“But by the Grace of God,
I am what I am…”
1 Corinthians 15:10
I keep a list in my journal which I have entitled “I am…” I add to the list as I read God’s word and come across verses that remind me of who “I am” as a child of God. Sometimes during my quiet time, especially when I am feeling less than significant, I turn to the list and read aloud, taking time to grasp the meaning of each phrase as it pertains to my relationship with my Heavenly Father. No circumstance will ever change the way He feels about me. By reminding myself of who I am in Christ, I am encouraged, inspired and energized to begin my day living out the divine purpose for which I was created.
…and so are YOU!
The beauty of the list is that it is not unique to me. Anyone who is a child of God is included in these promises. He cares about EACH of His children the same way. Below are a few items on the list. Read them out loud to yourself as His child, taking time to absorb the significance of each phrase. Before you read each phrase, repeat the words, “I am…” to personalize them to your relationship with your Heavenly Father. These promises capture a glimpse of the essence of how God feels about you, and they are all found in His word.
- Created for a unique and special purpose
- Fearfully and Wonderfully made
- A unique workmanship hand crafted by God
- A precious and treasured possession of my Heavenly Father
- Secure in Him
- A Child of the King of Kings
- Ransomed, Redeemed and Saved by Grace
- Shielded and Protected by God and His Angels
- Bought with a price
- Accepted in His Son
- Surrounded by God
- Engraved upon His hand
- The apple of His eye
- Quieted and Comforted With His Love
- Rejoiced over with joyful singing
- The one in whom God takes Great Delight
- Chosen by the God of the Universe
- Gently Led by God
- Loved Eternally by my Heavenly Father
“See I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;” Isaiah 49:16
Go in confidence and grace—no rushing, no frantic escape.
There’s no need to be anxious—the Eternal One goes before and behind you.
The God of Israel paves the way with assurance and strength.
He watches your back.
Isaiah 52:12 (VOICE)
“Our yesterdays present irreparable things to us; it is true that we have lost opportunities which will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ. Leave the Irreparable Past in His hands, and step out into the Irresistible Future with Him.” (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (1956). Section “December 31”).
God is the God of your yesterdays, your todays, and your tomorrows. Often memories of the past keep you from fully experiencing God’s grace and joy for today. It’s possible that you are longing for days gone by because they were happier times (the good ‘ole days), or it could be that you are wallowing in the junkyard of past memories, allowing the blunders of the past to overshadow God’s blessing for today. In either case, you are stuck in the quicksand of yesterday, and you can’t move into the future that God has in store.
Just remember, that God’s got your back! He’s your rear guard, and His hand can reach back into your past and settle any claims against your conscience. He can use yesterday’s mistakes and turn them into today’s ministry of growth for your future. He has a grand plan for your life, so let the past rest in God’s sweet embrace. He’s paving the way ahead with assurance and strength, so step confidently into your irresistible future with Him! “And He will be leading you. He’ll be with you, and He’ll never fail you or abandon you. So don’t be afraid!” Deuteronomy 31:8 (VOICE)
“We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful
when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan.”
Romans 8:28 (VOICE)
What an amazing vision of your future ~ the overwhelming hardships you have experienced could very well be preparing you for your “extraordinary destiny!” God promises His children that He can use everything to work toward something good and beautiful if we live according to His plan ~ Yes, He can even use the bad, ugly, painful, and heartbreaking things that happen to us.
When you completely trust God… and not in life’s treasures…you allow the Master Craftsman to use each event in your life to create a glorious masterpiece. Like threads in a tapestry, He can weave your defeats, your struggles, your heartache, your pain, your loss, your trials, your rejection, and even your shameful mistakes into a rich, beautiful, one-of-a-kind design.
No one else has walked in your shoes. Your experiences are completely unique to you. Will you accept God’s invitation to launch into your extraordinary destiny by allowing Him to orchestrate something good and beautiful from your personal life experiences?
- “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
- “Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.” Isaiah 38:17 (NIV)
- “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20
“While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, ‘Simon, three men are looking for you.
So get up and go downstairs.
Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.'”
Acts 10:19 – 20 (NIV)
Has God given you a vision or dream for your life? Has He gently whispered His plans for your future? What are you doing about it right now?
Like Peter, God may be telling you to stop thinking about the vision and start doing something about it. The Holy Spirit instructed Peter to “get up and go” without any hesitation, fear, doubt or second-guessing. Do you feel God nudging you into action today? Is it time to take the first step ~ or leap ~ toward making the dream a reality?
You can be confident that if God has given you the vision, He will give you the provision and wisdom to successfully bring it to fruition. If you feel inadequate to accomplish His plans, you can rest in God’s promise that where you have weaknesses, you are strong in the grace of Jesus. So take that first step and pray for supplies of divine strength and grace to fulfill His vision for your life.
