What defines you?
Who am I? That is a question that each of us ask all the time, most of it is subliminally. You probably don’t realize it but we have been brought up in a society that has a foundation of comparisons.
Think about it, on the playground when teams are picked you probably knew where you ranked in the pecking order. In the class room the giving of grades as well as the raising of your hands to give answers all set a preconceived idea of your identity compared to the kids around you. Have you ever said to yourself “I wish I could be like ________.”? Parents, often strengthen this as well. Have you ever heard someone say “Why can’t you be more like your sister? ”
If I were only taller…
If I were only skinnier like…
If had a better job like…
If I were only smart like….
If I had more money…
If I were better at sports like…
If my ministry was just…
1 a : sameness of essential or generic character in different instances b : sameness in all that constitutes the objective reality of a thing : oneness
2 a :the distinguishing character or personality of an individual :individuality b : the relation established by psychological identification
3 : the condition of being the same with something described or asserted
Identity deals with comparing to something. It’s that something one sets as there sameness or likeness too that defines them. What defines you? What group or category have you put yourself in? The world has a way of pigeon holing people. I lived much of my life in other people’s shadows because I compared myself and much of the time disqualified myself. I lived with shame and condemnation. I remember my freshman year in college. In my head I thought people let me tag along out of pity (humor him and put up with him). I didn’t feel worthy of common friendship. I had been like that in high school also. I look back and have talked about this with some of my college friends and found out that it was the opposite. I was somewhat popular and didn’t realize it. People liked me for me but in my head I twisted it all around.
I have been going through Ephesians with a small group each week. In reading chapter 4 verse 1 it hit me and I couldn’t go on. I had to sit back and mull it over.
In Ephesians 4:1 (The Mirror Translation) Paul Writes;
The fact that I am in prison does not in the least diminish my awareness that I am in Christ! My complete existence is defined and confined in him. The detail of your day-to-day life flows from the consciousness of your true identity and worth as defined in him.
Replace “The fact that I am in prison does not”
“My circumstances does not.”
It changes my former paradigm totally! My identity is in the GRACE of Jesus. it is not dependent on what others see of me or what I feel. It is not based on what the world claims to be important. I do not define me, Jesus/Grace defines me. Paul who wrote a good share of the NT and in Ephesians 3:8 writes;
“I am the lowest ranked saint by far. His grace alone qualifies me to declare thus unexplored treasure if Christ in the nations. “
Paul! Paul who was walking the walk who was moved out of a miraculous transformation, who spoke with Jesus on a dirt road, who wrote a large chunk of the Bible, who did miracles and well just a whole lot of things that personally blow my mind refused to throw his merits out or say “Look what I did!” He understood that what was given to us (GRACE,HOPE, FORGIVENESS) was a free gift that was not connected in any way to performance. He did not find his identity in ministry or some celebrity status.
This is how grace rescued us: send left us dad two words God, like spiritual corpses; yet in that state of deafness and indifference, God co-quickend us together with Christ. Send proof how dead we were. Grace reveals how alive we now are. Before anyone but God believed it, he made us all alive together with him and raised us up together with him. We are co-included in his resurrection. We are also elevated in his ascension to be equally present in the throne room of the heavenly realm where we are co-seated with him in his executive authority. We are fully represented in Christ Jesus.
The Cross all marks mans identity whether they choose to accept it or not. The ramifications of the results of Jesus’s death on the cross give all an invitation into Christ, into sons-hip into the throne room. Wouldn’t you rather have that as your identity.
I can not give a better definition to me then the one that was already supplied to me.
I am going to close this with one of the Apostolic Prayers. Please read it through, contemplate it, and then personalize it by praying it out for yourself (about yourself and your identity).
I desire for you to realize what the Father has given you from his own limitless resources, so that you may be dynamically reinforced in your inner being by the Spirit of God.
This will impact your faith with capacity to fully grasp the reality of the indwelling Christ. You are rooted and founded in love. Love is your invisible inner source just like the root system of a tree and the foundation off a building.
This is your reservoir of super human strengths which causes you as saints to collectively grasp the limitless extent of his love in breadth, in length, in height, and the extremities of its depths.
I desire for you to become intimately acquainted with the love of Christ on the deepest possible level; far beyond the reach of a mere academic intellectual grasp. Within the scope of this equation God finds the ultimate expression.
End Note as I was writing this I had this come through on Facebook I decided to have a second ending.
The gospel is a Person. It’s Jesus Christ. He IS grace. If we are calling grace a licence to sin, we are calling Jesus a licence to sin……wrong thinking