Personality, Talents, Passions

Personality, talents, and passions direct you into who God created you to be. God has innately deposited a plumb line into your being – a plumb line of your perfect created self. You can seek that out by pursuing things you enjoy that line up with His will, His Word, and His Spirit.

For example, obviously, drugs and alcohol may make you feel good, but they don’t line up with God’s will, His Word, and His Spirit. But hobbies, talents, giftings, or the pursuit/enjoyment of, help you to see and affirm who He has created you to be.

For example, when you listen to music, or you participate in art, in mindless creative artistic projects, you check out of your mind and into your spirit. And so your spirit is in His Spirit, and His Spirit is in your spirit. You are united with Him in the creative process. When you finish, you will realize you’ve spent time with Him, spirit to Spirit. It affirms God as the creator in you, and affirms His identity in you.

As you begin to step into your true identity, you may notice some lies and dysfunctional behaviors holding you back. That is the work of the enemy – the ultimate identity thief. To learn more about spiritual and emotional identity theft, and how to step into healing, this article on Spiritual Identity Theft can help you see what is weighing you down.

To read the next article in this series, please visit Spiritual Identity Theft.

The following link will take you to all articles in the Identity Quest series.

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Art of Identity

If you are searching for your identity, here are some steps that I hope will help you. To find your true identity, you have to recognize your false identities, and you need to discover the things that keep you locked into those lies. You also need to listen to your heart, and listen to God. He knows your real identity. He created your true identity when He created you!

It is God’s desire to help you strip away all the junk that’s been piled up in your heart all these years – your junk, family junk, the world’s junk, the enemy’s junk. He wants you to let go of all that. Recognize where you’ve held onto things that block the truth. Find forgiveness for those who have dishonored your identity. And then walk with Jesus through the cross. That’s where you’ll exchange the lies for the truth of who you really are.

God wants more than anything to restore your true identity to you. Then you can be free to live as who you are meant to be; to enjoy all the desires God has put into your heart. And you can help others find the same freedom He offers.

Are you ready for freedom and true identity?

Here are some ways to start listening to God, and listening to your heart.

Exchanging Good For Bad

Take a pen and paper. Find a quiet place, preferably outside.

Be still.

Be quiet.

Take inventory of your emotions, good and bad.

Make two columns: Good. Bad.

Ask God to show you each emotion.

As He shows you, write the emotion, and ask Him where it came from. One at a time.

Forgive or release the person or the circumstance that caused each negative emotion.

Lay it at the cross.

Thank Him for the good. Offer Him the bad.

Ask God to show you what He wants you to have instead of the bad.

Write that down.

Re-check the negative emotion. Is it still there? If so, repeat the process, writing what you hear on each step.

Where Is Jesus?

Take out your creative journal.

Write your negative emotions, giving them a negative visual appearance.

Write your positive emotions, and give them a positive appearance.

Now draw what’s happening that would have put you in the places where you’re struggling.

Whatever the Lord shows you about the things you are wrestling with, draw that, and include yourself in the picture.

Now ask Jesus where He is.

Draw Him into the picture.

Ask the Lord what He wants to show you about that scene.

Thank Him for the answers.

What Are Your Passions?

Write down your passions, hobbies, ideal job(s). Now give those to the Lord and ask Him how to incorporate this into who He has called you to be. If you had a free pass to create your ideal work responsibility, what would it be? Now present it to the Lord and ask Him to open the doors.

How Do You Hear God?

As you go through this creative process, you might be asking, “How do I hear God?”

He’s not going to speak audibly. He speaks more loudly in silence. You would most likely have an unction to do something, or no sense of peace in moving. That’s how He speaks generally. If you don’t “hear” Him, you’d better not move. Or you’re going to have a whole lot of undoing.

P.S. The more you know Him, the less likely you are to feel Him, either. He will use anything. If a cardinal is symbolic for you, He will send a cardinal. That’s an example of the Lord using your environment to speak to you. A flower, an animal, a cloud, a puppy, newspaper headline, something somebody says.

If you wake up in the morning and you focus on God and read His Word, and ask Him to affirm His Word in your environment throughout the day, and then open your senses to awareness of those opportunities, you’ll start to see God affirm what He gave you in scripture that morning throughout your day.

To read the next article in this series, please visit Living out of Your Creative Self.

