I have to admit, I love to watch the show "Ask this Old House". Whenever I see this show it motivates me to get off the couch and find something useful to do around our house. I want to walk around in relaxed fit jeans, flannel shirts, and timberline boot all the while holding a cup of coffee in my hand and be sought after for my expertise about construction projects.
Although the best I can usually do is call my father-in-law (Master constructionator) and try to hold the tools and stay out of his way all the while wearing superman sweat pants.
One of my favorite parts about this show is a segment called, "What is it?".
During this segment of the show one of the hosts presents the other members with an item that they have never seen before and they all take turns guessing what that item is. After everyone has guessed the purpose of the item the presenter then explains the true identity of the object which in turn explains it's purpose. Once the identity and purpose of the item is announced, everyone on the show as well as those watching the show begin mentaly to think of reasons why they could justify the purchase of just such an item.
IDENTITY BRINGS PURPOSE
No matter what another person thinks of you, it is your identity that brings you purpose. It does not matter what another thinks that you are capable of doing, it is your Identity that brings you purpose. Who are you to God? Who did He make you to BE?
Identity is the one thing that Satan has done his best to keep us from discovering. He conned man out of it in the garden and he fights daily to keep us from discovering the two things that Jesus spent His time on earth teaching us: 1)Who we are to God and 2) Who we are IN Him.
How long has it been since you heard a message about "Who you are in Christ?" How about a message of "What was crucified with Christ?", "What is the Christ life?" , or even "What is the good news of the gospel AFTER you are saved?"
These truths are not taught very often because these truths are not understood by the ones teaching or because these truths take the control out of our hands and put it back where it has always belonged, in God's hands. If a person who is teaching is looking for control over others they will focus on teaching a lot of "Conforming".
What made the teaching of Christ rub the "religious" crowd so badly was that He did not teach people to Conform, but rather taught people about how to Transform.
There is a difference between conforming to a checklist in order to gain acceptance and approval from a man and being transformed by the Holy Spirit of God.
Conforming is taught mainly because it is a faster process to arrive at a predetermined look or way of service. Teaching someone how to allow the Holy Spirit to teach them to transform does not make you look as impressive to others for the size of your buildings and the niceness of a property that others have been taught to conform into maintaining. Internal transforming is a work of the Holy Spirit and it is something that He alone can do. It starts on the inside and works it's way out and once a believer is told who they are in Christ and who they are to Christ, growth happens!
It is not on any ones time frame and it may not look just like the way it happened for the one teaching. It is through transformation that God is able to reveal to us our identity, and that in turn explains our purpose.
Imagine if you will a large table. The world mindset (What I have, what others think of me, and what I do) and God gathered around a table and on the table they placed a man. The presenter (God) asks the question, "Alright, what is it?"
Significance steps up to the table and proudly says, "I know what this is. This was made to be important and to have other ones like it look up to it with adoration, and once man receives that adoration from others like him, he will find that adoration and acceptance from others will give him intense value! This was made to be significant!"
"No way", Security says. "This was made to work hard and make as much money as it can so that it can be secure and have true stability. Stability brings value and success. In times like these, the one with the most money in the bank is important and has earned the right to lead and his monetary success will give him validation to others. This man was made to be secure in the profits he makes no matter what it takes to make the profits."
"You both have it wrong", says Intimacy. "This man was created to live for pleasure. Whatever it takes to be happy and with whoever he can find to be happy with. This is what brings him value! He was made to seek for love and connection and to be able to find it however it wants wherever it wants because after all, this man was made for pleasure"
After Security, Significance, and Intimacy have all had their contribution to the identity and purpose of man. God steps forward to the table, gently picks up man and says, "You all have it wrong." then He quietly calls Paul to the table from his place in the corner of the room. "Paul, would you mind sharing with these guests what the identity and purpose of this man are please?"
Paul leans his lips close to the ears of man and begins to speak to the man the things that God had spoken to Him years ago after he picked himself up off the dirt of a Damascus road. As Paul is whispering to the man we notice that the man's eyes begin to light up. This is amazing to Security, Significance, and Intimacy because all they were ever able to see was a flicker of light in their purpose for man, but this light was not an external light that the others produced, this light came from an internal source!
