Posts Tagged ‘bless’

Getting out of Midian

This is not our destiny!

Midian is not our destiny!

There is a powerful story in Scripture about Moses running to the land of Midian. It happens after he kills an Egyptian who had abused one of his Hebrew brethren (Ex. 2:11-15). In this circumstance Moses expresses a common feeling… what most of us feel in the midst of injustice.

In verse 12 it states the problem… “He looked this way and then that; when he realized there was no one in sight, he killed the Egyptian and buried him in the sand”. The spirit of strife arose inside of Moses to such a degree that it blinded his heart… forsaking the command of God in regards to murder.

Choices are the fruit of a heart’s focus!

Raised an Egyptian and coming to grips with the Hebrew heartbeat was like standing in an intersection and not knowing which way to turn. Moses’ wrong choice released the confusion that resided in his heart and created an enormous backlash among his brethren. The next day he went out to find two Hebrew men fighting. He spoke to the man who started it: “Why are you hitting your neighbor?” The man shot back: “Who do you think you are, telling us what to do? Are you going to kill me the way you killed that Egyptian?” Then Moses panics… “oh no, word’s gotten out; people know about this”. Secrets are often difficult to shake free from. Pharaoh hears about it and tries to kill Moses, but Moses gets away to the land of Midian. He sits down by a well with his confusion and there receives the call to be the “hand” of deliverance for God’s people (Ex. 3:1-4).

Midian is not the place Moses chose to go…

But God would meet Him there. Interestingly the word Midian means “striving” or “habit” and the Midianites were the descendants of Ishmael, Abraham’s son from another season of bad choices. Oddly enough its very rare that one generation’s poor choices do not become a crucible for our life later, but that is another blog topic. Yet now, in order to escape punishment for killing the Egyptian, Moses runs away to Midian, a place of habitual strife. He finds himself face-to-face with… “himself”.

Sounds like God’s intervention…

Running away takes Moses to a burning bush… with a broken heart.  Moses became a stranger in a strange land, separated from his home and family… and he needed a new identity. It took many years after this incident for Moses to be ready to serve God. The good news is that Moses did trust God (Heb. 11:27) and leave Midian. Moses found the God who transforms our identity!

We must recognize the God who transforms us as quickly as possible and allow His priorities to shape our life choices. If not, we may find ourselves visiting the land of strife. Leaving Midian can only happen when we have felt the crushing reality of God’s intervention in our character. Yet it must happen if we expect God to use us, bless us, or prosper us.

Character transformation is the defining reality of what makes a leader attractive to those who follow.

When I find myself on edge, offended or bitter toward others, there is a good chance that I am hanging out in “Midian, the land of strife”. There are spiritual realities that effect my thought life, choices and behavior patterns. God takes us into places that test us and show us what resides within our hearts. He does this for our good, as His way of chastening His children.

God chastens those whom He loves and accepts! (Heb 12:4-11)

The Christian attitude toward anger and strife should be consistent with God’s heart. There is just no room for angry outbursts or strife ridden behavior in the processing of Christian relationships. We should call it sin and repent of it or we give place to confusion. Like Moses, we could wind up in the land of Midian until it gets burned out of us.

Here is what the Bible says: (Ps. 37:8)(Prov. 19:19)(Prov. 27:4)(Eccl. 7:9)(Gal. 5:19-20)(Eph. 4:31).

Living in Midian is like living next door to a volcano that only explodes once every couple of months. I believe many folks live in Midian, a land cursed by a spirit of strife and although the erruptions only occur every few months; life is lived in confusion and fear, waiting for when and how destructive the next outburst will be. This must not be our legacy, because it is most certainly not our destiny.

Getting out of Midian is as easy as recognizing the sinful behavior and repenting of it. Ask the Holy Spirit to deliver, then begin to rest upon the Truth that God is faithful to meet you in Midian with the power to transform your heart.

God Given Identity

Your God-given identity will answer these 2 questions…

1st) ‘Who has God created me to be?’
2nd) ‘What has God called me to do?’

