How do you know who you are? Knowing who you are is not dependant upon your gifting, but your gifting is connected to who you are. The will of God is not dependant upon the things you do in life, but the things you do in life are connected to finding God’s will. When you find God’s will you can do many things, but doing many things will not necessarily reveal to you God’s will. So the will of God is not one thing you must do, nor is it many things. It is discovering who God made you to be.
I have always been a creative individual. When I was little I used to make up songs on a regular basis. I used to build things every day. I remember wanting new wood to build with, but we didn’t have a lot of money as a family growing up. I had access to some old buildings, of which I could get wood to build with. If you will recall my story concerning my purpose you will know that exposing false walls and activating the pursuit of truth is something built into the way I think. I was determined to build something with new wood, not old. I spent many days harvesting old lumber from the old shed and then I spent even more days sanding it all down to make it look new. Once I had all the lumber looking new, I could build what I wanted to build. I didn’t have access to power tools that could plane the wood or power sanders that could sand it, I just had a hand operate wood plane and some sand paper that I bought with my own money. My project involved making the old become new and then building something. This is so true to who I am and true to the will of God in my life. I didn’t discover this for many years, but it came natural as a child and it comes natural in life. This is what knowing who you are is like.
In High School I used to like to draw and paint. I would do pencil sketches all the time. That usually involved a drawing of some antique car that I was dreaming of restoring or of some adventure I wished to embark upon. It could also be a drawing of something that no one else would think of drawing. I remember in art class we were challenged to paint a picture of an outdoor scene. We did a class field trip and all sat down by a river with a beautiful wooded hillside in the background. While the rest of the class was doing their drawings of the river, the hillside, the cliff edge against the water’s edge, or some other aspect of the natural beauty, I was busy drawing a detailed look at the thrown away candy wrapper on the ground. It was an M&M wrapper with any ants crawling on and around it. I was more interested in what was close, but not so obvious to the standard expectation of the class.
There were many paintings in the school that I had done. They were hung in various places. I thought of becoming an artist, although it seemed the only way to make a living at it would be to become a commercial artist and I wasn’t sure that the everyday consistency of that kind of job is what I wanted. I even qualified for an art scholarship, but I chose to take an adventure to the military and since that time I did not pursue art in any form. Was the will of God dependant upon my art abilities?
I was part of Rock band in my High School years. I played guitar and sang. I was not the lead singer, but whenever I would lead a song the crowd would respond in a big way. After I came to Christ I eventually became a worship leader. I composed many songs, but my songs weren’t usually the catchy tunes everyone wanted to sing. They were most often expressions of things that others simply didn’t see. They were often songs that challenged the thought and inspired a waking up inside. I wasn’t the best songwriter or the best musician, but I was a huge influencer in leading worship. I soon became a worship director and eventually became responsible for raising up many worship leaders. These were people who didn’t see the potential that was in them, but I inspired them to go further in their abilities.
In all that I did, it wasn’t about the building, the art, or the music. It was about being able to see old things new, things that others couldn’t see; it was about bringing the greatness out of something for the sake of what is real. I am a leader. I am a leader for the sake of exposing false walls and activating a pursuit of truth. That truth is life! I have a grace for bringing God’s grace and life to the otherwise barren places of the world.
Gift is not what you are, gift is the result of who you are. Don’t look at the things that you’ve done. Look at what kind of function you had in the midst of what you’ve done.
Authority is only based upon who you are today. It is your ability to bring life to the world in which you live. It is true every moment of your journey. The steps you take today affect your authority of tomorrow. Elisha didn’t seek to become a great prophet. He was simply faithful in washing the hands of Elijah. Joshua didn’t seek to be a great leader; he was simply faithful in sitting at the door of the tent. Everything in him wanted to be near the one who was responsible for the presence, the purpose, and the destiny of God in the camp. In my young years I did not desire to be a leader in God’s church. I just knew that the purpose of people is connected to the things of God. Today some people call me a sent one in their lives. Some would articulate that as an apostle, a prophet, or a mentor of life, but I remember simply being a servant to a man of God. To his children I was a babysitter and friend. To his yard, I was the one who shaped, tended, molded and cared for it well. To his car I was the one who washed it inside and out and used it to get the man of God and his family to their desired destination. To his dog I was a watch, a guardian, and most of all – I was a super doper pooper-scooper!
Whatever you do, do it with all your heart and be yourself in doing. Don’t do things to get things. To all things to give life to others and you will soon find the will of God in your life. The will of God is who you are and who you really are will bring life to others.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson