Who are you?
Your name is a big part of it (see Hello my Name is), but more than just the surface answer what I have found as I ask Christians this, is that most of them do not even know.
I had posted a two part series some time back called Born Identity and in that post I began to look at the subject of our true identity IN Christ!
There was a movie some time back called, "Bourne Identity". It was about a man named Jason Bourne. The movie opened with the scene of a man floating in the water and when he is fished out of the water he is at a loss for who he is and how he got into the water.
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 the 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. True identity is NOT found in activity.
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"?
Paul makes a startling statement in the book of Ephesians when he tells the Christians at Ephesus that he is praying for them. What is so startling about a person telling you that they are praying for you?
Paul gets specific. He outlines the prayer need that these Christians had. It is the same need that many Christians have today!
"For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, "~Ephesians 3:14-15
I love this passage because it reminds me of whose name I carry. In the post, "Hello my Name is", we take a good look at our name and the significance that it bears in our individual purpose and message on this earth, but this passage goes a bit deeper in the fact that it reminds me whose name i am IN.
There are certain things that my kids have in a relationship with me as their Dad that people outside of that bod have. If you have kids of your own, then you will understand this. Just bearing the last name that has been given to them by birth automatically transfers a relationship that is unique to them. I love the fact that Paul reminds these Christians of something that we tend to forget all the time. OUR NAME.
While we, as a culture, glorify and in some cases idolize movie stars or athletic heroes it is our parents that we become. Most likely it is our father that we ultimately mold into. Our view of our heavenly "Daddy" is so crucial in our Christian development. His relationship with us completely steps outside of the bounds of our logic and He is relentless and consuming in His desire for us. The thing that makes this so hard for us to understnad is the fact that we are human and because of that it is seemingly impossible for the finite to fully explain the infinite. We do have the Holy Spirit within us to "Lead us into all truth" about Him and His love for us as our Father.
Understanding our identity starts with understanding whose name we now carry at the "New Birth" of salvation. If you are a child of the King, then it literally means that He has become your heavenly Father! The relationship drastically changed when you accepted the shed blood of Jesus as payment for your sins.
"And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying , Abba, Father."~ Galatians 4:6
Your understanding of your identity IN Christ is started with truly understanding that the relationship you have with God changed at salvation.
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to becomethe sonsof God, even to them that believe on his name: " ~John 1:12
In the blog post "What is It?", I outlined at least twenty ways in which my relationship went from separated to son when I entered the family of God. This is incredibly powerful because a proper understanding of where I stand with God will affect the way that I see Him, and the way that I see Him will drastically affect the way that I present Him and how I approach my life IN Him.
On Wednesday, I would like to continue reading Paul's prayer for these Christians and look at how the statements that are made absolutely unlock who we are In Him. Until then, can i challenge you to just ask the Holy Spirit that is within you to remind you that you are His son and daughter and to show you what that relationship looks like. He is THE PERFECT TEACHER!
Climbing with you,