I.D.P (the first part)
Posted on June 4, 2019 by America's Keswick in Freedom Fighters
“Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for He chose us in advance, and He makes everything work out according to His plan.” Ephesians 1:11 (NLT)
Last time I was with you I hopefully broke some ground with identity theft. Jesus couldn’t have been any clearer when He said, “The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly” (John 10:10). And when we encounter those times where we are being attacked with Satan’s past-tense lies (or even by those who would look down upon us as a Pharisee would), we need to combat with God’s present-tense truths. It’s okay to say, out loud, “It is written, I have been called a child of God, and that is what I am.”
Something else that I would like to point out is those 7 Biblical uses of “Ἐγώ εἰμί” (Ego eimi or I am). We could get all scholarly about how the term gets used with or without a predicate nominative but that shouldn’t take away the absolute of who Jesus Christ is. Now when the Pharisees (and all those other anti-Jesus folks) heard Him declare who He is, they lost their minds because He was identifying Himself with the God of Abraham and that was just blasphemy to them. But they didn’t see that they were content in finding their identity as Abraham’s offspring and instead of being children of YHVH. Kinda sad in a way, but that’s why it’s called The Old Testament. Anyway…
What’s the reaction you get when you declare that “είμαι Χριστιανός” (eímai Christianós or I am a Christian)? Now in my case, if I used the Greek term, I’m quite sure the person that I’ve just said that to will look at me and wonder, “Wha?” but even if I say it in English I still may leave them to wonder, “Wha?” if my life is being lived out as if I identify with something else. When the Pharisees argued with Jesus over who He was to them they stupidly stated that Abraham was their father, to which Jesus replied, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham” (John 8:39b).
We need to take a look at what He is saying here, because the life that Abraham lived was reflective on how he viewed YHVH. If we aren’t living a life that is reflective on how we view Jesus Christ then we, like those wacky Pharisees, do the desires of the prince of this present age… ”Δεν είναι καλό” (Den eínai kaló or Not Good). All this fancy Greek stuff aside, we need to mindful that our lives, as the Christians that we say we are, should be one that is an identity driven purposeful one.
Do you remember a book that came out around 2002 titled “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren? Well I do. It was the topic of discussion while we had pre-morning, morning devotions at America’s Keswick’s Colony of Mercy, during my time there in the summer of 2003. We all agreed that we needed to find our purpose in life but that apart from Jesus Christ we could do nothing.
So, to settle this dilemma we also agreed that what we do we do for God because that would reflective of followers of Jesus Christ. BUT, as I would find out years later, we may have left out a vital part of the equation. In order for God to recognize that what we were doing was for Him, we had to find our identity in Jesus Christ before we could really start doing things that could be considered purpose driven. Kinda vexing if I were to leave this like this without using God’s Word to back it up.
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 16:24-25).
Now if you’re wondering what I’m gonna say next to start tying this all together, let tell you that ain’t happening today. My time for today has come to an end but I do have more to cover with having an Identity Driven Purpose. I will say that saying “YES” to Jesus is a definite way of saying “NO” to our adversary but Jesus doesn’t let it end there. We got stuff to do and that requires a lot of who we once were to start falling by the wayside. That means it’ll be doing time by doing a lot of Cross dragging…if you’re up to the task. And remember, He’s promised not to leave us or forsake us. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) has been married for 25+ years (Kathy), has a married son (Kevin) and a daughter in college (Karen). He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.
Think About This:“Losing identity with nothing to replace it can cause massive damage to the self-concept, and a few can tolerate it. However, God does not ask us just to lose our identity but to exchange it for one that will work both for time and eternity.” — Charles Solomon
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. – Galatians 3:24
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.