Follow by Email

Friday, July 6, 2012

A New Identity

I have been going back and forth with the Lord about something lately. As I await His direction and wait for doors to open for ministry, I have been trying to hold on to certain things that I thought I needed. For one, I have continued to remain employed through my ministry Community of Men and receive a monthly pay check. It has been essential up to this point because it was needed income. I am grateful for the faithful financial partners I have had and their giving has served our family greatly. But with that, I have clung to who I was in that role. I was a great advocate and resource to those struggling with sexual sin. I helped start seven different men's groups doing just that. I wrote curriculum books that have helped serve the guys and the groups I helped start.

Lately God has been asking me to give those up. He wants me to wait on Him to define who I am and what I will do in Tucson. As I have tried to make what I did in Minnesota fit here, I have found nothing but closed doors. That's not to say it can't work because I believe it can. It's just that God wants me to not get stuck on that thing, or the things I have done in the past and miss what is right in front of me.

I have been seeking the Lord earnestly about these things this week, and the Lord brought me to a study of the Biblical character Timothy. We first get introduced to him in Acts 16. He is introduced as a son of of a Jewish believer, but his father was Greek. He was well spoken of by the believers in Lystra and Iconium. Paul decided to take him along with him on his missionary journey and so begins their relationship of spiritual father and son. The first thing Paul did was had him circumcised. It said that he did it because the Jews in that area knew that his father was a Greek. I thought that was odd because Paul and Silas were bringing the decree from the apostles at Jerusalem that said that gentiles didn't need to be circumcised. As I pondered this and inquired of the Lord about it, He told me that Timothy was getting a new identity. He was known as Timothy, who's father was a Greek. And that was a stumbling block to other Jews. He would no longer be known as Timothy, the son of a Greek. Rather, He was Timothy, child of God.

It is interesting that later in the Bible we get to read about the letters that Paul sent to Timothy while he was in charge of pastoring the church in Ephesus. A young man with a large task. So much of Paul's two letters were about how a believer should conduct himself and how Timothy should focus his time and attention. He challenged him to operate not as the world does, to not judge himself or others according to what they could physically see (such as circumcised or uncircumcised), but as an example of how a believer should act. God had given Timothy a new identity. And He desires to do the same thing for us as well.

My location has changed. The people I have been sent to minister to are different than where I came from. I am viewed differently. In fact the very basis for the ministry I did in Minnesota was an openness and vulnerability. Here in Arizona, people are skeptical of people that are that open and honest. They struggle to accept them and trust them. So who I was and what I did has to change. Like Timothy, I am having to give up my old way of operating. And I have no idea what to expect. But I know who is in control of my future, and I am willing to follow Him wherever He leads. I will no longer be the director of Community of Men Ministries. I will no longer look to that ministry to provide me with a salary. For now I am a child of God, a husband, a father, a friend, and a pursuer of God's presence. Check back for further updates as I seek the Lord for His direction. God Bless!

No comments:

Post a Comment