Then Paul stepped back behind God and the man stood up boldly before God. God leaned closer to the man on the table and in front of Security, Significance, and Intimacy He asked man, "Man, in light of what you now know as Truth, tell these others who you are and what your purpose is!"
Man looked worldly Security, Significance, and Intimacy in eye and man began to boldly speak...
"I am a citizen of Heaven, seated in Heaven right now!" ~Ephesians 2:6, Philippians 3:20
"I am hidden with God!" ~ Colossians 3:3
"I am an expression of the life of Christ because He is my life!" ~ Colossians 3:4
"I am chosen of God, Holy and early loved!" ~ Colossians 3:12, 1 Thessalonians 1:4
"I am a son of light and not darkness!" ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:5
"I am a holy partaker of a heavenly calling!" ~ Hebrews 3:14
"I am one of God's living stones, being built up in Christ as a spiritual house!" ~ 1 Peter 2:5
"I am a member of a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and a people for God's own possession!" ~ 1 Peter 2:9-10
"I am an alien and a stranger to this world in which I temporarily live!" ~ 1 Peter 2:11
"I am an enemy of the devil!" ~ 1 Peter 5:8
"I am a child of God and i will resemble Christ when He returns!" ~ 1 John 3:1-2
"I am not the great "I am" (Exodus 3:14, John 8:24, 28, 58) , but by the grace of God, I am what I am!" ~ 1 Corinthians 15:10
"I am the salt of the earth!" ~Matthew 5:13
"I am the light of the world!" ~Matthew 5:14
"I am a child of God!" ~ John 1:12
"I am part of the True Vine, a channel of Christ's life!" ~ John 15:1,5
"I am Christ's friend!" ~John 15:15
"I am chosen and appointed by Christ to bear His fruit!" ~John 15:16
"I am a slave of righteousness!" ~ Romans 6:22
"I am a child of God; God is spiritually my Father!" ~ Romans 8:14,15; Galatians 3:26; 4:6
"I am a joint heir with Christ, sharing His inheritance with Him!" ~ Romans 8:17
"I am a temple - a dwelling place- of God. His Spirit and His life dwell in me!" ~ 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19
"I am united to the Lord and am one Spirit with Him!" ~ 1 Corinthians 6:17
"I am a member of Christ's body!" ~ 1 Corinthians 12:27; Ephesians 2:19
"I am reconciled to God and am a minister of reconciliation!" ~ 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
"I am God's child an one in Christ!" ~ Galatians 3:26,28
"I am an heir of God since I am a child of God!" ~ Galatians 4:6-7
"I am a saint!" ~ 1 Corinthians 1:2, Ephesians 1:1, Philippians 1:1, Colossians 1:2
"I am God's workmanship, His handiwork, and born anew in Christ to do His work!"
~ Ephesians 2:10
"I am a fellow citizen with the rest of God's family!" ~ Ephesians 2:19
"I am a prisoner of Christ!" ~ Ephesians 3:1 ; 4:1
"I am righteous and holy!" ~Ephesians 4:24
Then the man looked back into the eyes of his creator and finished by saying, "I am yours and you made me all of these things when you created me and you restored my created identity in you through the shed blood of your Son Jesus." Turning to face the others at the table, the man added, "I was created to find all of my security, significance, and intimacy in the only place that can truly provide those things; they are only found in God. My purpose is to reflect the God who now indwells me to those around me."
You may have had a difficult time reading the list above because somewhere along the way someone has lied to you, and as you stood on that table, someone has convinced you that the list you just read is something that you have to somehow earn from God through "Godly" performance or scheduled rituals. This is a lie and at the root of any bondage is a lie. The only way to break bondage is to confront the lie with the truth.
The truth is, You were made these things through the shed blood of Christ!
This is the truth. I would encourage you to go back to the list and read through it again slowly and understand that this is your identity in Christ. It is not something that is based upon feeling or upon your performance or even your recognition, but this is something that is based entirely upon Him!
You were created for a purpose!
If you still don't believe this, ask Dad!
Climbing with you,