Stepping Up for Jesus
My small group is finished until after Easter, so I started an Esther Bible Study on my own, keeping the habit going. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the story, Esther is a young, Jewish girl living in exile in the Persian Empire. She is unwillingly entered into a beauty pageant where the winner is to become the next queen. As the heroine, of course she wins. During her time as queen, an irrevocable decree is passed to annihilate the Jews still living in the Empire. Up to this point, she has kept her identity as a Jew a secret. Given her position in the court, her cousin asks her to intercede. Her first reaction is self-preservation, so she says, “No.” Her cousin replied, “Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14) There’s a happy ending with the bad guy being executed, the Jews being allowed to fight back during the attempted genocide, and Esther and her family being celebrated even today by Jews during the holiday of Purim.
All of that said, I started thinking about identity. When asked, “Who are you?” The automatic response is your name, but if someone were to dig a little deeper and ask for a description, what would you say? How early in the conversation does “a Christian” show up? For me, “a Math Teacher” used to come up right away. It was my identity, kind of like Esther’s identity was Queen of the Persian Empire. It’s a long story that I don’t have room for here (feel free to ask if you’d like to know, I tell it freely), but I lost the identity of Math Teacher.
God used that time to press into me my true identity of “a chosen child of God.” He pointed out that having an identity in anything other than him was to be of the world, not of His Kingdom. He also pointed out that he had placed me here, in this moment, for a purpose, that hiding my identity was not serving him anymore than Esther was by hiding that she was a Jew. The journey to accept that identity has not been easy, but in the end, the joy found in my Kingdom identity far surpasses the fickle security of my worldly identity.
So…who are you?
Stepping up with you in His strength!
Creative Ministries Director