Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth. Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into His presence with singing! Know that the LORD, He is God! It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise! Give thanks to Him, bless His name! For the LORD is good; His steadfast love endures forever, and His faithfulness to all generations. (Psalm 100:1-5)
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If you were asked to define yourself, what would you say? I would probably answer wife, mother, friend, Christian.
You, however, may say husband/wife, student, athlete, musician, artist, entrepreneur, boss, employee, or Christian. Obviously, there are lots of ways that we define ourselves.
But if I’m honest, most of my answers don’t satisfy me.
It is so easy to get myself down when I think of all the failings and shortcomings that I have within my various roles. Sometimes I think “Wow, I really sucked at being a mom today."
And maybe you feel similar. After a bad practice or day at work, a fight with your spouse or kids, a financial report that's in the red, or a straining relationship with a friend... We all have a tendency to sit in those negative thoughts and let them weigh us down.
But today’s Psalm has really met me in this place.
“Know that the Lord, He is God! It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.” (v. 3)
This passage is all about identity.
Starting with God’s identity: “Know that the Lord, He is God!” It is never bad to be reminded of who God is. He is the personal Yahweh and the Creator God. He is. That is His identity.
Next, the author emphasizes how God took ownership of His identity. He, being the Creator, takes care of His creation. And we are His. He has made us and He has chosen us.
Isaiah 43:1 says: “But now thus says the Lord, He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel; 'Fear not for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are Mine.'”
I, Kate, am His...
His identity as Creator gives Him ownership over me, His creation. He is active in His care for His people, like a shepherd to sheep. He provides, comforts, disciplines. He covers my failures and is glorified in my victories.
It is such a beautiful feeling to know that I am not alone, that the Author of the universe knows me and loves me.
And this is our identity.
We are His church, His people, His bride. And this should be how we define ourselves. We find it easy to "categorize" ourselves as such. Christians. It is much harder, however, to take ownership of this identity.
Most of the time, we get caught up in finding our identity in our many different roles and responsibilities. This usually leaves us empty and restless. It leads us to be bitter, rude, and distant. And by not showing our true identity, we hinder others from seeing God’s true identity.
But this Psalmist shows us what taking ownerships of our identity - as sheep of the true and perfect Shepherd - is like and what it entails.
“Make a joyful noise to the Lord.” (v. 1) “Serve the Lord with gladness.” (v. 2) “Give thanks to Him; bless His name.” (v. 4)
Taking ownership of our identity in Christ leads to joy.
It is freeing to experience joy in Christ rather than the emptiness that comes from searching for our identity elsewhere. This does not mean that life will be easy and happy all the time, but rather that our joy in knowing Him should surpass the sorrow that life sometimes holds.
The Psalm ends with a beautiful truth and promise for when the seasons are hard and long: “For the Lord is good; His steadfast love endures forever, and His faithfulness to all generations.” (v. 5)
Today, I challenge you in that promise. When it seems like you aren’t measuring up, remember that you are His and that He is good. He is our home and our joy. Share that with someone today! You can do so by sharing today's image (or tagging a friend in our IG post - instagram.com/declareglory).
As always, have a blessed day.
Kate, Declare Glory