Friday, February 11, 2011

Identity Crisis

Identity Crisis
"But they, our fathers, acted arrogantly; They became stubborn and would not listen to Your commandments” (Nehemiah 9:16).

When a man chooses not to want to remain different from a woman he loses his sexual identity. When the church refuses to be different, she begins to lose her spiritual identity. God is the Creator of all things and His wisdom created the church and gave her a distinct identity in Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23). He provided the sacrifice needed to separate her members from sin so they would not be separated from Him (Isaiah 59:2). His wisdom has poured His Spirit into the faithful to lead them down a different path than the world chooses to follow (Rom 8).

Ever since God has had a chosen people, they have been guided to see themselves as different. Not to build their ego but to reveal their faith. One reason the Lord’s people are different is because of their willingness to be led. They are humble and learn from their Lord (Matthew 11:8-29). Their identity is seen by all as being strong because they recognize their weaknesses (2 Corinthians 13:9). This humility is as different form the world as a woman is from a man.

God does not have to force His church to be humble, it is a choice. He loves her in a way that motivates a response of dependency. Understanding our God makes us realize how inadequate we truly are. This inadequacy is not only a physical inadequacy but also a mental deficiency. Our minds cannot conceive the complete wisdom of God because we are flesh and He is Spirit (Job 21:27). His judgments come from an omniscient mind where our judgments come from a limited mindset. The church’s vision of this truth has humbled their hearts and gives them distinction.

When God refers to His church, He refers to her as His “own possession” (1 Peter 2:9). His church is distinct because she has surrendered her identity with the world to be born again into a “new creature” (2 Corinthians 5:17) that no longer resembles the world but is being transformed into the image of His Son (Colossians 3:10). God loves us too much to leave us in the resemblance of death. His blood that streamed down from the cross now cleanses us from the results of our fleshly decisions and the love that allowed this blood to flow motivates us to remain separated from the power that caused sin’s stain to form us into the world’s likeness.

When the church no longer desires this distinction, she loses her identity. We surrender the opportunity to look like Christ by being humble to God’s wisdom. Our identity is our faith in Jesus and our leaders must be weak in their fleshly knowledge so the Lord can strengthen them in the power of His divine wisdom. The church must be humble enough to follow their lead and allow God’s Spirit to dictate our steps. Even when God is leading us to places our minds cannot understand, we must close our physical eyes so our our spirit can be led to His rest. The church will always struggle when she doesn’t realize that her struggles originate in her flesh (James 4:1). That is why we must deny ourselves to follow Christ (Matthew 16:24). We must be identified by our hearts desire to follow the Spirit’s lead. Let the church remain distinct in her identity.

In His Love,
Cub

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