Saturday, October 15, 2011
~~~ OR ~~~~
Leaving the World of FANTASY and Entering
REALITY in CHRIST
When we die to Self and live unto CHRIST ( our baptismal vow ), we take on CHRIST and become a New Creature in CHRIST. That entails a brand new identity, Bless GOD!
It takes the SPIRIT of GOD to break the stronghold of our earthly identity and to be totally identified with CHRIST JESUS, as one of HIS+. We change our dress, our talk, our life-style, usually our friends, and sometimes the way we earn our living.
Our identity becomes only one thing: Christian.
We become Single-of-Eye.
But being human, we soon move away from REALITY+ and REVERT back to some former identities or even, take on new identities. We become un-Single of Eye. And again, fantasies creep into our inner man.
If we go into ministry, we "become" pastors, missionaries, translators, and teachers, as our identity. We start out doing all for CHRIST, but we end up thinking of ourselves in terms of what we DO, as defined by our work, our "position" when we relate to others. We assume a "social" identity along with our Christian identity.
But, Scripture teaches us that Our GOD is a jealous GOD; only ONE+ can be on the throne of our hearts at a time: us or GOD. Never will HE+ share HIS+ glory.
[ You can test the truth of this: imagine losing your "social" identity. What would be left? Only your identity in CHRIST JESUS. If it is painful to lose your social ( how people see you) identity, then you can see that Self was on the throne and you are not content to be ONLY identified as CHRIST'S. ]
If we teach school, we do start out "teaching for CHRIST"... but we end up being known as a "teacher" in the inner man! The same is true of nursing or doctoring or farming or ministering.
Our identity becomes
ADDITION TO CHRIST.
If we become parents, then we become mothers in our inner man... not Christian women who have been assigned the blessed duty of raising children. Our identity again becomes something OTHER than CHRIST. The same is true for fathers.
And, here's the test: When your child or children grow up and leave the home, are you suddenly forlorn and without motive or desire? Does the house have an empty feeling? If that is the case, then your identity, dear one, has shifted from CHRIST to motherhood (or fatherhood) !
Likewise: If you teach school or are involved in the pastoral or medical fields or running a business or farming.... and it suddenly ends and YOU CAN DO IT NO MORE, does your life feel empty and futile, with no "meaningful" work to do? If that is the case, then your identity has shifted from CHRIST to " something in ADDITION TO CHRIST."
NO PLACE TO "FIT IN",
feeling is a sign that your identity has slipped away from CHRIST and onto the temporal, to your destruction; all fanatasy leads to destruction.
People do NOT give you identity; that is a futility because here is one thing you can DEFINITELY COUNT ON: people change. Neighbors move, family and friends grow old and die, children grow up and leave. It is impossible to cling to "how it's been" for security and thus, your place amongst people , your identity.
Work and skills do not give you identity; that is fantasy. Companies and systems change, as do their locations. Skilled or not, educated or not, tested or not qualified... the work place changes for everyone; it is in constant flux.
Even being identified as a pastor or minister, missionary or translator makes you un-single of eye. Eventually, you will leave that post, that appointment. If you have no other church to pastor, you will have an identity crisis UNLESS your identity is solely upon CHRIST JESUS the LORD. The same is true for Bible translators and even aging choir members !
Thus, our ONLY identity needs to be in CHRIST JESUS our LORD. Yes, we may and indeed must love and raise our children, we may nurse or teach or farm as our daily assignment. But remember, EVEN THAT DAILY ASSIGNMENT comes from HIM+.
HE+ places us and removes us from the "daily assignment" for three reasons, all of them good:
1. for our own good , growth, and protection
2. for HIS+ glory
3. to further the work in HIS+ Kingdom
Dear ones, search your hearts and establish the RIGHT identity.... that which is found in CHRIST. If you do this WITH ALL YOUR HEART, your children will grow up, move away, and your house will not be empty and your life will still have meaning. If you do this, public work will come and go, and it will not affect your sense of worth.
In short, if you IDENTIFY with CHRIST... if you define yourself ONLY and SOLEY with CHRIST... instead of with careers, jobs, motherhood or fatherhood, or people-defined functions, you will never experience the crushing loss of identity.
YOUR WORTH , IDENTITY, AND FUNCTION
will be tied up with CHRIST....
as it should have been all along.
+ + +