Out of all the images in that video, which one makes your heart flutter?
Oh, How the Son Received!
How evident is the love of the Father for his son in this story! The son allowed himself to be completely receptive, trusting in what the Father would do for him.
He allowed himself to participate in and receive the love of his Father.
It’s in the receptive disposition that our hearts function the best because what we need, we cannot create on our own. It’s impossible. We must receive it.
Many of us have not had any experience of such trust with our earthly fathers. My parents divorced when by the time I was five, my dad was an alcoholic and died an alcoholic, and he was someone that never really was able to live in his identity, his true identity. There was no one there to tell him who he was as a son of the Father. You likely know people who are not living in their full identity. How can we apply what we are experiencing in living in the new identity we found in Christ and give it to those we love, the people we meet, to the world? I think about it sometimes, question God even, why didn’t you send someone into my dad’s life to tell him the truth, to reveal his true self, to find freedom. Jesus typically reminds me that he did but that my dad needed to be able to receive the message. If only my dad could have placed himself in the wheelchair and allowed God the Father to run with him.
Now, I know. I have the gift of knowing my true identity, and it’s become my mission to share with anyone who will listen.
You are a beautiful daughter of a loving Father!
What if, in all your interactions with people, you were to share a glimpse of knowing who you are as God’s child? What if you treated others as a child of God? The act of living from this truth has the potential to change a person.
The deeper you go into understanding and receiving who you are, it changes how people perceive you.
“One of the most formidable obstacles to the conversion of a soul is the fact that God is a hidden God: Deus absconditus. But God, in His goodness, reveals Himself, in a certain manner, through His saints, and even through fervent souls. In this way, the supernatural filters through and becomes visible to the faithful, who are thus able to apprehend something of the mystery of God . . . make no mistake, there is a sort of instinct by which souls, without clearly defining what it is they sense, are aware of this radiation of the supernatural.”
— Dom Jean-Baptist Chautard, p. 124-5, AN EXCERPT FROM Soul of the Apostolate
I love that quote so much because it is the absolute truth. When you live from this space of knowing who you are, it changes how you live. It changes how you talk. It changes the decisions that you make. It opens up a space in you that people can access God. Wow! People can access God in you.
A healthy identity comes from understanding the truth about ourselves. Our deepest yearning is to know where we came from and our purpose for which we remain.
Sadly, my experience has also shown that many parents do not have the answers to the question, “Who am I?” I don’t know about you. I didn’t necessarily grow up knowing all of this about who I am at all- it came much later in my life. What if you can be this instrument that impacts souls? What if He sends you out to tell people the truth about His love?
My daughter, Clare, who’s nine, was on a horrible basketball team. They lost every game, tragically, like two to 50. So bad. One day, she was playing in the last match of a tournament. Parents and kids arrived at the gym for the last torturous game. Clare and I had prayed before entering because it was crucial to her that she wins at least one game. I found myself seated on the bleachers watching Clare warm up. A player’s mother walks by me with her daughter, and she sadly said to me, “Well, we are going to lose another game.” I told her that Clare and I prayed for a great game that morning. The mom stopped, and she turned and looked at me, surprised, and replied, “But God doesn’t care about a silly basketball game.” Oh, you know, I couldn’t help myself! I relayed my experience with God. I told her that He genuinely cares about our daughters-even the smallest details concern Him.”
When you speak into someone’s identity- you see tremendous thirst. The mother was a little stunned. She stood there and listened as I continued, “God loves your daughter so much. He cares about how she feels about her basketball game. .”
She sat down on the bleachers quietly facing toward the court. When someone speaks the truth about who God is and how He loves you, it takes a minute for them to process. Because if that is true, if God cares about me and what’s on my heart, then my paradigm has to shift. If he cares about some “little thing,” like my daughter’s basketball game, then what about me? What about big things? And that’s when you start to see the wheels turning.
My Sister is Better Than Me
Last week, I was with a friend who received a call from her mother. The conversation didn’t go well; my friend’s “button got pushed.” Go figure! Her mother compared her to her sister and look out! A hurt part of my friend flared. The old lies: I am not as good as my sister; my sister is always smarter, always better. My sister is more successful.
