Do you ever get the chance to think back on your childhood days, when life was just simpler and easier?
Remember when just about everything was done and in place for you? When your meals were prepared with little to no effort on your end? When your clothes for the day were chosen for you and you weren't really responsible for much of anything beyond the choice of Legos or Lincoln Logs, Transformers or G.I. Joes?
In fact, in those early years, your very existence and self-image were solely associated with who your parents were and what your last name was.
And then something dramatic happened……for the very first time, you became aware of your own existence as an individual, with thoughts and desires apart from the pre-determined boundaries set forth by others entrusted to your care and well-being. You became an individual with a self-determined identity, where you began to choose your own clothes, your own friends, and how you fit into the puzzle of life.
It was at this phase of life that you began to take ownership of every aspect of your personal identity - your self-image, your emotions, your sexuality, your spirituality (or lack thereof).
We call these years "adolescence" - a word that literally means "growing towards maturity." These formative years are crucial in establishing how you will see yourself as an individual with his/her own unique and special identity.
However, as we considered last Sunday, that identity has been planned and purposed by your Creator, but can only fully be realized once you've become positioned in Him through His Son Jesus Christ. Only when we have become a "new creation in Christ" can we actually tap into the God-ordained identity that He has had for each and everyone of us since the creation of time.
Long before God formed you in your mother's womb, He already saw you, and named you, and smiled upon you!
This is the foundation of the idea that God has a word for you today! Why? Because you are His! And with that comes an eternal inheritance coupled with a personal responsibility.
The inheritance of His righteousness that comes only through the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ should not be taken for granted, but recognized as a beautiful free gift that should be treated with care and diligence.
You see, its so easy to get stuck in "spiritual adolescence," in which we never really grow towards maturity in our faith and our walk with God. Many of us get stuck in the endless rollercoaster of identity formation in which we experience a type of amnesia with regards to our true identity.
But when we position ourselves in Christ first, we have the amazing opportunity to experience the "great and mighty" things that God wants to tell us, the very things that are completely inaccessible apart from Him - things that we couldn't even imagine without Him directing our lives!
So, who are you that God is mindful of you?
Don't ever forget that you are chosen and redeemed, a blood-bought saint, holy and blameless, beloved, forgiven, an overcomer and infinitely adored by your Heavenly Father, who has given you a name that is your own, a name that reflects the image of God that you bear!
So be still, listen, and get ready - because God has a word for YOU today!