I am working on a teaching on tithing. It is a quiet night and I am away from the office and the study – using the wireless internet connection at a McDonalds’ Restaurant once a day to upload and down load emails and blogs… my wireless system does not work where I am visiting right now here in the United States of America because of the mountains and the fact that I am in a valley.
The Bible says that “those whom the Son has set free are free indeed” and I have been thinking about that for the last two days. I have been set free from sin because Jesus died for me. I was set free from religion and a religious priesthood based on an Old Testament model. I was set free by the Lord from alcoholism and smoking. I was set free from past hurts and wounds as everyone can be who wants to let them go, forgive, and move forward in life. Jesus truly does set people free if they want to be set free.
But, the thought has come to me recently that the Lord also needs to set us free from ourselves. And, if you will think about it long enough you might come to the understanding that when we are free from having to find our own ‘identity’ and discover our ‘being’ in Christ – only then are we ‘free’ to be ourselves. Think about it – then read on.
So, to be myself I need to stop the journey towards self-discovery (trying to find out who I am – my identity) and simply discover who I am in Jesus Christ – only then am I free to be the real me; I mean the real me that God created and is now revealing to me – the me without all the baggage I have accumulated over the years and the damage that life has inflicted upon me or I have managed to inflict upon myself.
How do I discover who I am in Jesus Christ? First, I would say it happens by following Him and not at a distance. I mean walk with Him and become really close to Him in all aspects of the relationship you have with Him. Secondly, make Him Lord and not just Savior – thus inviting Him to have His way in all areas of your life. Thirdly, read God’s Word (Bible) and find out what it says about you – the real you – who you are in Christ (a list is found on my main web site at www.ralphhoweministries.com). Fourth, be in relationship with other believers as “iron sharpens iron” and only in healthy relationships can you fully mature as a believer.
But be careful – “the devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy” according to the Word of God. And the thing he wants to steal from you is your identity. He is the original “identity theft” culprit. Today we are hearing so much about identity theft being done through the internet and the Devil is the one who was first to do just that – steal our sense of identity and rob us of our understanding of who we are in Christ.
Because of this original identity thief believers are then limited in their understanding of their true self. As well, Christians do not understand what they can become in Christ and certainly are not able to walk by faith and accomplish all that the Lord is calling them to do. They are limited and most of the time they are just not aware that anything is wrong.
And, because we have designed or ‘discovered’ our own identity we continue living for ourselves. Where, if we find out who we are “in Christ” then we will live our lives for the One who died for our sake and was raised to life! Nothing less will satisfy.