Episode 73 – Becoming the Man or Woman Who God Created You to Be
Join Josh and Kit as they speak with Kyle Bowman about what it means to become the man or woman God has design us to be.
I know Jesus so much more intimately than I did before
Practicing listening well to each other and being honest about what is going on is key
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Original music by Shannon Smith. Audio engineering by Gabriel @ DelMar Sound Recording.
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As we begin today. I have a question for you listeners. Here’s the question. Have you thought about what it means to become the man or woman that God created you to be? Have you thought, have you given careful, serious consideration? If God’s created you, he’s designed you, he’s, he’s ordained your life. Have you given thought to what it means to become the specific man or woman that he’s created you to be? And have you considered what kinds of things are in your way? And if you have, do you know how to remove those things? Do you know how to actually keep moving towards becoming the man or woman God’s created you to be? So Josh Glaser here with Kit Elmer and Kyle Bowman, both on our team at regeneration. And we want to kind of answer this question. We want to get after what we would, we w you know, we, we have opinions about this.
We have a ministry that’s devoted to this to helping people become more holes and men and women, they’ve created the gods, created them to be a life that I’ve lived, have been wounds and had been blessings and they’ve been relationships in their spend forgiveness and lack of forgiveness and ways that I’ve, um, tried to, uh, make myself feel better about my life versus God and how, what kind of scaffolding have I built up? So there’s a lot of things I think that I’m, I was just unaware of. Yeah. In my life. I love that cause we are, we are really, we are so anchored in story. We love stories. I mean, whether it’s the movies that we watched, the shows you watch, the books we read, we are all about stories. Why is that? Because we’re designed for a story and if we’re not considering our own stories and we’re just kind of defaulting to, oh, I think I’ll just be entertained by somebody else’s story.
Maybe even, you know, my kid’s story or my, my business, his story, right. Tell, you know, but I’m not gonna pay attention to my own story. We’re missing out on one of the greatest places that God gave us to actually be involved with the main character in a story. Your story uniquely anyone like us before, they won’t be anyone. Anyone like us again, you know, like, that’s so powerful. So just even slowing down, maybe even getting some help to unpack. What’s your story? What is it? Where have you been? What have you done? What’s been done to you? Yup. Yup. Kyle, what comes to mind for you as in this whole, this whole, the whole conversation about a becoming the man or woman God’s created you to be? Um, for me, I’m just like, just said about uniqueness. Like how do I hit into
the big picture of life and how do I even fit into the picture? The smaller picture of my community and family and w and what does that mean? Like being, being able to know that I was designed specifically to interact with the people that God has placed me around, the family, that God has placed me in. Um, and the, there are not these, um, changes to who he inherently made me to be, um, for me to, to operate well in, in this community that I’ve been placed in. Um, so,
Just being able to accept and grasped the truth that I am uniquely designed and high can flow in that uniqueness and do all the things that God has called me to do in the community I’m in. And the job I’m in, the church I go to.
Yeah. Of I, I really liked that. And I think the question that comes to my mind, um, is when you say that, you know, what, what a great thing. Like how did God uniquely designed me for this time in this place and what’s keeping me from living that way, from doing that, from fulfilling that vision that he has for my life. Just so I have to go, I have to take us in a certain direction here because I, I think is as people who are churched in the 20th or 21st century Western church, I think that there are a lot of strategies to get after some of these things that don’t work too well. And I’m not trying to point fingers at any, you know, anybody or anybody’s teaching, but I, I think that, uh, like I think that this, this kind of conversation can easily get into behavior management.
Yeah. You know, who am I supposed to be? God designed me to do something, so I gotta do it. You can get into, um, I think one of the, one of the prescriptions people get is you just have to know more about what the Bible says, like know the truth. Um, and I think there is, there is truth to that, but I think oftentimes that gets kind of relegated just to simply kind of knowing in your head what is true. Yeah. Even without recognizing the ways that, you know, and my body doesn’t believe that my heart doesn’t believe it, you know? Yes, I trust God in my head. But when, you know, when it comes to stepping across that line or when it comes to forgiveness or when it comes to, you know, opening up some deep part of myself like, Oh, I’m not sure when.
Yeah. So I think some of those, those pieces, and I think also in this extent beyond the church, but I think we in the west, we also, we’re, we’re such a psychological that we kind of think if I can just understand my story, understand, you know, the wounds from my past and somehow I will be healed. And that’s also not true. Understanding itself is very, very helpful. Can really open some doors and, and you know, give us room to connect and give ourselves grace, et Cetera, et cetera. But understanding itself, our thinking itself cannot heal us. We actually need a healer. So one of things that comes to mind for me, all these things is and will, will impact more about even some of how I get this. But, um, one of the things that Bob Reagan writes in his path of the wilderness resource, and if you’ve never taken passion, we want to say we would highly recommend that we offer it in both our northern Virginia Branch and in our Baltimore branch.
