Manufacturer’s Label By Rev. Rosalynn Austin
Knowing who you are is the most liberating feeling. As a person serving in the Kingdom of God it is vital. If you do not know who you are, you are open to have your view of yourself or God tinted by the thoughts and opinions of others. You will not be able to see yourself or your ministry clearly. It can cause you to continually pray for clarity never realizing the reason you cannot see clearly is because you have not recognized God has given you a new name.
In our local Hyphen class my husband and I often rotate ministering. My time ends up being sermonettes. One morning, I ministered on Jacob and his wrestling match with God. I started off by asking, “Do you think it was a fair fight or do you think it was rigged?” I’m not sure if everyone thinks this way, but I’m pretty sure if the angel of the Lord wanted to take Jacob out he could have.
In that moment, Jacob was begging for clarity in his desperation. He knew in the flesh he was not worthy of life. He knew he had used his gift of speech for deceptive measures. His ability to gain trust was used to mislead and climb the ladder by any means necessary. You may have been or know someone just like that. Many have used their gifts for personal gain. It is easy to do that when you do not know who you are.
When you do not know who you are, you will strategize your life to gain an advantage or open doors in your work life, relationships with people and even in the ministry. That happens when we see those ways seemingly be successful for others or when the well-meaning advice of others is, “if you do it this way you can have…..” It is no different than when Jacob’s mother told him to pretend to be his brother. I mean it was at his father’s death bed and Jacob’s trusted advisor, his confidant, his counselor was telling him how to trick the system. Jacob did it and lived up to the image the enemy of his soul had labeled him.
No, it was not a fair fight; it was rigged. Jacob had to fight in his moment of desperation to bring clarity to see past who he had been and what he had done to get to a place of surrender with God. When he had done all he could to achieve his calling, his place in ministry, his confidence in himself, it was then that God could reveal what had been his purpose all along. It was then that God could reveal to him who he was: who he was called to be…his purpose…his name.
So often in our desire to be used by God and the perception of our calling we take the label that we have been given and wait for others to see that underneath their label of us is the person called by God to serve, to preach, to teach, or pastor. Then we get upset when they do not see it like we want them to or, when they do, it does not feel like we thought it would. There is a reason for that.
You were never Jacob; your name was always Israel. Only you could not comprehend that you had only lived up to what you saw when you looked in the mirror or what others saw in you. Maybe you were intrigued by the label the world had or has on you. You never realized that underneath the glued-on label there was a manufacturer’s label carved by God that says, “you are…Israel….a servant of the most High God,” and your purpose is listed on that stamp. You are who He says you are. Once you realize that, your fear to preach the word, to sing the song, or to teach the lesson goes out the window.
You truly become a bold ambassador of Christ, not moved by the words of disdain, or accolades of others, because you know who you are and that doesn’t change even if the world agrees or disagrees. He knows you. You are exactly who he says you are and not an ounce less.
Copyright 2014 Rosalynn Austin
Rosalynn Austin is a licensed minister with the United Pentecostal Church International (UPCI). She is a veteran of the United States Navy and holds a BS in Health Care Management. For over 13 years she has been a leader and trainer in the field of Homeland Security & Emergency Management. She and her husband, Cedric, also a licensed minister with the UPCI and the Hyphen Director of TLC, are the blessed parents of two children. They attend, serve in and minister out of The Life Church of Kansas City, MO under the pastoral leadership of Rev. Stan & Marlene Gleason. More about Rosalynn Austin can be found at www.everyday-hope.com