Over the last few weeks I've been thinking about the major players in the Old Testament (the foundational figures of Israel) and identifying what it was about each one that enabled him to do what God called him to do, particularly trying to understand how who they were made to be shaped the way God interacted with them and what God accomplished through them. Talking about it with my husband, I said, "I think we need to know which character we are in the story in order to understand how God intends to use us." I have no idea if the following list will help you, but as I've been formulating it it's been a huge help to me.
Read the four descriptions below to figure out which one you are, and once you've ID'd yourself, consider what it would look like for you to fully step into your holy identity.
I'm a Moses (if you wondered). My husband is a David. I am used to being lonely. He's accustomed to being adored. ;)
ABRAHAM//Servant of God, man of the people
Abrahams carry out things.
Characteristics: Faithful, loyal, committed, doesn't need a lot of "face time" with God to trust God (remember, Abraham talked to God a handful of times over 60 years, sometimes with decades in between revelations), doesn't make the plan himself, can follow the plan without knowing exactly how it will work out.
As the first of God's holy people, Abraham is the prototype. Most of us are called to be Abrahams.
Abrahams do the stuff. They are followers and servants.
If you're an Abraham, you'll need to find a mission you can welcome and get busy living it out. Don't try to chart your own course (when you try to do that you fail royally). Find a course and follow it (work the plan). Recognize the high spiritual value of obedience and don't ever feel less because you're not "in charge."
MOSES//Seer of God, bridge to the people
Moseses explain things.
Characteristics: Has a foot in two worlds but doesn't belong in either, finds purpose and meaning in time spent in God's presence, tries to explain God to man, tries to explain man to God, will see God do amazing things, may not experience success as a leader, spends time on the frontier/in the wilderness
Moseses are holy translators, spiritual explorers, poets, artists, and teachers. They lead people to new places.
If you're a Moses you see and understand God in a way other people don't—help them see what you see. Being a Moses doesn't bring many earthly rewards—you'll feel out of place (and small) a lot. You won't have many friends. Find comfort in your deep relationship with God.
DAVID//Loved by God, loved by people
Davids build things.
Characteristics: talented, likable, admired, good at building consensus and inspiring action, often successful at achieving his goals, passionate, visionary. People respect him/her and want to be around him/her. Sometimes struggles with self control, impulses. Can focus so much on the mission he or she neglects personal life, family, health.
Davids inspire people to action. They are capable and charismatic leaders and often seem "charmed."
If you're a David, steward your influence carefully. You are powerful. Use your power for God's glory and the advancement of the kingdom. Make something new. Start a movement. People will follow. Also, don't be too hard on yourself for your indiscretions. Remember, you're a man or woman after God's own heart. He delights in you and is eager to forgive you. You might, however, need more accountable than others so invite people into your life like the prophet Nathan.
ELIJAH//Used by God, bothers people
Elijahs disrupt things.
Characteristics: Doesn't accept the status quo, acts unconventionally, critical, disruptive, doesn't fit in, bold, confident, given to dramatic gestures, sometimes self pitying and pessimistic/depressed.
Elijahs challenge broken systems. They boldly speak out against what they see to be wrong, even when the people who're wrong are the people in power.
If you're an Elijah, speak boldly but first be sure you're speaking the truth. While you will likely be criticized or ostracized for your objections, embrace those consequences as the inevitable response to being who God's calling you to be. Remember, however, there's no reward in suffering for being a jerk. Be generous and hopeful with the people around you. Also remember, not everyone is called to be an Elijah. If everyone isn't acting like you, that's okay. You were made to be an outsider.
So, which one are you? I'd love to know if you feel like these descriptions fit or if I have it all wrong. I have lots of theories about how each of these types functions in the church and which types you want in which roles. Maybe I'll write more later...