Growing up I wished I could be anyone else but me. Mom says, “son you can be anything you want to be”, but dad says, “you are never going to be nothing,”as he takes another drink of his beer. Now I know it was the alcohol talking, but that didn’t make it hurt any less back then. I struggled with my identity for more than 20 years, and after all those years I’m just now getting to know me. That reminds me of a quote I heard growing up by Socrates that said, “Know thyself.” Man, I wish I could go back in time and ask him what he had to go through to get to the point of understanding the importance of knowing thyself. Was he just trying to be deep, or did he have some revelation about the importance of knowing who you are?
I’m not talking about who people say you are or what they call you. If you’re not careful people will put you in a box, keeping you from fulfilling the purpose you were put on this earth to accomplish. Which brings me to our story for today. We are talking about my guy David, who by the way is one of my favorite bible characters. Our story begins in 1 Samuel the 16th chapter. David was the youngest son of 8 boys, and he was treated like a poor servant by his brothers. I’m talking Cinderella style! His father was embarrassed of him, so he was sent out in the field on the other side of the mountain to take care of the sheep. Being rejected by both or even one of your parents, would make anyone struggle with their identity.
One day the Lord spoke to the prophet Samuel and asked him (paraphrasing of course), “when are you going to stop crying over Saul?” You see I have rejected him, from reigning over Israel. Fill up your horn with oil because we are going to see Jesse. I have chosen a new king amongst his sons, so Samuel did as he was instructed by God. After explaining to him what the Lord said, Jesse brought his sons to Samuel to anoint one of them to be king. The first son stepped up and Samuel said, “he looks like the right one”, but when he went to anoint him, the oil wouldn’t flow. But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at the appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart (see 1 Samuel 16:7).” So he tried it 6 more times and as Pastor John Gray tells us in his amazing book I Am Number 8, “7 is the number of completion, so it was a complete no.”
Wait a minute, I thought Jesse had 8 sons! Oh I see, since David was an outcast. He wasn’t even considered, when it came time for one of his father’s sons to be anointed as king. Struggling with his identity, on the other side of the mountain, David was still able to honor where he was with his best effort. All of a sudden David heard destiny calling. Someone was sent to the other side of the mountain to get David and lead him to purpose. Our purpose is concealed within us, until it is revealed to us. A mistreated, least likely and ruddy little redhead boy. Walked into a house where he had been treated like a slave, he received a standing ovation and was anointed to be the next king of Israel. That was the day David would understand who he was, and get a glimpse of the calling he had on his life.
Some of us are still struggling, young and old, with who we are and what we have been put on this earth to do. Like David, we were all born with gifts and when used correctly, they will help us reach our purpose. It’s like when you buy a computer, it has everything it needs to do what it was created to do. We were also created with everything we need to operate in our God given purpose. Computers consist of hardware and software, that should be updated regularly. We have gifts that we were created with, that must be developed and perfected, in order for them to be used effectively. We must continue to perfect our gifts, so they stay ready and relevant when the time comes for us to use them. The instruction manual says, “A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men (see Proverbs 18:16).” This is talking about mankind, so it applies to you too ladies.
So what is your gift, something you can do like nobody else? We have to stop comparing ourselves to other people long enough, to discover what God has put inside of us. The enemy of purpose is comparison! You are fearfully and wonderfully made (see Psalm 139:14), a one of a kind masterpiece. There is and will only ever be one of you and God has amazing things in store for you (See Jeremiah 29:11). You matter and don’t ever let anybody tell you any different!
You Are Gifted. You Have Purpose. You Are Loved.
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