As I sat in Ingles doing my homework yesterday, I sat in awe of what I get to go to school for and what God has been teaching me through it. In getting to go to Liberty for Evangelism, I’m getting to learn so much more about the Word of God and about God Himself. What I learned from my Apologetics class yesterday floored me as I was faced with unrealistic beliefs that I’ve had my entire life. I have to share this.
The name of the presentation was “Meaning- Ontological Root” led by Nathan Rittenhouse. I had no clue what to expect from this lecture. But the more that I watched, the more I was convicted.
“Most people find their purpose and meaning in what they do. In our culture today, we define ourselves by what we do. Where DO you live? What DO you do? Most religions can be categorized by the following: Thinking, feeling, and doing. Think this. Feel this. Do this! Which religion is Christianity? What is at its core? Christianity at its essence is about Christ! Jesus is the Great I AM. Not the Great I do or I think or I feel. Christianity is about being and out of that being flows our thinking, feeling, and doing. We try to build up our thinking, feeling, and doing so that we have a platform for our identity. Christianity is just the opposite. You have an identity in Christ- a new birth- and out of that identity flows the Christian thinking, feeling, and doing. The foundation of our identity is rooted in God and we find the meaning of our being in relationship with God. Our identity in Christ is GIVEN to us. My purpose is rooted in Who God is. We exist as a function of His will. Salvation is not a one-time positional shift into the presence of God- it is a process of growth (sanctification).”
Particularly in this season of my life, I have struggled a lot with my identity, mostly in comparing myself to others. For me, I know that I am a daughter of God in my head but my challenge has been getting that knowledge to my heart. Not having a job for going on two months has been one of my biggest challenges. As a workaholic who tends to define myself by my work, this lecture couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.
“If I construct my identity based off of what I think and then I have a doubt, I have to put a question mark over my identity. Or, if I have a religious construction based off of my emotional experiences and I no longer have that experience, I have to put a question mark over my identity. If you are grounded in your identity in Christ, even if you wrestle with a theological concept, you are still a son/daughter of God. You don’t put a question mark on your identity. In marriage, you don’t say ‘I do’ to qualities- you say ‘I do’ to a person. The commitment precedes the emotion. Our relationship with God is a joyful celebration of who God is and delighting in being His son/daughter. Christianity does not alter our individuality but it does alter our individualism. My dependency on God is not an infringement on my dignity, rather, it is the foundation of my identity. We do not diminish in our relationship with God.”
We are adopted.
Given a new identity.
Colossians 3:1-3 says, “Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.”
Hidden means “keep out of sight” or “conceal.”
When we commit to Christ we are saying, “Take my life. This is Yours to use. I am exchanging a desire for my glory for a passion for Yours. My desires are concealed within Yours. My heart is in alignment with Yours. This life is not my own.” We hand over our “rights” and surrender to the One who pursues us. We must set our sights on things above. When we give our hearts to Christ, we give Him control. We “set our sights on the realities of heaven.” There is a God who loves the world so much, that He gave His only Son so that we could have eternal life and communion with Him. We have to continually acknowledge the presence of the Living God in our midst. We have to look at people through the lens of eternity- making sure that they have a chance to go with us to spend forever in the presence of a God who loves them. When we receive Christ, we shift from “that would make me uncomfortable” to “Jesus died for them. They need to know they’re immeasurably adored.” We are commissioned to bring Heaven to earth. We died to this life. We died to our rights to live to please ourselves and to live within the confinement of our own comfort.
“The sanctified life is the most secure thing possible because it has Almighty God in and behind it. Every time you are in personal contact with Jesus, His words are real to you. “My peace I give to you” (John 14:27)- a peace which brings an unconstrained confidence and covers you completely, from the top of your head to the soles of your feet…’ Your life is hidden with Christ in God,’ and the peace of Jesus Christ that cannot be disturbed has been imparted to you.”
I know for me, my entire life has been a battle with insecurity. Within the past months, this battle has been relentless. The enemy has been speaking such lies to me that I did not feel strong enough to fight against. Insecurity comes from finding a false sense of security in yourself. This is unstable ground.
Insecurity means “uncertainty or anxiety about oneself; lack of confidence; the state of being open to danger/threat; lack of protection.”
BUT— if my life is hidden with Christ, why should I be uncertain/anxious about myself? That’s me trying to take over control. When we died to this life, our passions and desires of our sinful nature were nailed to the cross (Galatians 5:24). He created me anew. Insecurity is a tactic of the enemy to confine me within limitations that I don’t believe I can exceed. On my own, I can’t. He’s right about that. However, Christ is in me. I am enough. There is no limit to the power of His Spirit within me. Am I willing to move out of the way? As Chambers says, we are given “a peace which brings an unconstrained confidence.” When I am insecure, I am moving myself back to the center rather than having a fixed focus on the Father who already declares me priceless and victorious. When my life is hidden with Christ, I am shielded from the enemy- Christ is my victory; But when I allow the enemy access to my mind through the voice of insecurity, I choose to step into open fire- believing the enemy’s lies over the truths of God spoken over me. I have to turn back to safety in the arms of God and ground myself in my identity in Him and who He says that I am.
I want to leave you with the lyrics from a United Pursuit song called “Hidden”.
There was one when I was young
Who knew my heart
He knew my sorrow
He held my hand
And He led me to trust Him
Now I am hidden
In the safety of Your love
I trust Your heart and Your intentions
Trust You completely
I’m listening intently
You’ll guide me through these many shadows
As I grow
And as I change
May I love You more deeply
I will lean upon Your grace
I will weep because Your goodness is unending
You are my vision
My reason for living
Your kindness leads me to repentance
I can’t explain it
This sweet assurance
But I’ve never known this kind of friend
The sun, moon, and stars
Shout Your name
They give You reverence
And I will do the same
With all my heart I give You glory
I want to seek You first
I want to love You more
I want to give You the honor You deserve
So I bow before You
I am overcome by the beauty of this perfect love
Don’t let the voice of insecurity overpower the voice of the Almighty.
“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
He is singing over you: Songs of victory, Songs of deliverance, Songs of joy. Worship Him for who He is and walk in who He made you to be!