Stop thinking…start doing….get up and go!
“Each time He said, ‘No. But I am with you; that is all you need. My power shows up best in weak people.’
Now I am glad to boast about how weak I am;
I am glad to be a living demonstration of Christ’s power, instead of showing off my own power and abilities.”
2 Corinthians 12:9 (TLB)
“And don’t be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else.
Where you are right now is God’s place for you.
Live and obey and love and believe right there.”
1 Corinthians 7:17a (MSG)
In most parts of the world, a limb cut from a tree will not continue to grow and thrive. But in the fertile, tropical rain forest region of Central America, the growing conditions are so perfect that even limbs used as fence posts will sprout roots and produce new limbs! Eventually these “Living Fences” begin to look like groves of trees, growing in perfect alignment.
In the same way, God wants to use your life right where you are planted, and He has specifically placed you where you are at this moment in time for a special reason. Don’t miss out on the great opportunities to serve Him right where you live! We often feel strapped to our life’s obligations, and we are so concerned about what we could be doing if we were someplace else, but you can do God’s work and have a tremendous impact on others in your current sphere of influence. You are uniquely positioned to influence those around you in your home, your workplace, your community, your school, your team, your neighborhood, etc… You don’t have to be in full-time ministry or ship off to a foreign mission field to serve others. Live out each day of your life as your ministry, wherever you are and whatever you are doing. Ask God to open your eyes and show you new and creative ways to serve Him. Be like the “Living Fence,” and live and obey and love and believe right there ~ Bloom where you are planted!
Let your roots grow down into Him and draw up nourishment from Him,
so you will grow in faith, strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught.
Let your lives overflow with thanksgiving for all he has done.
Colossians 2:6 – 7 (NLT)
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him.
The Lord does not look at the things people look at.
People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7
On a recent trip to Costa Rica, I was awakened each morning at dawn to an exquisite sound…the beautiful song of the Clay-colored Thrush. Before I ever spotted one of these birds, I was mesmerized by its beautiful serenade. And when I finally saw one of them, I was surprised by its bland appearance, and I was even more surprised when I learned that this plain-looking bird is the national bird of Costa Rica! In a country full of flashy and iconic birds – such as the macaw, toucan and motmot – why in the world would a tawny-brown bird that blends into the scenery be chosen as their national bird? But then when I connected this ordinary bird with its ethereal song, it became extraordinary in my sight.
The Clay-colored Thrush has achieved national bird status not by being showy, strong, colorful, huge or any other superlative. This common bird gained its status by simply using its God-given talent of singing its beautiful song. It has a tendency to live close to humans and is widespread throughout the country of Costa Rica, so each day its residents are all awakened by the same lovely sound – a rich, enchanting call which unifies the entire nation – making it an excellent choice for a national bird!
This ordinary bird is a great example of how God uses ordinary people for extraordinary purposes. God knows what’s in our hearts, and He’s not concerned with outward appearances. Most people spend hours each week maintaining their outward appearance, but they spend very little time developing their inward character and seeking out God’s purpose for their lives. Samuel almost overlooked David as God’s choice to be king of Israel, because he was young with a ruddy complexion, and he did not have the outward regal appearance of a future king. Not everyone is destined to become a king, but God has designed each one of us with a unique and meaningful purpose in mind. Live your life the Clay-colored Thrush — use your God-given talents and “sing your life song” to make an impact in the lives of those around you. Don’t let any excuses (such as your age, physical abilities, or outward appearance) stop you from fulfilling the extraordinary purpose for which you were designed!
“The LORD says, ‘I will guide you along the BEST pathway for your life.
I will advise you and watch over you.'”
Psalm 32:8 (NLT)
Are you facing a major decision in your life? Do you feel overwhelmed and mentally exhausted with weighing all the pros and cons of each possible scenario? Is every thought interwoven with a thread of uncertainty?
Wouldn’t it be an incredible feeling to know with absolute certainty that you are moving in the right direction? Imagine the relief of not questioning each step you make, worried that you might be heading in a trajectory that is completely away from where you should be going with your life.
You can relax and rest in God’s promise to you: Your Heavenly Father will guide you along the BEST pathway for your life, and He will advise you and watch over you along the way. Here’s a simple prayer that you can pray to God right now: “Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you” Psalm 25:4-5 (NLT).
While you are listening for God’s answer, spend time alone with Him, free of distractions and away from your daily routine. Often His answer comes in a gentle whisper to your spirit, and the “noise” in your life can drown out His voice. Place all your hope in the One who has written every chapter of your life, the One who has your name inscribed on His palms, the One who knows the desires of your heart, and the One who knows the reason for which you were created.
Allow Him to show you the best pathway for your life and trust that He will watch over you every step of the way.