Have you ever wondered who you were? I mean you know your name and at least three branches on your family tree, but have you ever just looked in the mirror and asked yourself, "Who am I"?
We talk about being "Born again" and the "New Birth" as Christians but outside of a few surface answers, what does that mean?
There was a movie some time back called, "Bourne Identity". It was about a man named Jason Bourne. This was a man who spent the entire film trying to find out who he was and how he was able to do all of the things he was able to do. He was frustrated because all he had to work with were fragments of information that were in his mind.
I have been in church my entire life and the most common thread I have seen within the walls of the church are Christians who have very much the same struggle as the fictional character Jason Bourne.
They have no clue of their identity in Christ. They are straining internally and externally to succeed at the "Christian life" and all they have to show for it at the end of the day are more questions.
They dot all of the i's and cross all of the t's. They sing the great traditional hymns of the Faith in church on Sunday and all of the contemporary classics in their car the rest of the week just to be considered balanced. They read every edition of Our Daily Toast, Swords of the Father, Ehud's Dagger and every kind of Christian periodical they can find.
Standards and convictions? You betcha Stan! They got every base covered. If it's out there then they have taken a stand against it entirely or justified portions that they allow.
They sign every "Worker's Agreement" form that their church can print out, and show up a minimum of three times a week to hear every word they can about their need for "giving God their all".
Tithing? At least 30% and you would never catch them putting an "empty envelope" in the plate just for appearance sake. No collection counter can ever accuse them of giving the "Parson's empty Packet". No Sir!
The problem is evident. They do all that they know to do and forgive my light tone on effort here, but the answer they are looking for will never be found here.
They have all of the fragments of information available, but the direct answer is rarely taught.
I know this from experience, because this was my experience.
I looked at the Spiritual Mirror (James 1 refers to the Bible as a mirror) and asked myself, "Who am I"?
The answer was not found in yet another sermon series of the "Sandal tracks of Jesus".
I was doing everything I could do, and going off to conferences to learn how to do even more things. I enrolled in webinars to teach me how to organize my schedule to make room for even more things.
I thought that my identity was wrapped up in what I did. If you asked me who I was I would have told you, "I am Dan, I am a ______________!". My voicemail would proudly greet your call with, "Hello you have reached Dan, I am a ____________ at such and such church!"
My identity was found in what I was able to "DO" at least on the surface.
Without the title who was I? If you could take away the "do", who was I?
What I saw was that people who "Do" to the extreme in many cases "Do" to make up for what they are not. "Doing" is easier than "Being".
Honestly though, how can someone really "Be" if you have no idea who you are in Christ in the first place?
One day I was asked to work with an addiction program called Reformers Unanimous. The program did something for me that a lifetime of church had not. It taught me how to really look in the book for real, and defined answers. It taught me how to piece together all of the scraps of information that I had and find out the main answer I had been searching for.
The answer was in something I had never discovered before.
The answer was in my BORN IDENTITY.
What I would like to do over the next several posts is to look at this thing called BORN IDENTITY.
I want to look at the questions I have been discovering the answers to:
Who am I in Christ?
What does it mean to be a Christian?
What does that adoption in God's family entail?
What does this BORN IDENTITY enable me to now do?
I am looking forward to Saturday's post and I know you will too as we begin taking all of the pieces and scraps of information and connect the dots. You do not want to miss our study of BORN IDENTITY!
Climbing with you,