Relationship and Identity
When we become a Christians, we say the sinner's prayer asking the Lord into our lives. That is great and all, but what's next? We seldom understand all of what we just accepted. For me, I was going to heaven. I had just found religion. Some have said, “I just got a get out of jail free card.” Nothing more, nothing less. Nobody gave me any instructions or guidance. Nobody told me that I had just entered into a relationship.
We all know the verses for new believers:
Proverbs 3: 5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.”
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Many times we know what we should do, but how do we do it? Where do we start?
I went through life as a believer with religion rather than relationship.
My identity was in all kinds of things like my job, wife, and worship. When life becomes about what you do rather than who He is, we have missed it.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: “old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new”.
I’m talking about everything in life that gets to us after we have been made new and the old us has passed away. Where did we lose our faith! Listen folks, why are we still living in the old us and not stepping into the new us? Even a potato has to die before it becomes alive again by being planted in the soil and well-watered to sprout new life. Why would you not let the old life go?
Well, I have an answer for you: it's called relationship and identity.
We blame God for the things that happen to us because we don't really know who He is.
1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”
This verse would suggest change is needed if we are being called out of the dark and into His marvelous light. This is who God says we are “a special people, a royal priesthood”. The question to ask ourselves is whether the life we are living is worth the price He paid on that cross.
We have a Father who wants to be in a relationship with us. A relationship where we are talking with Him, walking with Him, and spending time with Him. The same relationship you have with your best friend. Pray without stopping. He wants to be involved in every little intimate detail of your life.
1 Thessalonians 5:17-19 “Pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Jesus Christ for you. Do not quench the Spirit.”
Some people have told me “well I don't have time”. Well, in all honesty, I simply don't buy it! We as people always make time to do what we truly want to do. Somehow we find a way to make it happen. What happened to “deny yourself and follow me”? What happened to the relationship?
Galatians 2:20 says “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who lives, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
The God of creation wants to have a relationship with you. He's waiting for you to want the same thing. It's time we step into who God says we are and step out of who we were. The way we live our lives is determined by what we believe.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
Come on folks, why do we sell out so cheap when He paid the highest price! Why can't we see God for who He is, instead of what He does? We have been given the upper hand. Our relationship with Jesus is our secret weapon!
The enemy tells us that the problems we face are bigger than the solutions we carry. When we can't recognize the voice of God, we won't know when it's the enemy. If we don't spend quality time with our Lord and Savior, we will not know what His voice sounds like and we will mistake enemy’s for His.
If we can just understand that our relationship with the Father is the most important relationship we can have then, only then, will we want to trust Him more, lean on Him more, care about what He has to say, and trust His plans and purposes for our lives.
How do we live with identity? Various dictionaries and definitions describe it like this, “Identity is oneness, distinguish a person or thing. The condition of being the same with something described or asserted.”
In other words, do we believe what God says about us? The Bible is not a method, it's a relationship. Do we trust His word, His love, His favor, His peace, and His guidance? Do we believe what He says about us over what the world says about us? This is our identity.
Did you know that what others say to us can allow fear to dislocate our ability to be effective in the Kingdom.
Romans 8: 28-39 says “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover who He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written:
For your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Your shadow will always release what overshadows you. Whether you walk in a relationship or religion.
Acts 5: 15-16 says, “So that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. Also, a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.”
We as Christians need to learn how to customize without compromise when it comes to our walk with the Lord and our walk in the world. Are we all in or all out? We cannot be half in and half out. If you are on the fence, remember the enemy owns the fence. The Lord doesn't like lukewarm Christians, but the enemy loves them.
Revelation 3:15-16 says, “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.”
One of the worst things we can do in our walk with the Lord is to become too busy and too complacent. When God has His Lordship over our lives, actions, words, and our thoughts, we will look like no one else! We are servants of God; we should always be overwhelmed by who He is. We should be in awe of His presence. And as you see God you will become more like Him. The imprint of God becomes who we are.
When we behold the King we become more like Him.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
What you become conscious of, you become positioned to manifest. From the depth of our understanding of who He is in us, will determine the depth of what can be manifest. When we know who God is, we will be able to act on His behalf. We are called to release the presence of the Lord. When you walk into a room the atmosphere should change because of who you are in Christ. When we get squeezed Jesus should come out! Let’s be like Peter, even his shadow healed people because of who he was in Christ Jesus.
We must host the presence of God in our lives. We must understand Jesus through His word. In all things get understanding.
Proverbs 4: 4-5 says “He also taught me and said to me: “Let your heart retain my words; keep my commands, and live. Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.”
Before looking down we should always look up first.
2 Peter 3:18 “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen”.
When we know our identity is in Him we can't get offended, no voice speaks louder than His. We need to be vigilant in our walk with the Lord, we must do it with purpose. We as children of God must stand firm, and count the cost. We must seek the Lord fervently and make time with Him a priority.
Biblical illiteracy makes us vulnerable to false signs and wonders. Our relationship with God is so important that everyone is watching what you do, what you say, and how you say it. We are being tested every day and if we are not connected to the life source, that is the Holy Spirit we very well could represent the Lord the wrong way. And we cannot afford to add to the separation between God and man, when God has called us to be set apart from the world to be the light in the darkness, to be set apart from this world while living in it. We have got to have the faith of God! We are not alone, we have Jesus.
You will never find God where you're going unless you can find God where you are.