Who are you? No, really who are you? (Sounds like Bill Cosby’s Noah.)
Yesterday I was pleasantly surprised by the number of requests I received of my blog and articles and some of the unusual places they ended up. (Ironically, none of them are “Christian” in nature which is fine with me, just interesting.)
But in the midst of it, I received a question about “pen names” or a nom de plume. I had never considered it to be frank. Not that I really am now. (I have done “roving reporter” type stuff never using my name or anything.)Last night I was joking about it. Imagine all the stuff you could write on topics that may be “untouchable” on some levels. Imagine being in the war torn south during the Civil War and wanting to write about the injustice of slavery but knowing it would be the death knell for your family. Or being sympathetic to the plight of the Jews in Germany and your parents were German officers?
I thought what would it be like to be like Mark Twain, Lewis Carroll or Dr. Seuss (There are many more.) and write under a name because it would affect your profession, your family or friends? I would not pen a romance novel, but maybe a piece of fiction or something provocative like legalistic structures-not very gracious. Or something about governmental abuse or overuse. But really what would happen is I probably would just find myself “over my head” and I have enough on my plate. I don’t need to go looking for trouble.
And it brings me back to “Who are you? No, really who are you?” For years you may have thought life would never change. Never get better. (Do you remember Cinderella or the “Ugly Duckling.”)
You may be operating under a mindset that refuses to let you up, let you get better. You don’t need a fix, you need to be a completely new creation. As we inch towards a new year, the year of 2014, it is easy to get caught up in resolutions and the 12 reasons for change or diet or something like that.
I spent so many years trying to fix myself. I read all the self-help books, “change this-change that” that worked for someone else (Thought they probably made money on the book sales.) and found the struggle intense. Then I became a believer and sense of peace washed over me. But then the lists of what I had to change started coming. Have your read this many chapters? Memorized all these verses? Prayed this long? Wow! “But this is how you get close to God!”
I simply traded one treadmill for a longer one (This one lasts all of eternity!) and the feeling was similar. Failure, discouragement and anxiety. I would try and I would fail. I would put off this and put on that! But that didn’t seem to fit!
And the one day a wise man said to me, “stop trying-start being!” Get off the tread mill and STOP! (Skid Tires On Pavement!) You can’t do this and He already did.
He loves you. He created you. He killed your old man, your Adamic nature at the cross(Galatians 2:20) some 2,000 years ago. He made you a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17) Stop trying-start being!
You are not an ugly duckling or a Cinderella stepchild. You don’t need a new name because He gave you a new name. You no longer need to walk in shame or guilt because the freeing hand of God has released you.
A question for you. What are you basing your identity on? Your pain? Your badness? Your goodness? No! No! No! You want to base your identity on God’s love, forgiveness, and grace to you by embracing the miracle that he can make you a “new creation” in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
I am reminded of the story of Man of La Mancha and the man meets a prostitute named Aldonza, but instead of sex, he cries out “My lady! I give you a new name – Dulcinea.” And he sings about her, “To Dream the Impossible Dream.”
And she flips out saying “Don’t call me a lady. I was born in a ditch by a mother who left me there, naked and cold and too hungry to cry. I never blamed her. I’m sure she left hoping that I’d have the good sense to die. Look at me. I’m no lady. I’m only a kitchen slut, reeking with sweat. A strumpet men use and forget. Don’t call me Dulcinea. I am only Aldonza and I am nothing at all!”
He say “But you are my lady, Dulcinea,” but she continues to hide. He tries and tries to get her to understand. She hides and thinks this is all wrong. That she is nothing!
I have been there. Perhaps you have as well. I kept trying even when He changed my nature, changed my name.
In the end as he dies of a broken heart a beautiful, stunning woman appears. He opens his eyes and asks, “Who are you?”
“My name? My name is Dulcinea!”
Her name meant “sweet one”.
Jacob received a new name. Israel. No longer a cheater he was now an overcomer. Stop being subject to identity theft. Do not let the devil convince you that you are simply never going to get it. You already have it. Hence the admonition to be. You don’t have to try to be a son of God, for you are.
What is that new name that is written on a white stone? Who does He say you are? You can choose to sweep ashes or you can come out of the clothings of the grave and see He has brought you into His glorious light.
Today I hear the Lord say that you are fearless and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:4) that you are more than an overcomer through Christ Jesus (Romans 8:39) and that the world is yours for the taking, for you shall see heaven on earth. As you open your mouth situations will change, circumstances will brighten. Release the goodness of the Lord for it is not the voice of shame but the voice of one who has been received in to the heart of the One who loves you. Today is the day to be, to end trying and despair, to walk and not grow weary, to run and not faint.(Isaiah 40:31)
Even this day I see the tree is lit brightly and the gifts are all there. Yes, they are for you. Yes, they are ALL for you. This day as you gaze upon me you shall see yourself in a different light with a kingly walk and heart that is loving. “Oh no, you say, for this cannot be me” but I hear that this night will be silent night where no more will you be troubled in the night seasons for this day you accept your place, your position and your destiny and the enemy realizes his work is naught.
Today is that day where you make the decision to simply…BE!