January 17, 2020
Knowing Where We Belong
"See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him." 1 John 3:1 (NASB)
"I'm the blue one!"
"I'm the red one."
"No, I'm the red one!"
This is the kind of conversation I overhear anytime my children are watching one of their favorite cartoons, and it certainly brings back memories. My brother, cousins and I used to do the same thing, often getting into heated arguments about who was which character. Oh, the joys of childhood.
Interestingly though, this longing for identification and wanting to see ourselves in someone else doesn't stop at being a kid. I remember days in high school, and even college, when I wondered which crowd best fit me, which label most applied. Was I a cool kid? A nerd? One of the athletes? Maybe an odd mixture of all three?
In adulthood, it looks a little different, but it's still the same. We find groups on social media that think like we do. We join organizations or clubs that validate our hobbies and give us a sense of belonging.
So when I hear my children quarreling about which cartoon character represents them, I'm reminded of how deeply our desire for identification is planted. Just as I do, they will one day ask who they are and where they belong. In our church circles and around Christian friends, identification comes naturally for some, but in other places, that's not always the case.
Perhaps at work, amongst extended family, or at a neighbor's party, we feel that awkward pressure of wanting to fit in. We spend more time wondering rather than remembering who God already says we are. Our key verse, 1 John 3:1, says, "See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him."
Scripture explains so much! God already gave us an identity. He calls us His children, and anyone who doesn't know Him won't really understand His people. No wonder I often feel misunderstood, as if I'm on the outside looking into a room full of people who just don't get me.
I suppose that's how Jesus felt many days, doing the will of His Father while being misunderstood by almost everyone around Him. Hebrews 4:15 says, "For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin" (NASB).
Jesus can relate. He gets it. He gets us! We don't have to search for ourselves in anyone else but Him. We don't have to question whether or not we fit in because we're part of the most amazing family that ever existed! God calls us His children. He has given us promises with immeasurable worth, and our heavenly Dad doesn't lie. He will do all He's said He will do.
In every endeavor, big or small, we can trust His heart for us. We never have to worry about belonging when we know where we belong. Our home, identity and purpose are in Him. Grabbing a hold of this sooner would've saved me a lot of worries in high school and college.
So, the next time I hear my children going back and forth about which TV character they are, I'll gently remind them they are children of God, planting seeds to reassure their future adult selves they already have an identity. God calls them His own, just like He does you and me.
Dear God, I'm so grateful You've claimed me as Your child. Thank You for always pursuing me, even when I forget where I belong. Please help me to remember I am Yours, my identity is in You, and I will receive all You have in store for me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Ephesians 1:4-6, "For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will - to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves." (NIV)
Genesis 1:27, "God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." (NASB)
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REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Do you ever get so focused on fitting in you forget you already belong to an amazing God? What's one area of your life where you need to remind yourself you're God's child and don't need to live up to the world's standards?
Share a truth you've learned (recently or even years ago) about who God says you truly are, and where you belong.
© 2020 by Jasmine Williams. All rights reserved.