On Saturday, February 24th we invited Pastor Chris Estrada to The Elevation Talk Show to speak to us on being a “History Maker with a Kingdom Identity.” Pastor Chris Estrada developed “The Circle” – a 12-month leadership and character intensive for Pastors, and he also hosts the “National Youth Leader Experience,” a leadership conference attended by Pastors and Leaders internationally. Pastor Chris has a voice impacting generations, and is empowering risk takers and dreamers who desire turn-arounds.
In our visit with Pastor Chris we discussed knowing who our identity is in Christ and what that means for us as followers. The number one questions for any risk taker or dreamer to ask themselves would be number one, “Who am I?” The second, “What is my purpose.” So many people in society today, are not asking this question, or are and just don’t know the answer. However, in knowing who we are, and what our purpose is, we will then know who we are called to be.
Many time’s in life, we experience times where we don’t feel “good enough.” Like we are trying to reach a goal or place in our lives, yet we are just not getting there. This can especially happen in ministry, when one may feel called to a certain level of leadership – yet, they are so very far away. It is in these times, of feeling inadequate or like we haven’t yet achieved our destiny, that we feel overlooked. It is very easy to feel like our development should be in the spotlight, but the truth is… Our time of development is meant to take place in a hidden season. The way that God develops us is in a flawless process, and there is so much power in the time of our hiddenness. Truthfully, our season of hiddenness is so essential to our identity. It is in that time and season, that we are being built, pruned, and empowered. God ambushes our hearts, meets us in our broken places, comes into our darkness, and brings his unfailing light. “Hidden seasons are sacred seasons…” –Pastor Chris Estrada
Let’s take a look at Jesus… Jesus lived for 33 years. Prior to his public ministry, we don’t know very much about him. Out of 33 years, we only know in great detail roughly 3 of them. Therefore, this reveals to us that only 10% of Jesus’ life was lived publicly. 90% of Jesus’ life was lived in hiddenness. However, with only 10% public living, and 90% hiddenness, his life was 100% indestructible. Jesus focused on BEING instead of DOING.
It is okay to have dreams, goals, aspirations, and it is okay to have the desire and calling to reach people all over the world. But seasons of preparation and hiddenness are essential to our walk and calling. By obtaining promotion, the enemy will use the tactic of premature promotion to destroy us. When we get discovered right away, before completely finding our Kingdom identity, it creates too much – too fast. It is also seasons such as the hidden ones, that allow us to have reflection later on, on where all God has brought us from and it is able to serve as a reminder of what can’t God do?
During our season of preparation, God is able to get into our dark hidden places. Jesus is not afraid of our mess, mayhem, dirt, muck, or crazy. He loves us so dearly, that He comes into those places and is able to heal us, shape us, and mold us. Therefore when our time for platform, discovery, and promotion come – we have been fully equipped. When the tests and trials come, and they will absolutely come. We will not burst under pressure, but rather be squeezed and it is then at that time that his perfect work within us will be exemplified, with Him ultimately receiving the Glory. When we are squeezed under the proper preparation, we are still able to pour out fruit because our foundation was built on solid seed.
“Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad – for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to the world.”
1st Peter 4:12-13 (NIV)
Another essential piece to discovering our Kingdom identity is discovering who we are in Christ Jesus. The only way to truly know ourselves, is to know He who truly knows us. In Jeremiah 1:5 (NIV) He tells us, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Understanding how deeply and wholly he knows us is essential to understanding how much we must know Him. Before we can truly know who we are, and who we are called to be, we must first know who we are in Him.
In Matthew 16, we witness an exchange between Peter and Jesus. In verse 15, Jesus says to Peter, “Who do you say I Am?” I which Peter replies, Matthew 16:16 “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.” We see Jesus reply with a blessing. He lets Peter know that this was not revealed to Him through the flesh, but rather of revelation from God. Because of His faith, Jesus blessed him and then gave Him his identity… “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” –Matthew 16:18
In this exchange, we are able to see both a discovery and a blessing. When Peter discovered who Jesus was, Jesus then returns that blessing in who Peter is. Therefore, Peter was able to truly discover his kingdom identity. It is so easy to get caught up in who we think God has called us to be, based on who we want to be… But what God truly desires from us, is a deep and intimate relationship with His sons and His daughters. In the process of Him drawing us to himself, we find who we truly are – even if it wasn’t our intention. We won’t become prematurely developed. We won’t spill out mess, when pressed. We won’t step out of our divine calling. We will no longer desire the promise, but rather the promiser because we now have fresh revelation of our identity in Him alone.
To hear and learn more from Pastor Chris Estrada, please visit his website at http://chrisestrada.tv.
Stay tuned for our weekly blog… It’s Elevation Time!