He challenged us on the question: Where do you find your identity?
A lot of people, if not most, seem to be defined by what they do, rather than what they are.
Take away their profession or the sport, hobby etc -- their whole world falls apart. Make some criticism or even a suggestion about their business, their passion, watch out!
Sadly, I’ve even noticed even some believers find their identity in their calling or ministry. If any one, even respected senior ministers, try to adjust or merely advise them, they take it as a personal attack.
I have watched so many talented people, so many with a powerful gift from God fall apart when the inevitable test comes.
I have experienced first hand what happens when a successful leader becomes very insecure.
We base our security on our past achievements, or on what people think of us, or the status of our position. If there is a gifted younger, less experienced brother/sister who has similar, or (God forbid!) greater success, we become threatened. I think it's called jealousy!
These kind of leaders have done so much damage to young believers because of this. Consequently, we not only hinder the work of the Kingdom, we greatly limit our effectiveness and potential because of these faulty foundations.
So what's the answer then?
Pastor David called us to finding our identity in God the Father alone.
That may seem obvious to anyone who has already had their lives touched by God's love. But the question is this: Has that relationship become so central to everything we value, we will still be standing strong if we lose everything else but that relationship?
Everything else has secondary importance, and if we don't settle this principle in our hearts before we take on responsibility (especially major responsibility) in the Kingdom of God, we will do damage to people.
The leaders that I look up to these days are not necessarily those who are highly gifted and can draw huge crowds, but rather have a heart after God, and consequently, a heart for people. This relationship keeps going, even gets stronger, no matter what life throws at them. Nothing seems to shake them.
Why? They have the strongest foundation of all: Their relationship with God.
Humility -- and faithfully carrying out your calling because of this relationship -- doesn't get much attention in secular media. Yet I find the humble leader whose whole foundation is their identity in God can achieve far more lasting success, and more far-reaching effectiveness for the Kingdom than anyone else. That will count for more in Eternity than all the “flashing lights” and charisma of a big shot ministry who is here today and gone tomorrow, taking many broken lives with them.
God the Father has adopted us. Have we really grasped what that means?
It’s far more than a nice theological statement. It’s a daily reality! (See Romans 8:15)
So …. what, or Who is your security based on -- really?
It will revolutionise everything we do, because it's based on believing what God says we are.