Knowing myself

We all have spiritual heroes. We admire these leaders God has placed in our path, even if only virtually. Admiring heroes is a wholesome and healthy thing. Mimicking is something altogether different. When I impersonate, I unwittingly say to myself and others that, “God has spoken to others, but I am quite doubtful that He will speak to me.” We limit God as we trot off, with blueprints, ready to duplicate.

The problem with borrowing blueprints is that it originated from the heart and life experiences of another leader. God spoke specifically to them with their spiritual gifts, personality and passions in mind. The good news is that our Father has perfect plans for each of His children. Not stale rehashed leftovers, but new words spoke with fresh life. As a church planter, or a potential church planter, the future DNA of your new church will take its cues from the fact that you took the time to understand the King’s unique calling on your life.

Spiritual gifts
For a Christ follower, the most significant level of self-discovery is getting a clear picture of how much we have changed since becoming a subject of the King. Through guidance from the authority of His Word we begin to sense God’s plan. God begins to renovate us from the inside out while He prepares us for a kingdom adventure. We begin to understand that His plan for our lives.

This plan will often involve two uncomfortable steps that force us to reflect on our insecurities and weigh them against the omnipotence of God: First, it will highlight the areas of our personal weakness we know all too well. Yet, we sense that God is leading us toward something that isn’t requiring our greatest personal assets. God begins to stir faith in our heart toward steps that do not include our core strengths.

This leads us to the second step. Having a good grasp on our weaknesses, God often leads us, with the full awareness of our shortcomings, towards the impossible assignment of God. In this weakness, we begin to discover our spiritual gifts. With them, we discover the strength of our King. God’s power working through our weaknesses.

God has given our personalities as a gift in which to glorify Him. They are the ‘hard-wiring’ of how we approach the world. This individual personality becomes the lens by which we take in information and formulate a response. Varied people will approach the same situation and deduce considerably different courses of action largely prejudiced by the filter of their personalities.

Personalities vary. Some of us are energized in being with people; others need to draw alone to recharge our batteries. Some of us are sensible and make practical choices for efficiency and effectiveness. Others are highly imaginative and creative, with abilities to discover new processes. Some of us are very focused people and others are more free flowing in accomplishing assignments. Some of us are logical in how we approach a problem and not deeply affected by emotions. Others take our cues from the sentiment of the situation.

Varied personalities, each fashioned by God and a strategic part of His kingdom’s design.Knowing and appreciating the unique personality that God has given us will serve us well in understanding our place in God’s kingdom-expanding plans.

Passions are the deep places where God lights up His kingdom priorities within our spirit. They are unique to us as individuals and often originate from past experiences in which we have been profoundly touched. Passions often have a life of their own.

But passions by nature are not the exclusive territory of the kingdom of God. Darker passions can often become self-serving obsessions, even when located in the sacred space. For passions to be kingdom-centric, they will direct the objects of that passion to the healing, comfort and transforming authority found in our King.

Passions are highly sensitized areas of our personal experience that arouse emotion, a sense of justice, or a spirit of great mercy.

To identify your passions, here are a few questions to ask yourself.
What situations deeply move you while most others around you seem nonplused?
What hurts or needs seem to arouse a profound internal reaction that seems out of proportion to the general populace?
What misinterpretations elicit a reflexive response of rectification?

These passions may be clues to part of the kingdom agenda that God has in mind for your church plant.

Understanding our kingdom passions becomes essential in planting a church for the kingdom of God. Through an acute awareness of our kingdom passions, our ministries gain focus and motivation. Passions guide and propel.

Knowing who I am is necessary to understanding how God might desire to use my life in His kingdom-expanding plans.

Published August 29, 2016