"...Yet who knows whether you have come to the Kingdom for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14)
Knowing who you are in Christ has never been more important. When we have a firm sense of our place and purpose, God can use us more effectively as change agents in society.
Our spiritual identity includes knowing we are created intentionally in ways like gender, race, and ethnicity. It includes confidence about our inheritance and authority as children in God's Kingdom. And it brings understanding of how we fit into the Body of Christ regarding gifts and calling; as Believers, God deliberately designed us to function uniquely with gifts given according to His will (see Ps. 139; Rom. 8:14-17; Eph. 2:10; Heb. 2:4).
If you're new to this journey, it's good to start with a foundation of what it means to be sons of God and understanding the purpose of spiritual gifts. It's also important to connect with prophetic members in the Body of Christ. My own life was powerfully impacted when a prophetic mentor prayed and ministered over me concerning an aspect of my childhood that affected identity.
When I was born, my dad deeply longed for a boy. My spirit absorbed this, and until the Lord ministered to me in this area, I had no idea how much this had affected me. Unknowingly, I had grown up with a need to justify my existence, which manifested in ways like defensiveness and perfectionism. My life was transformed once I understood God made me exactly and deliberately as He intended!
God uses transformed people to transform society. In order to effectively minister God's heart to others – like to those confused about sexual and gender identity, for example – you must first be secure yourself.
Just as Esther was born at a particular time and place to bring deliverance for the Jews, you and I are born into an age of acceleration and harvest. Even as you're reading this, you can rest assured God has a place in His plans for you!
You are not too young, too old, too damaged, or too late to be used of God. God does not need the best, the brightest, or even those who might seem the obvious choice – what He needs is people with a great big "yes" in their hearts.
David was an Old Testament example of someone God chose who appeared too young and not the obvious choice among Jesse's sons. He wasn't even God's first choice for king, but Saul's replacement! Of course David wasn't perfect, either, but what he did have was a tender heart and a zeal to follow hard after God.
In the New Testament, the parable of the great supper in Luke 14 also gives insight. Those first invited to participate in the great feast were unwilling and unyielded to the man's desire for them to come. In response, the man sent his servant out – not just once, but twice – to find those willing to say, "Yes."
Aligning with God's plans for you is important because your will is the one thing God can't change. I once heard the Lord say that theology is not always as important as we think it is – God can change your theology, but even that won't force you to say "Yes!"
"...I will restore to you the years that the...locust has eaten." (Joel 2:25)
God once used an angel to show me that it wasn't too late for me. I've come so recently to Spirit-filled life and ministry that others my age have been in ministry for 30 years, and I'm just getting started.
At one point when I particularly doubted God's plans for me, the Lord spoke. First, He rebuked me for my unbelief, and then told me He was going to give me a sign that He was with me. I doubted even this! But what happened next still amazes me.
Several days later, I took my daughter to an appointment; it also happened to be my 48th birthday. Afterwards, we went to lunch at a favorite restaurant – one where you order your food and are given a number for your table.
Shortly after getting our food, my daughter got up to get some condiments we'd forgotten. Since our table had a view of the whole restaurant, I was surprised when a man I hadn't seen before approached our table. He pointed to the order number on our table (which I hadn't noticed was 48), smiled slightly, and said, "You're not 48, you're 28." Then he turned and left.
I was stunned. My mind raced – how had this stranger known it was my 48th birthday? My daughter hurried over and asked what he'd said. As I related his words, we both agreed that something prophetic had just happened.
Later that day, the Lord explained the message. He revealed that He'd sent a prophetic blessing – that the twenty or so missed and seemingly wasted years (when I had been ignorant of many spiritual truths and not pressing into His plans for me) would be restored to me. He promised to condense and compress the blessing of my destiny into the years I had left – that nothing would be missed!
I'm convinced the ordinary looking man in the restaurant was an angel. Not only had he not been present earlier, but our eyewitness accounts did not match. My daughter saw him approach the table from the opposite direction I did, and she said he disappeared, while I saw him exit out the door! God, indeed, had given me a sign.
If you feel you've missed out, ask the Lord to restore life and destiny to you. Each of us is at a different place in our spiritual journey, so what the Lord wants to show you will be different than me. But God is no respecter of persons. As you press into Him with a "yes" in your heart, His plans for you will unfold!