Performing From Identity, Not For It

By Fabiano Altamura

“You are only as good as your last job” one of my fellow actors said in between takes.  Our backdrop was the breathtaking Greek Island of Santorini. This was my taste of a big budget Hollywood movie and I liked it. For the first time in a long time I felt alive and connected to my destiny.  

When you flow in His Presence: the reality is always better than the dream.  I thought this season would never end.  But it did.  

Throughout the duration of the movie I gradually took my eyes off Him.  It was a few consistent choices over a period of time that took me miles off course. I began to fantasize about a lifestyle of Fame and Fortune, rather than the artist He had called me to be.  

The cast were talking about their next big roles and all I had booked was a short movie.  Insecurity took over and I proclaimed with entitlement, “Lord why haven’t I booked another big film?” Slowly, I began to drift from the sweet spot of His Presence, towards the bitter spot of comparison.

“You are only as good as your last job” echoed in my mind over the next few years.  Acting jobs were sporadic. Prophetic words seemed so far from reality. I had created an internal identity prison and my cell was locked. I’d spend hours on IMBD, tracking friends whose careers were soaring, while mine had barely taken flight.  The more I compared, the more stringent my sentence became.

Fast forward ten years and my family and I moved from the UK to study at Bethel School of Ministry. It was here the Lord told me I had spent the last decade performing for my identity.  I had been burnt by the very gift God had given me to worship Him, so I laid it down in fear.

One day during school, the Lord took me on a profound encounter that would change my life forever.  He took me up to heaven and showed me the vastness of time and creation.  He said, “Son, you are my ultimate expression of creativity.”  In a moment, my identity was restored. For the first time in my life, I truly understood what it meant to be a son.

I laid down what I did, to find out who I was.  When I found out who I was, what I did became an expression of my identity.  Being an actor is that expression. God gives us desires to enter into them, not to be defined by them.

The Lord graciously opened my cell, invited me out and five years later the reality is far better than the dream.

You are The Father’s ultimate expression of creativity.  So, how will you perform?  For identity or from it.