Thursday, April 9, 2009

A Moment With Ashley

Identity

When you first meet someone one of the first question they'll ask is, "What do you do?" If you're in college they'll ask, "What college do you go to?" If you're in high school or middle school they'll ask, "Who do you hang out with?" These questions are all asking the same thing. They're trying to figure out who you are, and without saying another word, after you've answered the question, they immediately have an idea of who you are. Rich, poor, smart, dumb, popular, not popular...the list goes on. While assumptions may be true the problem arises when we center our lives around what other people see. Lets look at the life of David.

David was a shepherd, we often read this and think WOW a shepherd that's so great he got to sit and talk to God all day in a beautiful pasture. Let me put this in perspective, a modern day equivalent would be mowing the lawn. Imagine Jesse coming up to David and saying, "Son I want you to mow our 800 acres of land." You can picture David looking out at the land and then saying, "Ok dad." So the next day David gets up and starts mowing, he doesn't even get one strip of land done and has barely anything to show for the work he did. Everyday he goes out in the hot sun, no one see him, no one knows him, no one cares. David was the youngest in his family, and the only son of his mother. When Samuel came to meet Jesse's sons they didn't even bother to go and get David. In man's eyes David looked like nothing, but in God's eyes He saw a king. "For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7). Want to know why God chose David to be king? Because David didn't look at himself as a shepherd, he saw himself as a worshiper above all else.

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in what we're doing on this earth that we forget what our primary purpose is, and that is being loved and a lover of God. What we do on this earth is important, but it's not the main reason why we're here. We are here to cultivate a relationship with God, by realizing that we are loved by Him and then loving Him back wholeheartedly in return. The problem comes when we try to put what men see ahead of what God sees. David didn't see himself as a shepherd or a king before he saw himself as a worshipper. When we put our earthly identity ahead of our heavenly identity is when we find ourselves in trouble. David didn't go out trying to find a way to be king, instead he postured his heart rightly before God and said, "If you want me to be a shepherd for the rest of my life that's what I'll do." I'm sure some days he didn't want to be out herding the sheep, but then he remembered..."All I have to do is be confident that God loves me, and love Him back. Ok I can do this....I can do this." God found David "I have found My servant David...with My holy oil I anointed him" (Ps. 89:20). "He also chose David His servant and took him from the sheepfolds; from following the ewes that had young He brought him, to shepherd Jacob His people" (Ps. 78:70-71). David didn't try to exalt himself, but God saw what He was doing and it moved His heart, and He went out and found David in the pastures so that He could be king.

Today I encourage you to check your hearts. What have you made your primary identity? Are you defining your life by the One who loves you? Are you being faithful in the pasture, or are you trying to make yourself king?

God Bless
Ashley

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