Do you know where the phrase “no bones about it” comes from? Neither did I. So I Googled it. Turns out the expression comes from fifteenth century England. Apparently, if someone wanted to show that they were dissatisfied with something, they would find bones in it, such as finding bones in soup. (Insert gag reflex.)
So, if you found bones it was bad, and if there were no bones it was good. No bones meant you could enjoy the meal.
Hallie knows who she is. I mean, with this girl there are no bones about it…she knows who she is and what she wants. Recently, when approached by a classmate in front of several of his friends, Hallie made her intentions quite clear.
“Hey Hallie, what are you doing this weekend?”
“Do you want to hang out?”
“No. I’d rather do nothing.”
I felt so sorry for this poor kid but Rimmel was quite proud. He said, “you gotta shut that stuff down because a boys gotta know when he’s out of his league.” I think he got the message.
The story of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness is so profound. It has recently come to life for me in ways I have never seen before. Our journey to the dream God has given us can be fully summarized in this story but Jesus’ journey to destiny doesn’t begin in the wilderness. It begins BEFORE the wilderness.
“As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:16-17 (NIV)
“This is my Son.”
Identity. Jesus knew who He was. No bones about it.
Here’s what I know: we will never see the reality of our God-given dream until we know who we are. And it’s amazing the number of people, Christians, who don’t know who they really are. How do you know if you don’t know who you really are?
- You off-road. A lot. God gave you a dream but rather than move towards it you formulate other plans that are less invasive; plans that won’t make you face your fears. Plans that are probably someone else’s plans. Plans that line up with the here and now and not the there and then.
- You are too confrontational or not confrontational enough. You assert yourself to the point of railroading others or you don’t assert yourself and end up being the one railroaded. You’ve found the voice of force to get what you want or you don’t have a voice at all.
- You’re all things to all people or you’ve given up on being anything to anyone ever.
- You hide. You hide behind anger, addiction, excessive working and performance.
- You fear success because success means putting yourself out there but you fear failure because failure means you weren’t successful.
I’ve been all of these. I still battle some of them. Until the voice of God moves into each of these areas of poor emotional health we cannot progress in our dream. It’s fascinating to me that before Jesus performed a single miracle, before His fame spread and His ministry began His identity was solidified. I believe that there are three areas in which our identity is tested before our dream begins.
“If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Matthew 4:3 (NIV)
Mocking Jesus by trying to make Him question His identity, Satan tempted Jesus to prove it. He tempted Jesus to perform, wanting Him to think He was only as valuable as what He produced. Sound familiar?
We are tempted to find our worth in our performance.
“If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Matthew 4:6a(NIV)
Questioning His identity again, Satan tempted Jesus to throw Himself down and be lifted up, to glorify Himself so that others would believe in Him. Ever felt like you had to constantly be approved by men, to prove yourself of being worthy of man’s approval?
We are tempted to find our worth in what others think.
“All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Matthew 4:9 (NIV)
Realizing that Jesus was clear in His identity Satan decided to tempt Jesus with possessions. If He couldn’t get Him to question who He was, perhaps He could get Him to trade His purpose for possessions. Alone in the desert, Jesus had nothing. Jesus knew what it meant to lack. Have you ever had so little you would do just about anything to have even something?
We are tempted to find our worth in what we possess.
Here’s the good news: after being tested Jesus stepped into His purpose.
I believe the biggest obstacle to purpose is identity. We can’t step into our God-given dream if we are addicted to finding our worth in performance, what we have, and what others think. And if we are enthralled by any of these it stands to reason that we don’t know who we are.
Because if we did, we wouldn’t have need for any of it.
The pathway to purpose is an unraveling of false worthiness and the stitching together of our true value.
No bones about it.