Your Spiritual DNA, Part 5: Tracing Your Story
Fifth in a 5-part series that outlines the components making up your spiritual DNA
Your spiritual DNA (the unique characteristics that comprise your soul) can be identified through a series of assessments, just as the makeup of your cellular DNA (a means of physical identification) can be documented through a laboratory test.
To many, it comes as a surprise that you can measure and evaluate the four components that make up your spiritual DNA: your personality, your spiritual gifts, your passions, and your story. Yet the data you collect from those assessments can lead you to determine who you are and what you’re to do.
All four components that make up your spiritual DNA are unique to you, yet the fourth – your story – is distinctive in that it accumulates over time. Your story is the sum of your life experiences.
Your Story is a Unique Timeline
The first step to take to understanding your story is to create a personal timeline. This chronology of events, organized visually, will help you identify major themes in your life.
Building your story in a timeline is a process, one you may need to work on bit by bit and add to over time as you remember bits and pieces or as God speaks to you about your experiences. As you build your timeline, be specific. When memories stick out to you, record them. Their importance will become clear later in the process. In the meantime start with these elements:
- Milestones. Include events, landmarks or turning points in your life (graduation, the birth of a child, job change, a move, a decision, success, or failure) that you look back at as significant.
- People. Who are your influencers? What individuals have had a powerful impact at specific junctures in your life or walked with you during a particular season?
- Times of joy. Big, small, or anything in between – moments of celebration or quiet happiness are part of your story and leave their mark on you in an indelible way.
- Times of pain. Seasons or moments of hardship, difficulty, grief, or struggle shape your timeline and the person you are today.
- Times you heard from God. You may hear His voice in events, people, or circumstances.
The Two Biggest Keys to Your Story
As you take a step back from your timeline and look at the big picture, where do you see your personal story intersect with the story of our generation and the story of God’s redemption? Look long and hard at the places where those pieces fit together.
You’ll begin to recognize God’s hand in the twists and turns through which you’ve come. As you start to see patterns, note this: God takes the events, people and circumstances of your past and uses them to make you fruitful both today and in the future. “The Father will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth” (John 14:16-17, NIV).
Two areas in particular – times of joy and times of pain – are the keys to where God works deeply in your life. Those experiences reveal where your story intersects with God’s story and have shaped who you are. God then uses those experiences to shape what you have to give to others. That’s why in all likelihood, areas of joy and pain reveal who you are when you serve.
Your Spiritual DNA: Putting it Together
The process of discovering your spiritual DNA may seem overwhelming. Yet along the way God speaks to reveal the unique person He has made you to be. As you pull together data from all four elements, you’ll uncover answers to these questions:
- How will you serve? Understanding your personality reveals the manner in which you will undertake God’s work through you.
- Why should you serve? When you enter God’s Kingdom, He endows you with spiritual gifts – specific supernatural abilities to build that Kingdom in others.
- Where will you serve? Your passion is an enthusiastic devotion to a cause or activity, and it creates the context in which you can minister most powerfully.
- Who are you as you serve? Highs and lows in your story shape who you are and what you can bring to God’s great work.
Knowing your spiritual DNA allows you to determine God’s call on your life and the works designed specifically for you… and to be a part of making His Kingdom real to others.
Discover those keys for yourself. Take one step on this amazing journey. Today.