Today’s podcast I am reviewing is “The Next Right Thing, by Emily P. Freeman: Episode 154 Remembering Who You Are.” I realize I mention this every time I review her podcast but I adore listening to her. Her voice is smooth and light, it reminds me of listening to a grandmother read her grandchild a book or one of the meditation apps you can listen to relax your thoughts after a hectic day.
The motivation to review this podcast was more selfish than magnanimous. It is a topic I must review from time to time as I tend to be hard on my endeavors and question if I am doing what God is asking me at this time?
Emily begins the podcast stating “Today I want to talk about Jesus. I can’t talk about the importance of remembering who you are without talking about who I am. And to talk about who I am, I have to talk about Jesus.”
“I was taught as early as I can remember that the gospel is the plan of salvation. Jesus wants to live inside my heart. It is not that this narrative is wrong but it is incomplete. The gospel is not a step-by-step process on how people can get saved. It is an announcement that the kingdom of God is real and Jesus is the King of that Kingdom.”
“What does that have to do with remembering who I am? If the gospel is just a formula, then who I am is simply a formula keeper, a rule follower and a box checker. But if the gospel is an announcement that the Kingdom of God is here now and not only here but within me then that changes everything. I am not a formula keeper, I am a imager bearer. Shaping our identity in Christ and determining how we live in his Kingdom. The stories that we believe about God, ourselves, and the world will always determine how we live.”
Such truth in those words. How many times have you listened to a fire and brimstone sermon and thought that doesn’t sound like a loving God to me? Perhaps your view of the Kingdom of God within you shifts and instead of being a loving presents in you it becomes a harsh hard sentiment.
AW Tozer says that “what we believe about God is the most important thing about us.” Emily states “If that is true then a true view of God will form our lives in Him and a false view of God will deform us away from Him. Knowing who I am in light of who God is, might be the most important work I do. As a parent, a friend a wife a writer a teacher a leader this is easy to say difficult to practice.”
“The most profound gift I can give to the people I serve is to honestly, humbly, and regularly practice exposing the false stories I carry and replacing them with the narrative of the God Jesus knows. Scriptures says if we see Jesus then we have seen the Father. If we want to know what God is like then look to Jesus. The power by which we can know the Father and the Son is through the Holy Spirit living within us. That is our triune God, three in one self, always exalting the other members.”
“We have a good and beautiful God who is filled with love for us. Discipleship is more than a quiet time, and the gospel is more than conversion. It is available life in the Kingdom of God and this is the narrative of how we should then live; as people in the Kingdom of God. What does that mean in our daily lives, for our relationships, our morning routines, and that annoying person at work?”
“I want to continue to learn the delicate art of walking with Jesus into the lives of other people. To gently untangle false narratives of God and to affirm true identity in Christ. This is where true discipleship begins and continues. Now that King Jesus has come and his Kingdom is here, we have a new choice, a new hope, a power alive within us. We have been empowered to make God known to the world. Does this make a difference in how you live? In Christ you are fully accepted and a completely loved image bearer and co-creator with him, working toward the renewal of all things.”
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. Romans 8:29-30
I love how she focuses on the Kingdom of God within us and how our narrative of God shapes how we perceive God in our lives and literally in us. “What we believe about God is the most important thing about us.” A.W. Tozer. If we believe God loves us and know he is for us and never against us, then we can show that love to others. Without it we cannot emulate love to others and fulfill Christ’s command to “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:37-39
Emily was very passionate about this topic, not that she isn’t on other topics, you could sense it was meaningful to her in the highs and lows of her voice. I recommend listing to the entire podcast.
What are those false narratives about God that you are carrying around? Do you believe you will be punished if you don’t pray every morning or every day for that matter? Does God look like a warden to you waiting for you to do something wrong? What is the shape of the Kingdom of God in you? If you feel moved, share your experience with us in the comments section.
I pray you have a wonderful week and keep pushing against those false narratives while sharing the love of Christ in you to those in your daily circle.
Inspiring article on how one woman in Ohio is helping underprivileged in her community with locally grown produce. Hometown Hero.
The Next Right Thing: Episode 154 Remembering Who You Are.
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