Identity in Christ: Find Your Purpose

When I was praying earlier last week, God began to deposit this concept into my mind. You can split up this topic of identity into three components:

  • You are saved and loved by Jesus, therefore no longer going to hell
    • No longer a sinner, but saved
  • You have the Holy Spirit, which means you are a servant to Christ, not a slave to demons.
    • You are no longer a slave, but free
  • You are the Father’s child, and He has given you a purpose, an assignment.
    • You are no longer an aimless orphan, but a sent, royal child.

No Longer a Sinner, but Saved

John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16, NKJV).[1]

Acts 4:12: “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Ephesians 2:8-9: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

Romans 10:9: “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

 

No Longer a Slave, but Free

2 Corinthians 3:17: “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

John 14:15-17: “If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”

Romans 8:26: “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”

 

No Longer an Aimless Orphan, but a Sent, Royal Child

1 Peter 2:9: “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

Jeremiah 29:10-14: “For thus says the Lord: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.”

Psalm 37:3-8: “Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret – it only causes harm.”

Isaiah 6:8: “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: ‘Whom shall I send,

And who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.’”

Find Your Purpose

I want to pay special attention to the third point because I sense that most of you reading this do not know about finding your specific assignment. If you have an experience similar to mine, then you know how calling is normally discerned. The leaders at the churches and youth groups I attended generally advised that you should do the thing you are good at (aka go to college for that thing so you can eventually get paid for it. And let’s be honest, if you are a girl, probably get married and have kids). Or maybe God might “lay a specific country on your heart” for you to go do missions.

This was SO confusing for me, and it was honestly detrimental for my spiritual growth. I spent so much time agonizing over what I was supposed to do with my life. I had no idea how to hear God’s direction. I figured I was really good at school, science in particular. I was obsessed with the idea of becoming a wildlife biologist. I wanted to be like the Thornberries (90’s cartoon reference). So, I decided to pursue that.

Well, the next two years would be some of the most stressful times of my life. I completely lost my sense of inner peace, I got diagnosed with very aggressive ulcerative colitis, and I met my now husband (who I became obsessed with, to the point that I went from being a straight-A student to a D student). It was impossible for me to hear God clearly on relationship advice, school advice, or any life decisions whatsoever! It frustrates me just thinking about it.

But I stumbled along, eventually dropped out of college and worked full time. Then I got married three years after I graduated high school. Robbie and I had started attending a Vineyard Church in Greenville, South Carolina, pastored by Billy and Rachel Kent.

And then everything began to change.

You see, at this church they actually practiced the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Everyone there was active in gifts such as prophecy, words of knowledge, tongues, teaching, administration, wisdom. All of it. 1 Corinthians 14:26 says, “How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.”

I want you to imagine a church where everyone brings something from God to share. Let’s say you’ve got three people: Sherry, Joe, and Morgan. All three of them have been praying throughout the week for things to share from God. Morgan walks in, having had a really challenging week, and Sherry and Joe both have words of knowledge; God told them both in their prayer times that Morgan had a rough week. Just that acknowledgement is life-changing. By sharing that knowledge with Morgan, she has been touched by God. She knows that God was with her the whole time. Morgan may have prayed, and God gave her a seemingly random scripture to share. But it turns out that it is the fifth time this week that Sherry has heard that verse! It is confirmation to Sherry that she ought to write a sermon about it and share it next week.

Sherry has a prophecy for Joe. She can’t explain it, but every time she prayed for Joe that week, she kept hearing the words, “Just take that next step, Joe! Just go for it!” Joe cries tears of joy that God would speak to him so clearly. That was all he needed to hear to finally decide to propose to his best friend who he has been pursuing for months.

That was just a cheesy little example of how God can work when everyone brings things to church.

That is how we function at Vineyard Trailblazers. Our leadership team constantly meets together and makes decisions based on what God is saying. Oftentimes we independently get the same instructions from God, or the same Bible verses. We are building a community where everyone is welcome and everyone hears from God, each for the benefit of another. At the Vineyard, everybody gets to play.

[1] Unless otherwise noted, all biblical passages referenced are in the New King James Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982).