Living in the world that we do is hard. It’s no secret. Living NOT as the world lives is much harder when we don’t allow the truth of who we are in Christ to be the guiding purpose for our walk each day.
Letting go of our former selves (who we were before knowing Christ) and embracing a biblical identity, is our calling to live holy lives rooted in the Gospel.
When I find myself falling into an old pattern that I thought was far gone from me, I’m reminded that the steps I’d made forward were not of my own doing but the Lords doing in me and that the only way to keep moving farther from those old ways is to lean even more into Him.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”John 15:5
Without connecting with God daily and being reminded of who we are in Christ, we will forget – and how then can we possibly walk this life truly set apart?
It’s easy to get lost when we’re not planted firmly on the Rock
I used to be what I like to call a Sunday Christian – meaning that on Sunday mornings, I would put on my best self, dressed well and keep guard on my thoughts and actions, making sure they were in line with Christian values.
I would go to church, serving on the worship team, praising God and listening to the message intently because, as I understood it, that’s what Sundays were for.
But first thing Monday morning, I wasn’t thinking about Jesus, and I wasn’t living any different from those who didn’t know Him. I was living very confused and making choices that reflected that.
Why was this the case? Did I really know Jesus? Yes… I knew Jesus, but was I actively pursuing Him in my life? I’m saddened to say no. I wasn’t living in His truth about who I was allowing it to change and guide me, and instead, I was getting pulled away by my momentary desires, and the enemy knew that I was easily distractible.
I was insecure because I didn’t know my worth or purpose, and when I looked for it elsewhere, I got mixed messages and experienced a lot of hurts.
I found myself in a position where I had to choose between who’s path, mine or God’s, I was to follow if life was to look different. The answer was clear – Jesus’ way was the only option as my own choices had led me astray.
By acknowledging, that without His guidance I wouldn’t know where I was going in life, it became necessary to learn what it looked like to actively pursue Him in everything.
I needed to know that He is the cornerstone. That, it’s only by having Him as the foundation of my life that I have all that I need to be secure.
This message is for us all. Jesus is our rock and it’s imperative that we stand firmly in Him so that when the floods of life come, we will not fall and get washed away.
Build Your House on the Rock
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”Matthew 7:24-27
Embracing a biblical identity is about Jesus, not us.
When you look at the media, what is the overarching message?
It’s all about you – your needs, your wants, your desires.
Every day I am aware of the voice that’s calling at me to be filled by something other than Jesus.
We, as humans, are so quick to buy into the messages advertised, hoping that they will bring us a little more happiness. And sadly, these are the things we tend to share when connecting with others.
God does not want an empty, meaningless life for anyone, and He didn’t create us for that. We were created to live in Him and to glorify Him because of the great awesomeness that He is. It’s His plan that we always look upon Jesus so that we will receive what we truly desire and that fills us like nothing else – His love.
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”Galatians 2:20
We have hope in this life because of Jesus. It is all about Jesus and should always be about Jesus as we walk our journey if we want all that the Lord has promised for us.
This means that sometimes following His way will look different from how we would choose it to go, but by being grounded in Him we can trust that He’s leading us towards goodness and the promised hope of eternity with Him.
Instead of making our story about us, we are called to make it about Jesus, because it is through Him that we have been redeemed and can walk this life transformed through His great power.
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”Colossians 3:17
The calling to reflect Jesus In Our Story
I remember first coming to what is now my home church. I didn’t know anyone there at the time, apart from my now husband and his family. And as I began meeting people, I realized that I had an opportunity to share some of my stories.
What was once a time of darkness for me, before meeting my husband and coming to my church, had become a great opportunity to share how Jesus had pulled me out of a desperate situation to turn my life completely around and start living for Him.
The more I shared about what God had done, the more I realized that this was what it was about – to allow my life to be about Him.
Looking back and remembering how God has brought us out of the depths of our darkest moments and into new life is our testimony, and our testimony is what makes an impact in the world around us and ultimately His kingdom.
“O Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol; you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.”Psalm 30:3
Our stories connect us, so as we are called in Christ to lead others to Him, our testimonies are a powerful tool to help us do that.
The more we speak about what He has done in our lives, the more we place our identity in Him and fully allow who we are to be a vessel for His glory.
Finding hope in who we are through scripture.
As we learn to lean into Christ more and more, we go through a refinement process. This is to allow more of His light to shine in and through us, transforming us from the inside out.
It’s in the refinement process that the broken parts of who we were before Christ are brought to the surface and discarded so that we can be filled with more of His goodness.
Often what comes to the surface will be wounds from our past and lies we believed because of our experiences.
If we are to live fully in Him, it’s necessary to acknowledge these lies as false and replace them with God’s truth, and we can do this through scripture.
The Word is our weapon to fight against the darkness and deceit in this world. The enemy wants nothing more than for us to believe his lies and have them shape how we see ourselves and the world around us.
But, by proclaiming the truth through scripture into our lives and covering ourselves with the whole armor of God, we have what we need to defeat the evil one.
“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.”Ephesians 6:13-18
Even today, and always, as I continue walking with the Lord, broken pieces of my former self will continue to emerge.
Though, when they come up, it can feel discouraging to be faced with them once again, I have an opportunity to praise God knowing that it shows how He is continually working in me to restore me to full righteousness in Him.
When the lies from my past arise, by praying the truth of scripture over the lies and praising the Lord for who I am in Him, I am given hope to continue walking in faith and obedience, knowing that by doing so, one day I will be given a new body, fully restored and living eternally in God’s kingdom where no more lies and hurt can get me.
It is my hope and prayer that we all embrace our identity in Christ so that we have hope in Him to hold onto as we walk in this life.