Your Identity is Prophetic…

Its God’s intended purpose to bless and prosper you as His Child, His friend and His Ambassador. Our identity speaks of who you are, but more than that… of who you are becoming! It unlocks your imagination and awakens your dream and hidden purpose. Its a key for opening the door to where you should invest your heart for the most satisfying life God would want for you. Our Father wants you to be secure in His love and He has created every individual to be great! Yet many Christians are uncertain or conflicted about their unique, personal identity.

Some signs you may have an unclear sense of identity are:
•…a lack of personal confidence or self worth
•…difficulty accepting both your strengths and limitations
•…being affected by fear, doubt, rejection or envy
•…other people’s opinions are setting your course
•…feeling out of place or unfulfilled

Setting Your Course:

To various degrees, many of us need strength, clarity or even healing in vital areas of our identity! If there is anything the devil can do to confuse or distract you from your God-given identity… he will do it! Its really important that you shake off the enemy’s lies and set a fresh course for the Promised Land (Ex. 3:17). The land “flowing with milk and honey” is just over the hill if you know which hill to climb. That’s what a God-given identity will do for you!

9 Clues to Your God-Given Identity:

Here are 9 clues to help you explore who you are uniquely in God. If identity is a struggle for you, I encourage you to take some time to journal or pray about the points you particularly relate to.

1. Your Family Identity

‘Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…’ (Jn. 1:12)

Before you can fully comprehend your personal identity, you need to grasp who you are in God’s household. You are royalty, adopted by the King. You carry the family DNA and attributes. You are Blessed, Loved, Chosen and Qualified to reign in life… you are the Father’s Son or Daughter. You are Righteous in Christ. What does God’s Word say about who you are as a son or daughter of God?

2. Seasons of Fulfillment

Can you look back on your life and recognize times and seasons in which you felt the most fulfilled, the most alive? I call these events or seasons, “kyros moments”… where God comes near and gives you hints of your potential and points toward your destiny. This is not just about relationships, but settings – times and seasons where God is showing you your heartbeat or rhythm. What were you doing during these times, and most importantly, what aspects of your personality and passion were emerging and being revealed?

3. Prophetic Personal Insights

What has God used to speak to you personally about your life? What prophetic descriptions, about who you are; have resonated with you? Perhaps you have personally experienced the feelings when something spoken really resonated in your heart. These words may have a prophetic anointing upon them for you to pray about and consider as God continues to speak truth through the Bible. The Old Testament is full of prophecies about Jesus and He was able to see Himself in the book. You are fearfully and wonderfully made and God will speak into your life from time to time. The key is to see the prophetic voices around you as part of God’s discipleship. What words and names describe you as a person? How does God see you?

4. People Who have Believed in You.

Throughout your life’s journey, God has brought significant people across your path. These are the ones who have believed in you. These people have been gifts from God to nourish your identity and help release your potential. Who were they and what were the marks of Kingdom purpose in you, that they brought out or uncovered for growth? What did they see in you? These are often hidden, or under-developed areas about you that you may have doubted or dismissed.

5. Trials that Have Brought out the Best in You

‘For You Oh God tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined.’ (Ps. 66:10)

What tests have you undergone that ultimately brought out something good or strong in you? Can you identify the positive attribute that manifested in your life? How would you describe it?

6. Identify Tragic Events

‘No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah…’ (Isa. 62:4)

Moses killed a man and fled Egypt… his identity was to be a deliverer, but at that time he was labeled a murderer. The enemy hates our identity and the image of God upon you. He aims to kill steal and destroy (Jn. 10:9-10). One of the ways the enemy does this is through strategic events that damage our identity and self-worth. The Bible calls this the “wiles of the devil” (Eph. 6:10-12). Personal failure, circumstances or mistakes can injure your sense of identity and so can the abuse and rejection of others. If this has taken place in your life, God’s plan is to restore your true identity. What mark or label have you worn too long and need to cast off? Has an event or person hurt you or attacked you? You are not under the dominion of sin or evil words, but hidden in Christ and under the careful watch of angels. Now that you are alive in Christ, those marks of oppression are often hints to your calling in Christ. What is the opposite of your most tragic experience? Could this be the true identity that God wants to redeem in your life?

