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Tuesday Thoughts 7-2-19

Who am I?  What an important question! While I can project confidence in all short-term circumstances, who I really am will be revealed over time (We can only pretend so long).  Here’s one way Jesus expressed how this comes out, For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.”  Matthew 12:34a (NIV).  While you’re wrestling with this truth, let me remind you that our identities will not be found in a birth certificate, job title, hobby, desires, or relationships.  Actually, it is one (and only one) relationship that does give us our identity—the one we have with God.   “In the beginning, God created…”   If you have accepted this truth, remember that the specific identity of each of us began long before we were even alive, “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”  Psalm 139:16b (NIV).   Our everyday struggle is to find, and continue in our God-designed identity. Anything less carries a taste of cheap imitation (like the generic box of mac & cheese).  Part of our problem is that we try to knit together our self-realized (or imagined) identities with our God-ordained ones.  This always results in a condition of spiritual split-personalities.  Recently, in my own identity-journey, the story of Paul, the New Testament follower of Jesus (and prolific biblical writer) has helped me.  Maybe it can help you too.  His is a great story of discovery within (which we all need), as well as an outward sign (blinding flash of Jesus: see Acts chapter 9) and a name change (from Saul to Paul).  Through this supernatural reveal, Paul experienced, and was able to define for us, the key issue concerning our identity discovery: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”  Galatians 2:20 (NIV).  Here he says that, for all who call Jesus Lord, our identities have been killed off and replaced by his.  He is our identity!  This is the effectual reunion of us with God’s created design.  This is the path of harmony.   Are you experiencing discord or chaos in your spirit?  Ask our loving Creator to reveal the lingering traces of the pre-Jesus identity and surrender each one to him.

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