how to live as men were created to be.
When we know who we are, we are freed up to allow the Holy Spirit to touch our work and multiply our efforts. God wants you to fulfill your role in this world and will help you make it happen. The key is to know who you are and what you bring, then God will move all of the resources of heaven and earth to help you. As a member of the body of Christ, you have a very important role. You are a son or daughter of the living God. You are loved by Him. He lavishes you with every good thing.
Find out what that is that He specifically made you to do and do it well. By doing so, not only will you advance God’s kingdom, but you will find the greatest joy available to you. You were created for significance. You are amazing!