Traced Identity

Reuben the first son of Jacob failed because he had a wrong concept of who he was. He had identity crisis. John the Baptist got it right when he said he was the voice of one crying out in the wilderness. Proper identification of self would make anyone conduct himself properly. Everyone will live out what he or she sees of him or herself inside.

Let us consider another man who traced his identity properly. That man was apostle Paul.

Before his conversion, he was called Saul. As Saul, he had serious identity crisis. He was a persecutor of the church. He was a murderer etc. But he had an encounter that helped him trace his identity. On the way to Damascus to persecute Christians, he encountered Jesus and this discussion ensued:

And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.“(Acts 9:4-6).

Any man that must trace his identity must ask the two questions that Paul asked.

i. First of all, he asked who are you Lord?

You cannot know or discover yourself until you have discovered God. When Peter encountered Jesus, he changed from catching fish to catching men for God. Gideon who was a fearful man encountered God, became brave and led only three hundred men to deliver his nation. God-discovery always culminates to self-discovery.

Just as it takes being a dog to understand the barking of dogs. It also takes being a goat to understand the bleating of goats while it takes being a sheep to understand the Shepherd’s voice. In the same vein, it takes being born of God to become a child of God who understands the ways of God.

After Paul asked who are you Lord? Jesus introduced Himself to Paul. Who is Jesus to you? Who He is to you will determine what He will do in and through you.

ii) Saul proceeded to ask the second question. What would you have me do?

Receiving assignment from the master must be preceded by knowing the master. Many are clamoring for platforms when they should be deepening their roots in relationship. You cannot be productive working for God until you are established working with Him. Intimacy must precede service least one becomes a cast away after preaching to others. When Jesus visited the house of Mary and Martha, Martha was distracted with much serving. She was serving Jesus but Jesus rather commended Mary who sat at His feet listening and learning (Luke 10:38-42). The principle has not changed. The foundation for fruitful Christian service is a good relationship with God. If not, you will serve mechanically without love, peace and affection.

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