Following up on our blog from last week on prayer, Susan and I wanted to share a powerful lesson from Valley Creek Church called The Father’s Heart. So many times, couples forget who they are and get caught up in what they have TO DO and what God wants them TO DO that they begin to lose sight of their identity and purpose. In other words, who they are, and who they have been created to be.
This visual below and the script that goes with it are a great way of reminding us that we shouldn’t be thinking in terms of “earning” our way into God’s presence or in finding significance. We are already there. It is our identity given to us through the grace of God.
God’s grace restores our identity
Take a look at the graphic above and let it sink in for a second.
We call this graphic The Father’s Heart because joining the three rings (Receive His Grace, Enjoy His Presence, and Build His Kingdom) creates a heart. The key point is to start with the appropriate circle.
START WITH CIRCLE ONE – IDENTITY AND THE FATHER’S HEART!
When we receive His grace and accept what God did for us through Christ, he puts his Spirit to live in us. This means we are now a child of God. That’s our identity. It’s not going to change. And because of that, we have a relationship with Him and can enjoy his presence. We can pray to him, talk to him one-on-one, read his word, have a relationship, etc., all because we have already received His grace.
From there, we can spend the rest of our lives building His kingdom.
This is where our PURPOSE comes from!
So, if we were to look at The Father’s Heart graphic above as a script, it would go something like this …
When I receive his grace (CIRCLE 1) …
I will want to experience his presence (CIRCLE 2), and …
I will want to build or release his kingdom (CIRCLE 3)
When I know who I am, I will know who God is, and I’ll know what I’m created to do (PURPOSE).
When I know I am a beloved son, I will run to the Father and spend my life building his kingdom.
If I resist His grace, I will avoid his presence and spend my life building my own kingdom.
Furthermore, If I don’t know who I am (identity), I will have no idea who God is and will have no idea what I am created to do. In other words, I won’t know my purpose. If I don’t know I am forgiven, I will be afraid of God and will avoid him and spend my life attempting things to pay for my own sin and my own shame.
In this life with Jesus, we don’t DO in order to become. We become, and then we do.
STARTING WITH CIRCLE 3
For whatever reason, many of us choose not to go in order and instead start with Circle 3 and move backward. We focus so much on trying to do all kinds of things for God — as if we need to earn our way into His presence. We feel we must pay for our own shame and brokenness of our past and do a bunch of things to become significant.
But the truth is — and we said this at the beginning of this post — we are ALREADY significant!
All we are saying here is that order is everything! We are drawn by grace, not driven by expectation. Identity leads to a relationship, and our relationship with God releases our purpose. You can’t go backward. You have to start with who you are and your identity if you want to find the fullness of the freedom of the life that God offers you.
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Did we leave anything out? What do you think about this discussion on The Father’s Heart? How is that benefiting your relationship with God and your identity and purpose? Please send us a quick email and help us keep this conversation going at Mike@MikeandSusanDawson.com.