I.D Card


“What’s in YOUR wallet?” You’ve probably seen the TV commercial for a certain bank where they ask this question. Most everyone I know today carries some form of purse or wallet. Inside, is usually an I.D or identification card. While we use it frequently, sometimes there are things we don't like to show anyone - like the crummy photo they take of us at the DMV! Right? 

All of us carry an ID card, like a Driver’s License and it provides information about who we are. This piece of hard plastic stamps our name, address, height, eye color, etc. to distinguish us from someone else. But the thing it does not describe is our occupation, or what we do, let alone who we are as a person. Often, when we are introduced to someone for the first time, we tell them our occupation and the activities we are involved in.  We brand our identity with what we do, not with who we are. We have accepted that holding an ID card is necessary and normal because the information is deemed significant and valuable in our culture. Over time we have learned that our ID is something important. We frequently show our ID card at banks, airports, and other places. We usually keep it with us because we’re told it gives us access and we never know when we might need it. 

But what if each of us had a SPIRITUAL ID card?  

In this season of my life mine would probably say, “Sandi Padilla: Beautifully broken...to pour out God’s grace and love to those who need hope and healing.” Truth be told, it wouldn’t have always read this way. 

How do we get to the point of focusing on who we are instead of what we do? I believe each of us wants to belong. To be known. We cluster into affinity groups and associate with folks who are like us. We are conditioned early on in our lives to label and categorize others by their skills and abilities. I’ll be the first to admit that it would be much easier to wrap myself in my identify as worship leader, pastor’s wife, mother, music teacher, Bible study leader, teacher, spiritual coach, or committee member. Those are the things I do and some of the ways I enjoy serving God. And I really am passionate about those things! But if I allowed those things to define my identity it would be like trying to take photographs from a camera with a smudged-up lens. Everything would be distorted and just plain blurry! 

A few years ago, I realized that it was time to get off the spiritual rollercoaster I had been riding. I was tired of judging myself (and frankly others) by a standard of performance. Trying to be perfect had worn me out. I couldn’t do it anymore. I was done. I guess my old ID card had gone through the washing machine too many times and was a shriveled-up mess! Instead of perfect, I knew deep down I was perfectly imperfect. I waved a spiritual white flag and surrendered to the One who loves me fully and completely. I prayed and asked God to shape me and change me into the person He created me to be. I longed for a deep, meaningful life connected to my gifts, passion and purpose without the clamor and chaos of selfish ambition and striving.

Then God reminded me of something. He gave me a picture of how He works. During a time of prayer, I saw myself standing on a giant mirror in a large room. I saw I giant spotlight turn on and move across the stage until it found its way to where I was. A pure, brilliant light flooded the mirror causing the reflection to envelop me. I felt an incredible peace. God whispered to my heart, “Give your gifts back to me and all they will see, is My glory.” In that moment I learned taking the stage, speaking, singing, and using my gifts and talents isn’t wrong if I’m centered in Him. When we allow the loving presence of Jesus to flood our lives, all people will see is Jesus and His glory. 

How would our lives be different if we looked to God and believed who He says we are?  

We are fearfully and wonderfully made... Psalm 139:14

We are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago...Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)

Are you ready to discover the essential, personal, and spiritual I.D card God has given you and let it permeate your whole being? 

Until you and I BELIEVE the truth of who we are we won’t be able to receive all that God has purposed for us. As His children we have been given an amazing inheritance. In the verse I started the devotional with Ephesians 1:12 the word “PRAISE” in Greek is AINEO (ī-ne'-ō) which means to extol, to sing praises in honor to God and the Greek word for “GLORY” is "DOXA" (which is where the Latin word DOXOLOGY comes from).  It means splendor, brightness and the absolutely perfect inward or personal excellency of Christ - His majesty!  So from this verse we discover something special - when we reflect back to God who He made us to be we become a brilliant MELODY of praise that glorifies Him!  What an amazing privilege!  We are a song that honors Him.  He has chosen us, purposed us, loved us, lavished His grace on us and invites us to be a continuous song, a DOXOLOGY of praise for His glory!   

Prayer: Dear Lord, Thank You for loving me and making me Yours. I am grateful for the purpose and plan that You have for my life. Help me to remember my identity and that You adopted me as Your child. Continue to remind me that my security comes from who I am in You, not in the things I do.  Forgive me for the times I have been a people pleaser and focused on seeking after other's approval of me. Please give me deeper roots and make me strong for Your kingdom's sake.  Let my life become a melody that truly is for the praise of Your glory. Amen


Leave a comment