Identity Shapes Your Purpose
When Tim Tebow was playing football he often expressed gratitude to God for the opportunity to play the game.
The question often asked was, “Why does he keep honoring Jesus Christ after every game, win or lose?” Where does the confidence, boldness and persistence come from? Tim’s answer goes back to his childhood and teen years. In his book, Through My Eyes, Tim writes, “From my earliest days I can remember my parents always told me they believed God had big plans for me, even though they didn’t know exactly what they were. … That’s true, of course, … for all of us, because God clearly has a plan for all of us.”
Tim goes on to describe what his father, Bob, told him, “Maybe it’s through baseball or football, but somehow, some way, what we do in the Philippines to share Jesus with people [they were missionaries in the Philippines], you’ll be able to do and share right here in America, in ways that we’d never be able to. I can’t walk into a high school and share the gospel, but you’ll be able to. I believe God is preparing the way for that to happen.”
Tim’s Dad was right. Students have opportunity on campus that outside adults do not have. And while all Christian students don’t have the platform of a successful athlete, they all have opportunity in their sphere of influence.
Tim goes on to say, “… we need to strive to use our gifts and abilities fully and to the best of our ability for whatever He does have in store for us, when ever the time comes. I was beginning to see more clearly that God always has his hand on us – preparing us for His purposes. And I began to see that as not only a great blessing and promise, but a great responsibility.”
If you’re a student maybe you have thought that being at your school, day after day, is more of a drudgery then a blessing. But what if every time you walked on your school campus you saw yourself stepping right into the middle of God’s purpose for you personally? Purpose gives enormous confidence and focus. And knowing who we are, our identity, gives an unwavering sense of destiny that results in passion and persistence (Ephesians 2:10 & 2 Corinthians 5:20).
The campuses of America and the world will be influenced for good by students who know who they are because of their relationship with Jesus Christ.
And it will be adults who keep believing in them and encouraging them that will help them finish strong.
Tim writes, “That’s a great blessing to give to a child [or teenager]. To remind them, pray for them, and assure them that God has a great plan – in His terms and for His purposes – for their lives.”
You can be confident that God has a plan for you, whether it’s through the visibility of being a celebrity like Tim Tebow, or, like most of us, sitting in the corner of our classroom at school. Both are equally important to God. Let’s be passionate about the one purpose that really matters – being God’s voice and hands to the people around us, so that every person has the opportunity to know Jesus Christ and spend eternity with Him.
Quotes from Through My Eyes by Tim Tebow with Nathan Whitaker. Published by HarperCollins Publishers. Copyright 2013