We’ve celebrated and rested over Christmas, we’ve launched into the year with 3 days of prayer and now here we are, in 2017. As we’ve prepared, partied and prayed over the last few weeks I’ve become increasingly convinced that God has things he wants to teach us about identity.
Who is God? Who are we becoming? These are questions I think we should be seeking answers for right now. Not because we are completely uncertain about our identity or our calling, but because God wants to deepen our certainty, renew our purpose, inspire us for more.
Who is God? What is the Father really like – the God we can’t see but are shown perfectly in Jesus? How would a greater revelation of God’s love and power affect the way we saw ourselves, affect the pressures and plans we put on our lives? Over the last year I’ve learned this summary of God’s nature from some other people planting communities of discipleship and mission. It’s called the 4Gs.
God is great, so we don’t have to be in control.
God is good, so we don’t have to look elsewhere for satisfaction.
God is glorious, so we don’t have to fear others.
God is gracious, so we don’t have to prove ourselves.
Perhaps there is one of those phrases that the Lord particularly wants to do some work on with you right now. I believe God has much more to show us about this question of identity. Over the next term our preaching at central gatherings will be digging deep into this whole theme.
We find the answer to every question about identity as we look at Jesus. He is the one who reveals God to us, he also shows us what we can become. We are communities of followers committed to his mission. Let’s keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. Let’s get together in gatherings and communities to seek Jesus. Let’s keep sharing Jesus with as many people as will listen!
You can find out a little more about the 4Gs here.
“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” (Colossians 2: 6-7)
On Sunday I spoke about identity using this passage. I was reflecting on what David shared with us the week before about stepping out of the boat and taking risks, and it made me think about why Peter initially felt confident about walking on the water.
I wonder if part of it was to do with knowing something of Jesus’ identity.
When we think of our identity we can often begin to think about it from the point of view of our gifts, skills, personality, interests and relationships with others. It can also be formed by the things others have done or said to us, or many other things. Our identity, as Colossians describes, needs to start with Jesus. Our roots need to grow down into Him, our lives need to be built on Him.
Jesus is not the stake in the ground that holds the tree up, He is supposed to be the very earth and ground that we plant ourselves into.
What are the roots of our lives currently growing into – what do we find our identity and security in? For example is it our career, family, position, possessions, culture, achievements or appearance? Do we find our identity more in these things than in Jesus? What would happen to our sense of identity and security if those things disappeared? Our culture says that we find our identity in the things we achieve – they make us acceptable and significant to others. God says we are accepted by Him without question and without limit and out of that we are called to ‘bear fruit’.
I was also reminded of another verse from 2 Timothy 1:12. Paul, in prison, writes “I know the one in whom I trust.”
Do we know the person of Jesus and are we confident enough in our identity as his beloved son or daughter to live by this?
The image with this post was made using notegraphy.