But you rights that the goal of our, uh, the goal as we become the men and women God create us to be the goal is not to find healing. It is to find the healer. Our goal is the healer. It’s deeper intimacy with God himself, father, son and Holy Spirit that changes everything. And that’s what path through the wilderness is about with the understanding of as we draw near to the healer, we actually begin to become more than men and when he created us to be. So what do you hear in that and what I’ve just shared?
Kyle: 07:11 Well, I think the one thing I hear is that what I think is the thing might not be the thing. Most people who come to regeneration, they have a thing. Um, whatever this sexual sin is, whatever this emotionally dependent relationship I have. Or maybe I just am so bad with connecting with people in a healthy way and there’s this thing and they come in and they say, okay, here’s this thing and you know,
he helped me with the thingand which you seem, which is great, right? I mean, yeah. [inaudible] is a thing that, yeah, you got get help with things, but you can’t put the thing under a microscope and analyze it and dissect it. Because it’s funny that sometimes what you think is the thing is not the thing. You know, what if you really need to get after maybe some anger and as you look at maybe some anger issues, the other thing begins to decrease.
Because it’s maybe being fueled by something else. And so I think that’s the beautiful thing about, um, being in relationship with Christ is that, you know, you can come with him to him with the thing and he can point you in this different direction and you go, Oh wow, I didn’t really realize about that. And I began to work on
that. Then discreet, the freedom starts to happen in these other areas of my life that I didn’t even expect.
Yeah. You know, Kyla, again, so in past the wilderness, I think one of things that happens for people is, you know, like I’ve come with this specific struggle. Why are we talking about all these other things? Like when a big one, I think that’s a great example of what you’re talking about is the area of forgiveness. So I may understand why I struggle in relationships with men or with women. I may look back at my family of origin and see abuses that were there or neglect that was there, or pure relationships that were really wounding. Now I understand, but that doesn’t heal me. And then, and then I’m asked to forgive. Well what Ha, how can I do that? You know? And I think that there are some, there are these connections that we don’t see, that Jesus sees and he wants to free us when he, when he tells us to forgive, we have no idea what our unforgiveness is keeping us from and how it’s constraining our ability to grow into the men. And women use created to be, nor how, it’s, how it’s limiting our own perspective of who he is. You didn’t tell we walked through that door and then we then we may discover something more.
I think too that, that when you said, what do you hear in that or you sense of that night I sent this invitation, yes. Feel this invitation that it’s not about behave like this and you know, memorize that it’s an invitation to rest, to help, to feel safe, to be loved, you know, and that the whole idea of a relationship with Christ is to be able to allow him to lovingly unravel all these things that throughout my life, you know, lies I believed in wounds I’ve buried, you know, and so, you know, what we talk about at path of the wildernesses this, uh, opportunity to, to enter into this relationship that really is safe and a place to, um, to have these things unraveled into replace those lies with truth and home.
I think that’s such a key thing kit. And I’m glad you said that because I think even as excited as I was to share the thing about forgiveness, I think sometimes what we can do is, uh, w it, we can kind of ingest this idea that we’re a project and that becoming the whole man or woman is the God views us as a, as a project. And one of the things that Bob says in passive wilderness that I think is, so I’ve been tuning this one for the last year, he talks about pursuing God himself for his own sake, not god, and what he can do for us. God’s power, God’s this, God’s that. But God himself. And I always think about that, uh, like standing before the face of God kind of seeking his face. Like, um, which honestly, there’s still places that need to get kind of scared of that idea.
What, what’s this expression? You know, what’s going to come out of his eyes? Yeah. What does it even mean when, what if I don’t find it? And I think a place like path to the wilderness is a place to come. You don’t get talked at. I mean there’s a teaching component, but when you’re in a, in a small group, you share and the small group doesn’t give you answers and say, oh, I know specifically we should pray for our, uh, you know, I, I, that was my struggle too. Let me tell you, you know how to fix that or how to do that differently or seven practices you can do that might help. The primary aim of the small group is let’s bring that to Jesus together. Let’s seek him together from that place. And Man, when, when Jesus shows up in those places who, I mean, it could be dynamite.
Yeah. It really is one of the things that,
I can remember from being in a small group with some ladies and just being able to pray and seal some of the truths that were reveal to them. Um, and I remember one young lady in particular, like she was like, you know, if I had heard some of this stuff years ago, yeah. Like I wouldn’t be where I am now. And she asked, she out loud, asked the question, why hasn’t anybody told me this stuff before? I hear that all the time. Yeah, that’s a really good point. Yeah. And so it’s just, you know, the beauty of those truths coming alive to people and then being able just to bring that before the Lord, asking him to seal that truth within their hearts. Um, so that the enemy can’t snatch it away. That it sets deep roots in so that they know that this is the, the way to continue to grow in intimacy with Jesus.
