Lord, teach me to live out of my true heart. You have redeemed me, restored me, set my feet on a rock. Sometimes I feel your strength and the right kind of passions flowing in me. Yet at other times I feel like a little kid inside. When [one of my students] expressed her frustrations about [another student] dominating so much of the discussion the other night it felt like a stinging rebuke. “You’re the teacher!” she complained. I felt weak. Lord, I still don’t understand strength and weakness, power and brokenness. You say Your power is perfected in our weakness. But sometimes I think I use that concept to justify passivity and timidity, which You condemn.
The answer to all of this is identity. Identity is destiny. The more you understand who you are in Me-redeemed, beloved, called, equipped, anointed, appointed to a destiny- the more you can abandon false strategies and attempts to be strong, masculine, powerful and embrace the true masculine identity that I give you.
You may need to adjust the way you conceive of humility. Humility is a character quality that I heartily approve of- you know that from My word. But humility is not weakness, timidity or passivity. Like meekness, humility is strength under control. It’s an inner strength and courage that’s harnessed to love, service and a deep commitment to the well-being of others.
Think again of John the Baptist. He had a firm grip on his identity:
I’m the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘prepare ye the way of the Lord’.
He confronted evil and injustice. He preached a bold message of repentance. He was anything but weak! And yet, his awareness of his own brokenness kept his strength from becoming brutality and arrogance:
One comes after me, and I’m not fit to tie the thong of His sandal…..
Lord, You’re coming to me to be baptized. I need to be baptized by You…..
John passionately sought the well-being, the shalom of his community by calling forth repentance and faith in Messiah and His coming kingdom. To use John Eldredge’s terminology, the Baptist was living out of his heart, indeed.
Let Me tell you who you are. The world, your current culture, is indeed engaged in a massive assault on true masculinity. Too many of My sons haven’t a clue of who they are or who they’re supposed to be. All they are presented with are charicatures, from the insipid, amorphous “metrosexual” Pajama Boy to the crude, violent, self-absorbed “macho man”. Femininity or brutality- what a choice to give a man to follow!
Lord, is that the root of this insane debate over which room you should pee or take a shower in??
Of course. Ir’s not about new identities being defined or liberated. It’s about the deep inner despair of not really knowing who or what one is supposed to be.
So what’s the answer?
What I’ve already said: let Me show you who you are. And that means extended time alone with Me, seeking My face, My counsel, My word to you. John spent years in the desert, finding himself in Me. It was after Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness that My affirmation, “this is My beloved Son” was released in its full power. Paul spent much time alone with Me after I called him to a total reorientation of his life, his calling, his very identity.
The secular world’s call to ‘go find yourself’ is not wrong in itself. It’s based on a good instrinct. People DO need to know who they are. The problem is with the world’s prescription for how to do it: to look within yourself alone; to draw meaning and purpose , identity and destiny out of your own soul. That never works. The fruit will always be confusion, dispair, disorder and disaster.
I am your Creator. I am the Father of fathers. I alone can tell you who you really are and call you into your destiny.