God's Overflow
"For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks" – Luke 6:45

Where are you rooted?

In honoring God’s call on my life to be extremely transparent to those around me, I’m going to share a struggle in my life that I have battled with for years. I have to admit that I’m a bit nervous in sharing this, but I feel that God’s call on my life is to show people exactly where I am, in case He wants to take this to speak to others.

For most of my professional career, I’ve found that my identity has come from wherever I was working. I’ve worked for four professional sports teams and one non-profit music organization, and I noticed that the happiness levels of my life were mostly based on the circumstances of my occupation. Of course, some were rooted in my relationships at the time, but most of them have been rooted in my career.

Recently, I heard something that really made me step back and think. I can’t share what I heard, but it made me take a look at myself, down to the very core, and take a look at where I really was in my life. It made me question if things were really going as well as I thought they were… It made me question who I was as a person and if my actions were really out of love or for the want to be accepted.

For those of you that really know me, you know that the thought was circling around in my head over and over again… when I was walking to my car frustrated, God gently reminded me… “You are rooted in me”. It took me a second to understand what God was trying to tell me.

I look back at the past, and I realize that, in every job I’ve ever had, I have firmly rooted my entire self-identity in it. My life was all about where my career was at the time. You’ll understand as I explain the job and what my real intention was in taking them:

-Frederick– worked many hours just to keep the job I wanted to be identified with, but I was rooted in frustration of not fitting in with the staff as well as the fact that I had a cool job.

– Youth Education – wanted to be associated with the Cadets and Crossmen, wanted to impress friends

– Arizona – wanted to work in hockey and have a cool job that people would be proud of me for

– Seattle – wanted to work in the major leagues and prove to those who doubted me that I could get a job in the major leagues

– Oklahoma City – wanted to head my own operation on the major league level and feel like I finally made it to where I wanted to be.

There are so many “I” and “my” statements in those explanations… Where was God in all of this?

1 Corinthians 10:31 says,

“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

I wasn’t doing any of these for the glory of God. I was doing these things to glorify myself… to prove those wrong who thought I wouldn’t amount to anything… to prove wrong those who never thought I would succeed or told me that I should not work in the sports industry … to those who don’t respect me, no matter how hard I work for it… no, I’ve been working in the career path that I’m in for the glory of myself and the respect of others. These careers were never about glorifying God’s name; they were about gaining respect from others.

Where is your identity rooted? Is it in how much money you make? Is it in your career? Is your self-worth in how big the house is that you live in or the type of car you drive? Is it in the clothing that you wear? Is your identity rooted in the people that you know or the group of people you hang out with?

Our identity has to be in the One who created us. Colossians 2:5-7 says,

“For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.”

It is so easy to be deceived into think that any of the possible identities I mentioned a few paragraphs ago are the ones that we are supposed to be rooted in. This world tells us that we must conform to some type of earthly identity, but Christ calls us to realize our identity in His love, His righteousness, and His grace.

Just as 2 Corinthians 5:17 says,
“… Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person.” That new person belongs to Christ and, therefore, is rooted in Christ.

Inside the lyrics of one of my most favorite worship songs, “Tear Down the Walls” by Hillsong United, is one of the most profound statements I’ve ever heard regarding the topic…

“This life is Yours and hope is rising
As Your glory floods our hearts
Let love tear down these walls
That all creation would come back to You
It’s all for You”

God is calling us to have a shift in thinking in where our identity is rooted. Once your identity is fully rooted in Jesus, all things that you do will bring glory to God. We will no longer be concerned with what people think of us, be it with our career, our style, or our money. People will see our hearts for God, and I guarantee that God will use us to be His “shining light” in the dark world, and He will change our lives.


3 Responses to “Where are you rooted?”

  1. Very interesting, Nick! I understand where you were coming from before, and where you are heading towards now. I am somewhere on the journey myself, and can always use the reminder to keep my focus on God and my roots in Him, as well. It is not easy.

    In fact, I need to be thinking about this about now, as I have studied online and received two Associate degrees, one in business administration and the other in paralegal studies, and I am stuck in a job where no one considers me as anything more than an idiot, and I am made to put up with verbal abuse in many forms. For the first time in many years, I was brought to tears at work last Wednesday and talking to the human resources manager earned me an order to apologize to one of the attorneys who had been screaming at me like a banshee over something that I hadn’t even done wrong.

    All I want now is for them to fire me and that way I can move back to South Carolina and find a job that will use my skills and I can take care of my parents whose health and mental status is going quickly downhill. It is not easy right now, but I trust God to teach me what He wants me to learn, and to keep me moving in the direction He wants me to go.

    God bless us both in our journeys!

    • Definitely meditate on my favorite verse… Colossians 3:2 “Keep your eye on things above, not on earthly things”

      It’s easy to get caught up in the world, but know that God is sitting by your side. He will be dealing with the people that continue to treat you wrong… you’ve already won! You already have victory over them! Let them scream and yell… and you should just smile back knowing that God will be dealing with them soon.

      I wouldn’t pray for a firing… I would advise praying for a way out, but also a way to be God’s shining light in your workplace in the meantime…

      Speak victory into your life… “God, you sent Jesus to die to cover our sins, including the sins of the people I work with. Use me as your shining light in my workplace to show what having a life rooted in YOU is like. Help me show them your love and your grace, even though they are not showing it to me back. Give me that peace and surpasses all understanding so that I can continue to work for You.”

  2. Thanks, Nick! I couldn’t see this the other day, but now I see it and am thankful for your insight. I will pray in the direction you suggest, and definitely be looking for that.

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