Yeah. I remember a time for me years and years ago where I was in a, a setting similar to, to pass through illness. And, um, it was a time where there were leaders who were just praying for a group of us. And, um, and I was really, it was, uh, one of those unique moments I was really feeling and sensing God’s great love for me, even though I, I knew and I was very much wrestling with my own sense at that time. I specifically my sexual sense, so experiencing God’s love. And, um, and towards the end of that time, I remember kind of sitting up in my chair and asking God and Response, okay, thank you for this experience. What do you want me to do now? Now do you want me to do? And it’s one of those moments that caught me off guard, but because the, the, the people who are administering just for giving, it’s just space to be, and not asking us to do something and just praying for us.
It kind of took the conversation. I mean, that, that response to God’s love had been something that I, I’m sure I did over and over and over again in my life. K, thank you Lord. Now what you want me to do for you. But that day, because there was more time and there was space, this kind of sacred space they created, I heard him say, and it caught me. So off guard. And I remembered this, Mrs 20 years ago, uh, he said, do nothing. Nothing. I, I’ve given you this as a gift because I love you. And, and I, I remember just kind of an assistant, it was one of those moments where he said something and then all these, you know, scripture passage just kind of opened up like, oh, oh, you mean when, when you say it’s a free gift, you really mean it’s free. Like, you know, it wasn’t payment for, you know, hey, you know, here’s a down payment on you doing this for me later after, after year, it was really free. Um, it radically changed my perspective of God and his love for me. And I think that that kind of environment is, is unfortunately rather rare. And in Christian, in the Christian West, it’s not absent completely, but it’s rare
what you were describing that, you know, um, the scaffolding that we, that we put up. And so God’s saying, no, I’m not adding to that scaffolding. I’m taking it down. So you just receive, and I think we’re just so accustomed to doing that that I’m, I, this is something you need to achieve, accomplish. And so there is an unraveling, like I said before, and unwinding. Like it takes time. It’s a process. I think all of us would say that, that, and I’m still a, I’m still in process of understanding what it’s like to kind of detox from that doing. Yeah, of course he has, there are things he wants us to do, but we’re so heavy on that that we don’t know how to rest. We don’t know how to receive his love. We don’t know how to, to realize that receiving his love is healing is empowering in itself.
That that is as truth and it’s, and receiving his love is, is a different thing or can be a different thing than knowing he loves me and my head. Yeah. And yeah, that’s right. Those moments of, of interaction with him and sitting with him being receiving, it’s a different posture and you hard to download in a, you know, 20 minute sermon and then, yeah. And or whatever. So, right. You’ve said about our programs that um, there for everybody and they’re not for everybody. Yeah. So I think what we’re talking about here, moving into a season where you’re getting after some of these things is for everybody and not for everybody. What do you mean by that?
Well, I think in other words, it’s not like you have to have certain kinds of experiences or learn this or learn that too. To be able to come to this program like it’s for anyone. And there has to be a little bit of a readiness factor. Like, you know, a lot of times people come when they’re in crisis or they come because they’re like, I’m kind of, I’m, I’m despairing. I’ve kind of reached the end of myself. Like, I think there’s gotta be more, but I don’t know what it is. In other words, if there’s a casual sort of like, I’d like to learn something, I like to read a book, I like to learn a few things that’s different than what this is. This is like, are
you ready? Are you in a, in a place where you’re kind of desperate for more desperate to understand a little bit more like w who is God really? And who am I and why is life that seemed to be working? It just seemed to be working very well for me. Um, what’s going on there? So I think, um, you know, that’s what I mean by that. Yeah. The picture that comes to mind is, you know, I was at home and I filled up on macaroni and cheese and now I’ve walked downtown to this really nice restaurant, just kind of, you know, there’s a, there’s a, there is a sample. Nice. They’ve got lots of free samples out and I’m kind of just go on and go, oh, it looks good, bad, but I’ll just pick a little here and there, like, not really savoring, not really taking in with what they’re giving because I’m not that hungry. Yeah. Kyle, what do you resonate with that? It’s, it’s for everybody, but it’s not for everybody.
