I heard of a well-renowned woman intercessor who had a dream that disturbed her. She dreamed that she was awakened to the knowledge that this was the day of her wedding. She looked a mess but she knew she had to hurry so she didn’t have time to worry about her hair or her makeup. She ran to get her dress but when she put it on it was dirty with spots all over it. As she tried to rub the spots out it looked worse and worse. Then she woke up. She realized that she was like the bridesmaids in Matthew 25 who were not ready for the bridegroom’s return. She also realized that the spots were those things in her life that she had not dealt with and that no matter how hard she tried to deal with them she was just making them worse. This story disturbed me as I knew that I too was dressed in a spotted and dirty dress and I too had tried and tried to rub the spots out only to make it worse.
I then began to take the impact of this story to the Lord. I confessed that I could name some things that might not exactly be sins (although I had plenty of those), but that were also causing me to be distracted from my relationship with Him. In fact, I had turned to them for comfort when what I really wanted was to be in His presence. These things had competed for my attention and sadly, as they were easy and comfortable, I had wasted precious time with them that I could have spent with Him. I confessed my weakness and my need for help in this area. I knew my flesh would wander back to old habits if the Lord didn’t intervene so I surrendered to the Holy Spirit and asked Him to come in power and grace in my life to help me overcome what I couldn’t. I breathed the “I can’t, but You can” prayer and asked for “More of You Lord and less of me in my life.” To my amazement I began to have more ability to resist old temptations and put my focus back on fellowship times with the Father. In the last several months the Lord has continued to work this in my heart and, although the first work was of letting go of something, I am beginning to see a deeper root of insecurity emerging that needs to be acknowledged.
I am a woman who feels like an insecure child most of the time. I can wear the mask of confidence when I need it, but underneath I am afraid you will really see who I am, a very insecure woman. The one thing that gives me some security is the fact that I knew from a young age I was called to teach. The problem is that the calling I thought I had does not look like the teaching God has called me to. When I am teaching I am pretty secure, but teaching has taken up less and less of my time in these later years so I struggle with my purpose more and more.
I am finding that I am not alone in this confusion of “What am I supposed to do now?” I know of the teaching that we are supposed to be a “human being not a human doing,” but that doesn’t seem to help me answer “What now?” As I was thinking on this I realized that I have struggled from the beginning with my identity and my purpose, even after I met Jesus. For a while I was thrilled to know that I was loved, I was uniquely created for a purpose, I was special. One preacher called me a “King’s Kid” which made me think of princes and princesses and I loved that image. But after a while I began to focus on what I could do for the King rather than rest in being a child of the King. I discovered that when you focus on “doing” you are often ignoring the King you are saying you are serving. So, like a ping-pong ball the years saw me bouncing from serving Him to fellowshipping with Him to serving Him to fellowshipping with Him. I have felt like once again He has pulled me back into His embrace to not just check off how many books of the Bible I have read, or how long I have prayed or interceded, or how much time I have spent helping others, but to come back to the Father and surrender to Him and allow Him to do a deeper work in me. For me that deeper work is to reestablish my identity in Him and that brings me once again to the realization that I, like you, was created to be a child of God. He uniquely created me for the purpose of being His child and being in fellowship with Him.
But it is even better than that. All humans on the planet were created to be His children, but He did give us free will to accept that opportunity or not. For those of us who accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior He has elevated us from child of God to sons and daughters of God (Gal. 3:26, 4:26-27). We have become a beloved (Rom. 5:8), forgiven (I John 1:9), friend of Jesus (John 15:15), empowered by the Holy Spirit as an overcomer (I John 5:4-5, Roms 8:37), filled with power, love, and self-control (2 Tim. 1:7).
And yes, He would give me work to do. He gave me gifts that uniquely qualified me to be a carrier of His light to all I am in contact with (and He uniquely created you for this purpose also.) He wants us, you and me, to share the message of His great love for His children and His desire to welcome them as sons and daughters of the King, who will live with Him for eternity. He also wants us to care for those who are already His sons and daughters until they go to be with Him in heaven. Since each of us has our own unique gifts He has us reach out to others to accomplish these tasks in different ways.
I tend to serve Him in a teaching and encouraging capacity, whether it be just talking to a grandchild or really listening and praying with another child of God and telling them what I hear for them or share what God has said to me in a similar circumstance. My call is to come along side of them and bring the Light of Christ so they too can see Him in their daily lives and help them find ways to draw closer to Him.
I have to be careful, though, of trying to be the Light rather than a carrier of the Light. I often have to re-learn that I am only a carrier of the Light, I am not the Light! Recognizing this also relieves me of the responsibility for their response to the Light. I am just responsible to offer the Light, but I have to have light to offer and that is why I need to refill my lamp daily.
I once heard a teacher explain how to use an oil lamp like the ones the bridesmaids carried. You have the lamp, then you have the oil, and the wick. The oil is what gives off the light. If you have run out of oil the wick will still burn but it will not give off light. It will just smoke and cause irritation to eyes and nose. We are the lamps and the wick…the carriers of the Light. The Holy Spirit gives us the oil. If I want to be a good carrier of the Light I have to fill up on the oil of the Holy Spirit, which means spending time with Jesus and the Father and then allowing the Holy Spirit to interpret what I have heard into a direction for my life. Then I can carry the Light into the area I am sent.
As I am uniquely made I will carry the Light differently than you. So many times I have been with God and I have received my assignment and I start to carry the Light and then I look to my right and to my left and I see you and another friend carrying the Light differently than I do. As I watch you and your gifts I begin to compare the way I share the Light and then I become insecure about the way I do it. Sometimes I even try to tailor-make the way I carry it to look like your way, but it just never seems to work out the way it works for you. That’s when I hear the Holy Spirit once again tell me not to fall into comparisons. I have been uniquely created to carry the Light in a certain way to perfectly meet certain needs. I need to not just accept that that was the way I was created, but think of myself as uniquely created for unique needs.
So the question so many have is “What is my purpose?” Ask the Lord to show you. I can promise you that it will not be as hard as you are trying to make it. You were perfectly made for this purpose. It will be easy for you since that is where your gifts lie. There will be parts of the call that will be harder than others and there may be a learning curve, but don’t look at the huge plan before you, just take the first step, then the next, and then the next trusting that the Lord has your back. He knows your frame. Remember, David didn’t become King right away. He started leading sheep. Then he learned how to protect the sheep, which later gave him the ability to kill a giant, but he didn’t start with the giant and neither will you. Ask the Lord to tell you the first step and then take it. It will lead you to the next one. Don’t worry about putting a name to your purpose, just trust that the Lord has one for you and step out into the first step that is just before you.
The Bible is full of people like David, called to a big purpose but feeling a little unfit for the job. Abraham struggled with being called a Father of multitudes when he didn’t have even one son, Moses didn’t think he was a good speaker, Gideon for sure wasn’t acting like a mighty warrior, and Esther was afraid she would die if she followed through on the call of coming “to the kingdom for such a time as this,” but each took the first step and God did the rest.
To help you just be your unique self guided by the Holy Spirit and to remember that you are precious in the Father’s sight and the delight of His heart, I have included a page of “I Am” scriptures. Use them to embolden yourself to take the first step into your purpose for 2017 in carrying the Light.