Many people I admire have a “life verse”, a particular Bible verse or passage that describes their identity or mission. So 12 years ago, I asked God to give me a life verse. I felt Him direct me to Haggai 2:23. I was delighted, not only that God was giving me a life verse, but that it was from one of the minor prophets (a rich but rarely read portion of the Bible). I love discovering treasure other people overlook, so I knew it was a good fit before I even read it.
Here’s what it says:
“On that day…I will take you, my servant…,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you…”
In the original context, God was speaking to Zerubbabel, a man with a specific mission in a distant time and place. But now, to some extent, this verse also applied to me. I had studied seals and signet rings from the ancient world with great interest during my time in Israel, but I asked God what He meant by “like a signet ring”. Here are 4 aspects He emphasized:
- Identity- A signet ring was used in the ancient world to verify the identity of the owner.
- Intimacy- Since signet rings were worn, they are close at all times and touched what the owner touched.
- Creativity-A signet ring was worn on the fingers, the site of most creative activity.
- Authority- Signet rings represent the authority of the owner. They do this by leaving an impression in clay.
Over the last 12 years, I’ve never forgotten my life verse, but I didn’t feel I was living it out, either. I was often frustrated that I wasn’t “making an impression” the way God had intended.
Part of the problem was the element of time in this verse. God promised to make me like a signet ring “on that day”, but He didn’t say when “that day” was. The other problem was a misconception I had about my calling. I thought if it was really from God, it would be confirmed by other people, and that would be my cue to step up and do what He made me to do.
Several months ago, we began our coach training. A big part of the training was clarifying our own identity, vision, and mission (since you can’t help other people get clarity you don’t have yourself). During those months, I wrestled (again) with uncertainty about what I was really called to do. When I brought my questions to God, he brought me back to my life verse. He showed me that I didn’t need someone else to acknowledge something in me, because He already had. I no longer need permission to be who He made me.
So my mandate in coaching, and in everything I do, still boils down to equipping people in those same 4 areas:
- Identity- recognizing how you reveal an aspect of God image
- Intimacy- experiencing deeper closeness with God and other people
- Creativity- tapping into God’s creative power and joining Him in His creative work
- Authority- serving in your realm of God given authority
An interesting thing has happened since I started intentionally making decisions based on this criteria. Not only do I feel more like myself, and more alive, but other people are affirming my calling. The ironic thing is that I don’t need that anymore.
How about you? What’s your life verse? How has God revealed your purpose? If you’d like to grow in any of these areas, I’d love to help.