August 30-September 5, 2020 – Milton Dalida
Recap – In my last post, King of the World, I chose to follow Jesus rather seek the praises of men. Truth be told, the journey that followed was weight lifted off my shoulders, but not an easy one. Jesus filled that gaping hole in my life when I chose to follow Him. Tennis was my life and my identity. But, a new personal issue arose. I asked myself, “Now who am I?”
“The Guy” – I was happy and flattered when people acknowledged me because of my tennis accomplishments. It was nice to know that my reputation, as a great tennis player, preceded me. You have to understand, tennis was my life up to this point. My identity was directly connected to being a great tennis player. My life was centered around tennis, competition, winning/losing. It was all about me! I was “The Guy”. I still had to choose what identity I wanted to have. Matt. 6:24 says, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” I didn’t want to fall as Lucifer did because of his pride. (Isa. 14:12-15)
“A Nobody” – If I’m no longer the tennis prodigy, then what would my peers think of me now? In fact, there was a time when I was ashamed to confirm the “rumors” that I stopped competing because I became a Christian. “Oh no! Was I refusing to acknowledge Jesus before men?” (Matt 10:32-33; Luke 12:8-10) The thing about having an identity crisis is that you start to compile a list of questions: Would people still think I’m a great tennis player? Would I still be accepted or praised? Would people stop paying attention to me? When I stopped competing, the fear, the paranoia, and doubt of who I was would become present and make me feel anxious. I felt unworthy and lost because my identity would no longer be associated with being a great tennis player. I feared that I was now a “nobody”.
“Aha!” – Then it hit me. When I feared the world, I feared to serve and follow God. Only when I began to fear God, I began to serve and follow Him! When I was afraid of what the world thought about me, I was afraid, ashamed, and embarrassed to follow God. But, when I allowed the Holy Spirit to work in me and show me His true character of love through Jesus, I began to love Him, serve Him, and follow Him! As a result, I began to have a closer relationship with Jesus. I began to rely on Him more and more, rather than my own abilities and my own understanding. Now, in my mind and in my heart, I believe my identity is that I’m a child of God. (John 1:12; 1 John 3:1-10)
Lost and Found – I’m someone who loves Jesus for who He is and what He’s done for you and for me. Regardless of the details of my testimony, or anyone’s testimony for that matter, all you ever really need to know is: “I once was lost, and now I’m found because of Jesus!” (Luke 15)