The other day, I was taking a quiz called Which Biblical Character Are You? I’m not going to lie; I enjoy most personality/character quizzes just to see who I can supposedly relate to. After all, according to the Myers Briggs Personality Type Test, only 1-2% of the population has my personality. Sometimes it’s nice to know I’m not the only one with all these crazy thoughts if you know what I mean. At least 1-2% of the population can relate to me, and I with them! Hallelujah! 😉
But onto the Biblical character quiz…(I got John the Baptist if you must know); after I took it, I had this strange thought, “I don’t want to be John the Baptist…or Esther, or David, or Joseph, or any other Biblical character. I want to be Rachel Dittmer because that’s who God wants me to be.”
Every time I put my kids to bed or pretty much every time I pray, I always end up praying something along the lines that God makes each of us in our family who He created us to be. He knows better than I do; and frankly, I’d much rather Him accomplish the work He’s started and envisioned than the one I have in mind because my vision is so limited sometimes. After all, His ways are higher than my ways and His thoughts higher than my thoughts.
Yet, I started thinking about how often we in the church compare ourselves to those stories in the past; how often I do. And I just had this vision of when Jesus said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan!” I know; it seems so harsh. He had just told Peter that he was going to be the rock upon which Jesus built His church and then several verses later, after Jesus shared with Him what’s going to and needed to come to pass, Peter wants to stop it. I honestly think Peter thought he had Jesus’ best in mind. After all, He didn’t want Him to die. Isn’t that the right thing to not want your friend and the one you look up to so much to die? And yet, Jesus responds to him with, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
He wasn’t telling Peter he was Satan. He was saying that Peter was allowing Satan’s plans to be spoken through him. Satan didn’t want Jesus to die. He knew what it would lead to. He wanted to keep us his slaves forever. God’s plan was to set us free. Peter thought what He was saying was thoughtful, yet he didn’t have the vision God had. He was only seeing with man’s limited vision.
I feel like in a way, when we compare ourselves to those stories in the past, we’re only seeing with limited vision and in a way, I feel like God wants to say the same thing to us as He said to Peter. “Stop limiting Me! Stop only seeing through your eyes and pray that you can see through Mine! That’s not what I have in mind for you!” So often, I feel like we glorify those Biblical “heroes” in the past in the same way that we condemn the Catholic church for glorifying Mary. Of course, we would never admit to it, and maybe not everyone takes it to that extreme, but I just feel like God wants to say, “Wake up! The hero in those stories is ME! Why on earth are you glorifying these people when even they knew that what made their stories great is Me?” David even said, “O my soul, you have said unto the Lord, my goodness is nothing apart from You.” Yet, how often do we put David on a pedestal because after all, he was a man after God’s own heart? I mean, we think God must have really loved him so we want to be like David so God will love us in the same way. Yet, that verse right there has David’s secret. He knew his greatness was nothing apart from God. That’s not false humility. That was why he was a man after God’s heart. He could see himself through God’s eyes and realize that God was the One and the only One who gave him his goodness, and he was going to allow God to do whatever He wished through him.
We forget that God already loves us so much. He said we’re worth His only Son’s blood and while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. We don’t have to earn His love! We already have it! We just need to walk in it and believe in His love for us and realize that just like Esther, we’re all made for such a time as this! If we weren’t or if we were supposed to be in any other time, He would have made us someone else in some other time. He’s the only One who makes any of us great and when we are so focused on comparing ourselves to those in the past, we’re not being wise! He said that over and over again. The beginning of wisdom is to fear God and realize that all of this, everything is to glorify Him. And then, realizing His perfect love for us should cast out any fear of Him we might have when we want to return that love and glorify Him. That’s wisdom-not comparing ourselves to those who commend themselves. We need to stop making idols of mere people and put God on the pedestal in our lives and see how He wants our lives to glorify Him just as we are, in the story we’re in!
He wrote it after all. He put us here after all. We’re made for this time, in this place, and as 1st Corinthians 1:26-31 says:
“For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”
That’s the only reason He used the stories He did in the Bible. He wanted to say, “Look at this guy who stutters. I had him talk to Pharaoh on behalf of Me and made him a great leader of all My people. Look at the short, youngest brother of a bunch of taller, stronger men. He’s a man after My own heart and I’m going to not only use him to kill this giant that all of My people are afraid of, but I’m going to help him kill 100’s of thousands of men for Me and be the King of Israel. Look at this guy who speaks before he thinks. He’s going to be the rock upon which I build My church. Look at this kid I gave strange dreams to and who has a problem with pride. I’m going to allow his brothers to throw him into a pit because of jealousy and sell him and his dreams off into slavery and allow him to go into imprisonment for something he didn’t do, and still turn this story around and help him forgive his brothers and make him ruler of all Egypt and 2nd only to Pharaoh. Look what I can do!” You can do that with any story in the Bible because God is the One doing it! He makes possible what man thinks is impossible! His strength is made perfect in our weakness! He wants to show His strength through each one of us! Look to Him! See Him! Stop comparing yourself to those in the past!
Also lately in the same way, I’ve been convicted to let go of comparing myself to the Proverbs 31 woman. I’ve made such an idol of her at times in my life. I wanted to be her. She’s basically so many church women’s (and men’s- wanting their wives to be like her) idol. We want to be her because she’s the perfect woman to so many of our imaginations. Yet, I’ve been realizing lately that a lot of me wanting to be like her was out of an insecurity of mine that I’m not loved. (As a side note- recently, I’ve actually wondered if that’s why Bathsheba told Solomon to marry a girl like that too. After all, she’s his mom. I can’t even imagine how badly she must have felt after she committed adultery with King David-you know, the one we put on a pedestal- and the man she committed adultery with had her great, respectable husband killed in an awful, dishonorable way and then, the son she got pregnant with as a result of their sin ended up dying. So, she paints this picture of a woman that’s entirely different from her and who she thinks is this perfect woman and tells her son to marry a woman like that. Yet, so many of us base our worth on this perfect, unattainable woman-who had servants I might add. 😉 ) I have often thought that if I was just like her, maybe I would be loved-by God, by my husband, by whomever.
Yet, that’s not God’s heart towards us. Over and over again in scriptures, He reminds us that He loved us first. Before He formed us in the womb, He knew us and knit us together. He loves us. He envisioned us. When Jerusalem was left in an open field to die and saw her in her blood, He took her and cared for her and said to her, “Live!” When Adam and Eve sinned, He clothed them just as He clothes us with Himself and righteousness when we sin if only we accept Him and repent of our sins. If only we own up to who we are without Him, then He can do His work! He wants so badly to show us the vision He had in mind when He made us, yet we’re stuck on the mess we are instead of realizing we’re all messes without Him or maybe even we think we’re something apart from Him! He doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called, and He’s calling us and yearning for our hearts to turn towards Him just as His heart is for us. It is His goodness that leads us to repentance! It is His goodness that is the only thing that makes ANY of us good! Apart from Him, we can do nothing! He’s waiting for us to allow Him to write His story through us! This is our time! We need to live like it and become the sons and daughters that all of creation is waiting and groaning for with birth pangs together until now to be revealed! When we become stuck in stories of the past, we don’t allow Him to write a new story through us. We make ourselves clones, when God makes new creations! This is the time to let Him shine and do His mighty works through us!