‘Come with us and we will do you good.’ This is such an affectionate truth, spoken from the heart of those who want just that, to do people good, and if this is our desire then we need to know who our God is, and who we are because of that.
If we have this understanding, and I don’t simply mean information gathering, but gut level grasp of this knowledge, then we can genuinely say: ‘Come with us and we will do you good’ and it be true.
If we don’t know who our God is, and what he is like, then we may well lead others down a rabbit hole of legalistic rules and regulations.
If we don’t know who we are we may manipulate and control from a lack of understanding of our own belovedness and firm security in God.
Yet when we are aware of our identity, we become free to let others be who they are in all their magnificence because we know we are each precious and deeply loved.
What freedom there is in this, freedom to notice the gold, the greatness, the gifts, the skills, the character and the family likeness in one another. Freedom to make sure equipping happens, and that people are released to serve in the way that suits them best and which makes the most of who God has made them to be.
Let’s discover who God is and who we are and then in community let’s go on the adventure he’s called us to share with him
The nature of Father God is our bedrock and with a genuine understanding of his character we become those people who are happy to be in his presence, prepared to encounter him without any sense of anxiety.
It is also vital for us to know our identity in Christ, not as some tick-box exercise, but a soul deep assurance of who we are. The goal of self-knowledge isn’t to be absorbed in ourselves, but free from ourselves in many ways, free to be present for others in ways we find tough if we are battling self-doubts and insecurities.
Putting in the work to understand oneself is good work, work which will indirectly benefit all those around us. Family, friends, colleagues, and so on, will all enjoy the person who has gained greater liberty from the character flaws inherent in us all. Each of us is gifted and flawed in our own unique manner, and when we understand how that is, and how we can best attend to these characteristics so as to grow the good and starve the bad then we will be becoming all God has dreamt of for us. We will be on our way back to Eden in a way, back to how he planned for his creative masterpiece to function…only better, because now we appreciate the privilege of that relationship which once was lost.
I want us all to experience as much of heaven on earth as we are permitted, to become as much like Jesus as it is possible to be in this place. It is possible to be triumphalistic, I don’t want to drift into that, but we aren’t in too much danger of that, much more the opposite tendency, to accept our flaws as our lot, believing we can’t change in any meaningful measure.
Leadership needs to be perceptive, equipping, and releasing if optimal growth and healing is to come about
Leaders can only embody all of this if they are secure within themselves because their own identity and relationships are thriving in God and with their community. It is possible if the community isn’t in place as yet, but leaders will be richer and more generous if it IS there. Leaders need their own souls cared for too.
To know and understand the people around them with a view to helping them explore and unearth the richness within.
Authentic community is essential for our healthy growth, friends who know us well can help us see aspects of our character which may slip by unnoticed if we are isolated. The help they can bring us isn’t in the form of policing us and our failures but in calling out what we are made for. Accounting for our ability is the best way to view accountability. There are talents and skills which can go undeveloped without good friends to give us a gentle shove in the right, but often scary, direction.
Tools to assist with self-understanding are many and varied, personality typing e.g. Myers-Briggs, or the Enneagram; discovering your spiritual gifts and motivations, etc., all help no end. Discovering this information helps you to understand who you are and some of the ‘why’ you may have had about your self and your life, you may even have eureka moments as you explore, “Ah…that’s why I do so and so!”
Releasing: Free to love others more fully
Some may exhibit a slightly sniffy attitude to the sort of study this entails, as if it is too self absorbed for words, and it can be if that is where it finishes, but the intention is to build understanding so as to facilitate freedom to love others more fully. This is as far from being self absorbed as East is from West, building health into oneself with the purpose of liberty from the suffocation of selfishness is true generosity of spirit to others.
Where The Spirit of The Lord is, there is freedom
We are set free by the Spirit through knowing the truth of how he loves us and how we are made with all of our gifts, personality traits, etc., we are his Beloved, his inheritance, his treasure…let’s explore the wide open space of this reality.
Father God has dreamed a dream of you, why not invest time and energy in discovering all that he has intended for you?