Henri Nouwen writes these profound words in “Letters to Marc About Jesus”.
“A lot of people have to expend so much energy on overcoming their low opinion of themselves that they seldom get round to asking about the purpose of their existence. And if they do, it is often out of fear.”
He is, of course, correct. Learning who we are in Christ is not only to help us no longer drape ourselves in shame. It is of course that. Beautifully that. But the end game of apprehending grace and identity is for the privilege of entering into what we were put on earth to live out. We may call it destiny or simply living well. But ultimately our pleasure, joy and delight cannot come by seeking after them. They are a by-product of allowing this beautiful expression of Christ in us to be played out.
Reading this quote I realized anew why we are so compelled to promote these truths of identity in Christ. Our vision must be to help others discover what they are freed from, and also to help them discover the wonder they’ve been freed into!
His quote gives even more urgency for me personally to live out of my identity in Christ. To ask the questions that get to form when I am no longer fighting to prove that I am enough, or hiding from the things I fear will confirm I am not enough.
When that game diminishes, such beautiful questions emerge.
“God, who do I get to love?”
“God, who has been waiting to love me well?”
“God, how can I receive your love, wildly and endlessly?”
“God, how do I best get to love those who don’t know you?”
“God, what dreams and destiny are you forming in my heart?”
“God, who could I stand together with in a vision from You?”
“God, who can help me to mature into my destiny?”
“God, who can I help to mature into their destiny?”
“God, what brings my heart great joy?”
“God, what do we do best together?”
“God, thank you.”
I don’t want to miss the beauty of what He has for me to live out. I missed the pleasure of that for far too long.