Who am I

"I can't walk. I always have to share. My legs hurt. I can't bend my knee. Sisters are always mean to me. She called me a baby…." On and on and on the saga continues and I want to scream. God, help me know what to do. This is when I am most attentively listening for His answer and truly expect His reply in direction. In my reading this week, I realized I need the answer to a much bigger, important question, God, help me understand who I am. This prayer is far less frequent that the prior almost daily prayer. Since I don't usually ask God to reveal this to me, without invitation, the world provides a multitude of answers: Your skin is dull; eat this super food for radiant skin. You need to lose weight; crossfit will shed the pounds. You're angry; take a time out. You're overworked; have a glass of wine. You are better than this; give Mr. Difficult an ultimatum. You deserve it; buy it. Answers that don't satisfy, frustrate and are at times unrealistic. The prophet Jeremiah says this is a curse and is in fact turning our hearts from God or plugging our ears to God's answer.
This is what the LORD says:
“Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans,
who rely on human strength
and turn their hearts away from the LORD.
They are like stunted shrubs in the desert,
with no hope for the future.
They will live in the barren wilderness,
in an uninhabited salty land." Jeremiah 17:5-6
In contrast, when we ask God to answer the question and listen, Jeremiah says this man is blessed who trusts in God's answer and is living by a stream like a tree with deep roots and constantly bears fruit.
[This is what the LORD says:]"But blessed are those who trust in the LORD
and have made the LORD their hope and confidence.
They are like trees planted along a riverbank,
with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat
or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green,
and they never stop producing fruit." Jeremiah 17:7-8
In order to be confident in or trust God's answer implies that I'm listening to His answer. Listening to the world may sometimes seemingly bear fruit or benefits for a while, but the world's answer is planting our life tree in the desert and the water will run out and the benefits burn up with the sun. This is why we are seldom satisfied. We lose weight or face conflict at work and feel so happy and proud of ourselves. But it is seldom enough. We determine to lose more weight. To change our hair color. To have surgery. Get a new job. To join a new club…
Who am I? We don't ask God and so we inadvertently listen to lies: you are a wife, a mom, a teaching director, overweight, addicted to food, inconsistent, not good enough. All these things are temporary. And while some may be true as far as status goes, because they are not eternal, they are not fixing our eyes and establishing lives based on what is eternal; and therefore I don't believe it's God's answer.
Only God knows who I am. He understands my heart. Listening to God's answer to who am I is planting myself next to the fountain of living water and setting my thoughts on eternity. Eternally, I am beautiful, His child, forgiven, accepted, with Christ, living with purpose, never alone, made new, in eternal relationship with Him, significant.
The human heart is the most deceitful of all things,
and desperately wicked.
Who really knows how bad it is?
[This is what the LORD says:]"But I, the LORD, search all hearts
and examine secret motives.
I give all people their due rewards,
according to what their actions deserve." Jeremiah 17:9-10
God understands my heart in this battle. He knows my heart is sly, slippery, easily deceived and sick beyond healing. I can not comprehend or am conscious of the vile, ill ways of my heart, but He does. And though it may be covered with dark, gooey muck, He can clean off the mire. He answers with eternal perspective if I choose to listen.
If I listen to the lies of the world, I may temporarily experience gain and delight, but it will not last and will soon become pain and curse. If I listen to God's answer, I can experience joyful, rich, meaningful life.
My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:20-23
How often do you stop to analyze your heart? What are you thinking, feeling, believing right now? Does it align with God's Word? Listen to Him and literally destroy the lies of Satan.

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