7. A God-Given Name

‘The nations will see your vindication, and all kings your glory; you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will bestow.’ (Isa. 62:2)

In Scripture, a given name was frequently synonymous with identity. In some cases, God re-named a person as a sign of their identity and destiny. For example, Jesus renamed Simon, Peter… meaning rock (Mt. 16:18). Sometimes today parents provide their children with a prophetic name that speaks of their identity, but this is not always the case. Is there a name that you have been given by God or others that you believe is prophetic for your life and describes who you are?

8. Who are you When Fearless?

If fear and doubts were not an issue, who would you be? What attributes would be displayed in your life? What is the best version of you… courageous and full of faith. Never surrender your heart to the opinion of others or listen to people’s version of what you should be? Be yourself!

9. What is Your Unique Sense of Passion and Purpose?

Your interests and the things that you are passionate about are an important part of who you are. You may even have a sense of destiny or feel a call of God upon your life. This is a valuable clue to your identity. Gideon’s destiny was to lead the Israelites in battle and lead the nation to God. God addressed him by his identity, ‘mighty warrior’ (Judg. 6:12). Abram’s destiny was to birth a Messianic lineage. God named him ‘Abraham’, which meant ‘Father of a multitude’ (Gen. 17:4-6). Do you have a sense of your purpose, or have you seen a glimpse of God’s call on your life? Working backwards, what does this say about how God sees you and who He has created you to be?

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jer. 29:11)

Habitation

Although God is always with us, there are times when His Presence is more obvious and we find ourselves experiencing God’s intimacy in more tangible ways. I am convinced that we can have as much of God in our lives as we want. We can create a place of habitation for His Presence that will enrich our lives and please Him. God’s love can be enjoyed as we come to Him in prayer, worship and listening for His voice. Its this habitation that changes us and reveals the Glory of God. Like Moses, God wants to go with us wherever we go (Exod 33:14).

Inviting the Presence of God:

God reveals Himself to those that earnest seek Him (Deut 4:29). If we want to walk in the Presence of the Lord, then we need to practice and develop a place of habitation for Him. In the Old Testament the Tabernacle and the Temple were places where God’s Presence would be sought; but in the New Testament, Jesus refers to His own physical body as the new dwelling place for the Presence (Jn 14:21-23). He would also declare that this Temple would be a House of Prayer and that there was jealousy; a zeal in His heart, for this relational environment (Lk 19:45-46)(Isa 42:8).

Nurturing Intimacy: 

One of the most effective ways we can nurture intimacy is through time spent in real worship; the kind Jesus said the Father enjoys; in Spirit and in Truth (Jn 4:24). By placing ourselves before Him in a place of adoration, we make room for Him in our hearts and lives. God has promised that as we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us (Jms 4:8). This is why I would say we can have as much of God as our hunger will seek after; but it will mean adjusting to His pleasures, rather than our independence.

Abiding in the Word of God:

In order to abide in the Presence of God, we must practice living in His Word and becoming familiar with His voice. Jesus said, “if you abide in Me and My Words abide in you, you will ask whatever you will and it shall be done for you” (Jn 15:7). This is because; abiding in Him, nurtures an atmosphere of relationship and responding to the Father’s heart. The Holy Spirit is always present with God’s Word. The Promises of Scripture and the prophetic flow of the Holy Spirit bring an increase in the way we value the Temple (1 Cor 6:19). There are enormous Truths that transform the way we think and reveal the motives of our heart (Heb 4:12). Renewing the mind is as important as washing our clothes; because we must become aware of our “stinky thinking”, in order to sustain His place of habitation.

My Suggestion:

Don’t wait, discover the joy of His habitation. You will never be the same. Living in the secret place with God is the Promised Land we have longed for and the Resource we have thirsted after. King David said it best:

“Oh God, You are my God; early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You, My flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the Sanctuary, to see Your power and Your Glory, because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your Name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips. (Ps 63:1-5)

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