Growing up I went from being the loner who mostly kept to herself to being the girl who was consistently in the midst of people. Getting closer to God meant becoming less self-conscious and more sure of my identity and my value, which in turn meant better relationships.
But even as I grew less and less self-conscious, I grew more and more self-aware – aware of how situations and things and people affected me. I became more sensitive to the actions and inactions of others and how they in turn shaped my reactions and actions, both present and future – I even became more sensitive to my own failures and shortcomings and imperfections. I am aware now more than ever that people have the ability to retard your growth and take you back to a place of confusion and fear and doubt, and sometimes without ever even knowing it themselves. At the same time (and what this post is really about) there are people in your life that will, most times unknowingly, draw you closer to God and your purpose in Him.
These are Your People.
There’s a message I heard Kris Vallotton speak once that has always stuck with me, and it was about how every time Saul came into contact with the prophets, he began to prophesy.
The Bible tells us in 1 Samuel 10 that when Saul was anointed King, Samuel gave him several instructions, the last of which was this:
“After that you will go to Gibeah of God, where there is a Philistine outpost. As you approach the town, you will meet a procession of prophets coming down from the high place with lyres, timbrels, pipes and harps being played before them, and they will be prophesying. The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you.”
The Bible continues on in 1 Samuel 19 to tell us that even when he was in pursuit of David to kill him against God’s will, the moment Saul ran into the prophets, he immediately began to prophesy.
The prophets were Saul’s people, and every time he simply came into contact with them, he became more of the person he was meant to be than when he was alone or with someone else. When he came into contact with His People, God’s Spirit was renewed within him.
There are people in my life who are My People. They are people who I come into contact with and suddenly I receive fresh vision or a renewed spirit. Suddenly I’m reminded of who I am and what I’m called to, and it’s almost as though any negative spirit that was once on me is lifted off of me. And it’s not necessarily because of anything they say or do explicitly. Their very presence is so filled with the same Spirit of God that your spirit thirsts for, that like Elizabeth on seeing Mary arrive at her door, what is in you begins to jump for joy on recognizing what is in them.
I think even as I’ve been through seasons of being a loner and insecure, to becoming less self conscious, and now more self-aware, now more than ever I cherish the ability to recognize my people, and to pay close attention to what the Spirit reveals to me through them, and through their actions and inactions.