Yeah. Because I think that, if you had this mindset that everything is a Oh, follow the list kinda thing. You know, if you, if you’re a person who says, you know, all you have to do is just tell me the steps and I’ll do the steps and everything will be okay. but then at the same time,
Kyle: 19:11 that same person can get free of the steps. Yeah. It’s, you know, there’s no one who can’t benefit from this. And, and, and I think the beauty of it too is, is because this is not about drilling down to, wow, I’m so messed up. It’s far from that. It’s really getting to the place of, wow, I love Jesus so much more today than I did when I first came to this path in the wilderness program. And that’s another comment that I’ve heard from people. It wasn’t about, okay, now, Yay, I’m free. Give me the certificate that says I’m free. They were really being able to say no. You know what? First and foremost, I really understand how much God loves me and I know Jesus so much more intimately than I did before. And I think that’s what we want people to walk away with.
Josh: 20:19 Yeah. So listen to her. She, you know, you know, like we’re, we are not apologetic at all. We, we would love for you to come and participate in past the wilderness in one of our, our branches this year. Or if you’re listening to this and it’s, you know, far from when this release date was, next time we run it, we’d love for you to come. We’d love for you to come in to receive spiritual coaching. We, we know that Jesus has so much more for us than most of us. Have. You had experienced his love is kid and Kyle, if somebody is not in this area, what kinds of things would you say? Okay, look, you, you know, you live in Wichita or you live in, I dunno where Juno, Alaska, like if somebody is getting after that question, you know, considering what it means to become the man or woman that God’s created them to be. Just, just one or two things that they might do where they are in their community or they might learn to do in the community, have a small group differently than maybe is typically done that could be helpful for them.
I think I would suggest, um, asking yourself like, what, what are those things that I have, um, just almost despised about myself because I thought they were bad things and not really understanding that they were gifts from God. Um, so often, you know, we feel separated and isolated because of we think we have these things that aren’t acceptable to other one. And I’m not talking about sin, I’m just talking about just some of the ways we operate in life, not understanding that we were designed to operate that way. And so I’ll maybe just taking a look at what has kept you from being in healthy community in good community and are those things really valid reasons for you to not be in community? Yeah.
Alright. Kit, what would you add? You know, the first thing that came to my mind is not necessarily something you can definitely do this, um, with others and with the group, but it’s, it’s, um, it’s a, a spiritual practice. Um, you called the examine. And the reason I love that is for somebody who’s like, I really want to start to just, um, understand more about who I am and pay attention to my life and, and who God is. That it’s a really simple, beautiful way of just sitting with God and allowing him to shine light on your life and you can look it up. It’s easy to find, you know, Saint Ignatius in the show notes. Yep. Perfect. Yeah, because I really think it’s a great tool. I know it’s, it’s, for me it’s been really enlightening and I, I, I’ve started doing it years and years ago and it was like, wow, this, I am actually stopping long enough to look back on my day and notice things. Notice what gave me life that, that taught me about who I am. It made me notice where God was when I totally would have missed it. And even now, after all these years of doing it, I still like as a regular practice. It’s just a beautiful way to kind of, um, pay attention to the data of your life to see God and to see who you are and who’s he’s created you to be. Yeah.
Again, I was doing that again just recently, which has been good. I need to get into more the one, one thing I’d say, and this is more of a recommendation for communities for small communities is practicing, um, listening well to each other and then two and being honest about what’s really going on. Um, which sometimes can be scary to be that vulnerable, but opening up about not just the, you know, the like, what’s the, what’s the crap, what’s the hard thing? What’s the thing you don’t want to tell this group, you know, whether it’s a senior struggling with a feeling, you have a doubt, you have a way you feel about somebody in the room, what’s, what’s, what you don’t want to talk about. And then instead of responding to each other with, you know, Quick Bible verse or the recommendations to take that thing, take that person who shared that thing and, and just pray for that person.
Um, in this way, Lord, what are you doing in their life? Or how, how are you responding? What do you saying to him or to her? And then listening as a community together. I think sometimes God surprises us with, with what he’s saying and it’s very, it can be very different or what to expect, but, um, that involves kind of growing in our own discernment about what God’s Voice is like and what he does and doesn’t say. And it’s a whole nother podcast. But I think that just a really healing, healing place for people. So if you’re interested in, in any of these things for yourself, please reach out to us. We’d love to, uh, to, to encourage you in that way and potentially get you involved in one of our ministries if you are. Um, if you’re not nearby and you still want to go deeper, reach out to us to, we’d be happy to help you as much as we can. So, um, let me just pray. Lord, you know who you’ve made us to be and God, you have not put this far out of our reach. You are very near and so you’ve created us to be is within our reach as we walk with you. Or would you grant us the grace of knowing you yourself, you, yourself, Lord
or do you said, if we seek you, we will find you if we seek you with our whole heart. Lord, I don’t even know how to seek you with my whole heart. So would you awake my heart to seek you? Would you wake our hearts to seek you and would you let us find you or we ask this for our sake. Let me ask you for your glory now and forever.