At the age of 21, I had no idea who I was. I was bewildered by the fact that I was quiet and uncomfortable around large groups of people. I knew that I was fascinated by firearms and war. But, I could not share that passion because it got me a lot of strange looks. Also, I knew that I felt deep emotions, but I did not trust them and repressed them – if I’m being frank. Now, at the age of 26, I have the advantage of hindsight. I feel that I have a lot of advice to give to those still in the process of finding themselves. I want to use this precious time for an honest discussion about finding and embracing your calling in Christ. Figuring out who God created you to be.
The first bit of advice I’d like to give is to embrace and pray in to your passions.
As a young child, I was fascinated by war and military history. I had hundreds of green army soldiers, and would spend hours fighting our battles from World War 2. I would play “war” with my friends during the day, and watch history channel shows about Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, and George Patton at night.
For a long time, I quarreled with myself. My passions were culturally shunned. In school, we were taught that violence was never the answer, nothing good ever came from war. When I stepped into adulthood and was saved by the grace of The Lord, I stepped into a divided church. The church struggles to understand the duality of Christ, who tells Peter to sell his garments and buy a sword, but also tells us to “turn the other cheek”. It was a very confusing time in my life.
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It got to the point of me just not talking about it with people. I felt unable to share my greatest passion for fear that others might judge me – and they did. As my passion for shooting began to dim, so did my passion for Christ, exercising, and eating well. What I did not realize at that time was that my passion for firearms and gun-fighting are an expression of my spirit – a warrior spirit.
It was only in my mid-20’s that I began to realize that this passion was not only healthy, but that I should embrace it. The bible began to open itself up to me, and I began to realize that God, himself, is a warrior. Jesus comes back on a white steed with a robe dipped in blood to fight a war to save the world (Rev 19:11-16). David conquered the Philistines. Samson battled the same enemy his entire life. Gideon took 300 men and defeated 135,000 Mideonites to save Israel.
I began to pray into that part of myself, and I began to discover the beauty of that gift. I realized that I was born into an earth at war with itself – a war between good and evil. I’d began fighting for my relationship with Christ, for the spirits of those around me, and against the prince of darkness – who the bible says rules this world.
The second piece of advice I would give is to take the Myers-Briggs personality assessment.
This exam is on the cutting edge of psychology, and will reveal to you the reason you are the way you are. As it turns out, I was the second rarest personality type – INTJ. Understanding my introversion helped me to learn to recharge, which gave me energy going into social encounters, and my social skills began to exponentially increase. I learned that I needed to developed my oft-repressed emotions. I learned that I need a small amount of order and structure in my life to flourish.
American culture has a predefined notion of how we should all be; We should be social butterflies, act a certain way, and fit into a certain mold. The problem is that God did not create us that way. God has a different idea of perfection than Hollywood does. God creates introverts, extroverts, deep thinkers, shallow thinkers, feelers, organized people, and free spirits alike. His creation is perfect. God wanted diversity. God created a masterpiece with many individual pieces.
Finally, ignite your relationship with God.
This might sound cliché, but it is true. When I am walking lock-step with God, I am in tune with His spirit that lives within me, and full of life. Everything I do comes to life – the bible opens itself up to me, my heart cannot wait to worship, and I can enjoy this life fully. If you need to take the first step towards this, start by simply spending more time with God. Worship Him, read the word, and pray! It’s that simple!
In conclusion, to anyone reading this trying to discover themselves, I would encourage you to embrace and pray for revelation in your passions, take the Myers-Briggs test, and catch fire for God. Once you step into the calling that God has on your life, and discover who He created you to be, woe on the enemy. He will truly have no chance.