As my friend’s rant of lies spilled out of her heart, I gently remind her that those are lies designed by the enemy to steal your identity. You are a beautiful daughter of a loving FAther. He made you with precision. No part of you is an accident. Comparing yourself to your sister will suck the life out of you completely. How can we focus on who God says you are?
His Love Waffles
Another time I was praying with a seventeen-year-old girl when I asked her, “How close are you to Jesus?
She whispered, “I’m not that close. I keep them over there.” Signing with her arm that He was a great distance away.
I offered, “Why don’t you invite him closer?”
“If he gets too close to me, he will see what a mess I am,” she offered with clarity.
I invited her to tell me some of the attributes of God. “Tell me what is he like for you?”
Quickly, she believed, “When I do good things, he loves me more. And when I do bad things, he loves me less.”
“So, you’re saying that His love for you can fluctuate.”
“Oh yeah, it does,” she insisted.
“What I’ve experienced about God’s love is that His love for you is constant. He’s all in all the time. He loves you no matter what you do.”
The concept was so foreign to her that she admitted, “I don’t think I understand what you’re saying.”
“The way you describe God sounds like human attributes. Do you know someone in your life that loves you more when you do a good job and less when you do poorly?”
“Yeah, my parents.”
“Yes, you may experience love like that from your parents. But that’s not who God is. He’s not like that at all. He never was withdrawals love from you. Ever! He loves you because you are his daughter, he chose you. You are loved because of who you ARE, not what you do.
Visibly stunned, she ruminated, “He loves me all the time, no matter what?”
“Yes! His love for you is constant, and there’s nothing you can do to take it away.”
The sweet girl sat that a solid three minutes in silence. You could hear the old structures breaking down and new ones forming by the grace of the Holy Spirit. Wow!
Suddenly, she stood up with confidence, “That just, that just changed my life.”
In one quick conversation, you can change someone’s life! You’ll be surprised.
These little things people say about who they are or about who God becomes a divine invitation for you to walk right on in there. Don’t hesitate.
I overheard my mom tell my daughters that they did an excellent job painting. They both turned to her and said, “Grammy, we were made good!” Of course, my mom looks at me and rolls her eyes.
But my girls are learning a valuable truth. It’s not you do that makes you good. My husband and I are intentionally parenting them so that they grow up feeling secure about God’s love- no matter what they do. Sure, they will have to suffer the consequences of their mistakes; we all do. But the security in knowing that they can return to a loving Father is essential to their faith and continued conversion. The closer we are to someone, sometimes, the more influence we have. We can build deeper relationships, but sometimes it doesn’t even take a long-term relationship where God has a divine invitation for you.
I was at the deli counter, and the lady shaving my pound of ham says to me, “I haven’t had a break all day.”
It was late in the afternoon, so my heart went out to her, “Wow, that must be hard. Have you had a long day?”
She continued, “They don’t have enough people back here, and I’m not getting enough breaks, and this is just really hard.”
“It sounds like you’re not feeling very appreciated.”
“No, I’m not very appreciated.”
“I appreciate you. Look, you’re serving me beautifully.”
She continued to work on my order silently. As she handed me the package of ham, she said with sincerity, “I’m just so glad you talked to me today. You really helped me.”
Listening to the spirit and waiting for divine invitations is a new disposition. God will use you every day to express to people about His love for them. People are starving. They’re thirsty for the truth about who they are.
You can think about people walking around with this thought bubble that says, “Who am I? Someone, please, I beg you to tell me!” It’s part of our human condition.
When you agree with the truth that you are a child of God, you will be healed. That’s the receptivity, right?
“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Allow God to break down some of those protective structures in you. The structures that you thought would keep you safe. People in your life who were not living in their true identity may have hurt you, so you build structures and coping mechanisms to protect yourself. Jesus comes to you and invites you to a new way, “My daughter, you don’t need this here. You don’t need that there.” He starts disassembling YOUR house to rebuild you on a firm foundation of who He is and who we are in Him!
How are you doing?
What’s one way you can live in your identity?
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