You can find all the Identity Quest series articles by following this link.

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Who Are You?

WHO are you?

I am always amazed at people. I am constantly amazed at the level of individuality and uniqueness of people.

Even more interesting than the uniqueness of folks is the lack thereof.

Have you ever sat on a college campus and watched students pass by? Can you see the lack in their eyes? “Lack” you might say… they are in the prime of their life, no worries, no stress, mostly living off their school loans or even better their parents’ credit cards. But if you really take the time to look deep into their eyes, you’ll see what’s missing.

Now pull back in your perspective and look at humanity. Lack? Absolutely. But they have nice cars, nice houses, successful careers, yes … but do they know who they are? Not usually.

I have just come out of a year-long career change. I have been in inner healing for almost 20 years. For the past 5 years I have been a pastor in a denominational church. After serving in the church for the past 12 years, I started waking up dreading my job. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED pastoring. I loved teaching and I LOVED preaching. One of the things I love most is worship. I was dreading WORSHIP!!! And suddenly I was dreading everything about my job. I began wondering what is wrong with me?!

And then I knew. I’m done. In hindsight, I realized that for several months I could feel my passion slipping. I knew I wasn’t supposed to be there anymore. And worst of all, my poor husband. What is he going to think? Who (in their right mind) walks away from a comfortable, stable salary and a job where you make your own hours and spend a lot of time just being with people? Me. For whatever reason, my heart was no longer in it.

So, I resigned. To do what? I’m not really sure. But the one thing I do know is that I will not spend my life doing what I’m not supposed to do. And I know when the passion goes, so must the job. Granted, we can’t always love everything about our job. But day after day, I don’t think we are created to live our lives doing things we don’t love. At least, that’s my truth and I’m sticking with it.

My daughter has a chalkboard on her wall and she has written on it: “Life’s too short to pay bills and die.” That’s exactly right. I believe God created us all to live passionately. I believe He has placed specific dreams in all of our hearts, and I don’t believe He would place them there just to frustrate us. So I have set my passion, desires, and energy to find out the keys to life and identity.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “I know the plans I have for you.” That word “plan” means an “ever-evolving process.” To me, that means God has a plan specifically for me, a plan that satisfies all the desires in my heart. I don’t have to settle by living in a cookie-cutter world, looking or acting like all the other cookies!

Can you imagine? If snowflakes are individually unique and fingerprints are all different then WHY would God make His kids all the same? He is not that boring. He is the Creator. So, wouldn’t it make sense that all of His creations would be absolutely unique?! YES.

Let me try it from a different angle. I like to make art. I will paint anything. (I even let my students paint my Labrador Retriever as a testament to our art project that day.) I love to make art out of anything. Often I have made an image over and over to give for Christmas gifts or whatever. Even though I created the same image (Genesis 1:27) over and over again, every single piece of art is different. If I, just an artist, made the same image over and over, with each one different, can you imagine what the Creator would have the capacity to create?

So, I say all of that to say, WHY? Why would you want to live in somebody else’s personhood? What are you missing out on? What are you depriving the rest of us of? I can’t ever know you, if you can’t know yourself. What a waste!

One of my favorite pieces of art is a piece of pottery that I got out of the trash can. The artist threw it away and I happened to see him. So, I got it out of the trash. It retails in his gallery for over $500. I love the fact that it is a reject. If you knew my history you would know that much of my life would suggest to me that I should live as a reject. But I know my Creator and I know that He created me for a specific purpose and it’s good. Most importantly, I don’t want to miss it. I want to know the purpose and I want to live it.

So, I’m going to live. I am going to live my authentic self and see who I turn out to be.

Besides, the artist that made me and you doesn’t make junk. And He has a plan. And it’s good!

To read the next article in this series, please visit Truth Versus Lies.

You can find all the Identity Quest articles at this link.

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“I Am Not Artistic”

I am always suggesting that folks grow in the Presence of God and in Peace by participating in art, nature, music, etc. One client responded with the following:

“I am not artistic and ‘all’ that I am good at creating is food, and that’s not art.”

My response to her is that in her deciding to agree with this statement, she is hindering the Creator from flowing through her in a spirit of creativity. By doing so, she is blocking His hand in developing who He created her to be. We are created in the image of God, the Creator.

 

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