Who am I? Where do I fit into this crazy world? Who do I belong to? My country? My family? My job?
These are questions I still ask from time to time. But I’ve come to learn a bit about who I am as a Christian; what my real identity is. Some of the things that plague the church, and even the world for that matter, can be traced to our identities. Just take a look around. Every sub-culture has a “look” or a certain style. The clothes, the hair style, the shoes. Even down to the way we walk has something to do with our identity. That is, how we want people to see us. That’s all fine and wonderful, but for most young people, it’s all they have. All they possess is a mask. Most people are afraid of who they really are. I know this by experience. Now, I certainly haven’t been completely healed from this identity crisis but I have found some victory and freedom in Christ.
Since I was about eleven years old I’ve been doing all I can to prove that I’m not who I really am. Which later led to other sin and indulgences that I care not to describe in detail in this post. Even when I became a Christian I was still living in bondage to America’s major identity crisis. I would walk around pretending to be someone else most of the time. I would sometimes pretend to be interested in certain topics that I could care less about just so you (or whomever) would think I was cool. This happened especially around unbelievers. I didn’t want people to question my manhood. I hated being called young (if you have never met me, I am 21 but I look more like 16). There’s no light way to put what it is…bondage.
Now when it came to how I wanted to look around other believers, I wanted them to see my “gifts” or at least to not see my lack of “gifts.” I would walk around like I knew it all. To me, all other Christians weren’t as smart as me (at least the ones my age). I was out trying to prove how “Christian” I was. It really wasn’t intentional by any means, but it was certainly there. Everyone could see it but me. You see, I was having an identity crisis.
Finding out who I really am…
There are many reasons why I am so passionate about the Church (or more like, ekklesia) being able to function freely under the headship of Jesus Christ, not the “higher-up,” so-called “ordained” ministers and preachers. I certainly love pastors and preachers, but I don’t agree with their title or function. But that’s a whole other topic. (See Pagan Christianity for a more in-depth look as to why I think this way.) But I’m going to tap into another reason why I love what is being called “Organic Church.”
When Paul wrote a letter to a church, if you pay close attention, you will find that no matter what was going on with the church (there were lots of crazy things they were doing!) Paul brings them right back to Christ. Often, he exhorted the believers and revealed who they are in Christ. That’s the secret to Paul’s ministry…Christ!
One of the things I was shown when I first arrived here, is that I belong to none other than Jesus Christ. I am in Him and He is in me. I’ve been told that before, but to actually live it is a totally different thing. In Hebrews 3:13, the author says, “Encourage one-another daily…” When you’re living in close-knit community and fellowship, this encouraging happens regularly. So with that, I began to understand who I am, and it is just this: I am a son, a child, of the living God, deeply and sincerely loved by my Father in heaven. That I am washed in His Son’s blood and clothed in His Son’s righteousness. Once we learn this, a lot of useless crap falls off of us. The things that used to seem important, the false identities we use to cloth ourselves in, fall right off. We may get exposed and feel nude for a moment, only to be clothed by the Lord in white garments. Amen.
An Exhortation to You, dear child of the Most High…
Dear son or daughter of God, loved, protected, and hidden in Christ: you’re true identity lies in Christ, the Everlasting, Alpha, Omega, Beginning, and End. You have the most loving, caring, powerful, and glorious Dad the world can, and will ever, know! You don’t have to fake anything anymore. You don’t have to find your identity in a member of the opposite sex (though marriage is God-given and holy), in money, in your job, in other people, in anything! Your identity is Christ Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith. You are marked and sealed with the Holy Spirit and He works and lives through you.
Here is what Jesus says concerning He and the Father living in you,
“…If a man love(s) me, he will keep my word: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”
John 14:23 ASV (Emphasis added)
“Make our abode with him.” Or to paraphrase, “Me and the Father will live in you and make our home in you…” Now this certainly applies to me too. May this be our prayer. May this be the constant groan of the Bride, the church, and the House of God. Amen.