Thursday, January 6, 2011

Our Identity...

I woke up in the middle of the night and noticed that Caleb wasn't in the bed.  This morning I asked him where he was and he replied, "I just couldn't sleep.  There was a lot on my mind that Father was telling me and I felt like I was just supposed to write."  Reading what he wrote blessed me.  Seriously...Caleb and I have been talking about our identity in Christ the past couple of days, but he put it together so well.  I hope that all of you will be blessed as well.  ENJOY!  (It's kind of long, but sooooo worth it!)

The enemy has lied to us not only about our individual identities, but also about our identity as a race… the human race. Too many Christians are taught and believe that humanity is inherently offensive to God because He is holy and we are wretched sinners… And while it is true that sin and holiness cannot mix, we must remember that it was God who dreamed us up in the first place, and sin was not our beginning. He made us in His image, filled us with His Spirit, and gave us authority over this entire planet. He desired our company. He had beautiful plans for us. He created our minds, our imaginations, our emotions, our skeletons, our muscles- every detail… He gave us the ability to dream, to love, to sing, and to run. We were wonderfully made and we were His dearly beloved… We have always been His dearly beloved.

When Adam and Eve sinned I believe the sin that they were guilty of was unbelief. The enemy came to them and questioned what God had told them. They knew what God said, but instead they believed a lie. Man was no longer a suitable vessel for the Spirit of God to dwell in for man was no longer holy. Man became a slave to sin and a slave to the enemy.

“In the kingdom of darkness we have been under Satan’s sway. Kicked out of Heaven for rebelling against God, Satan fell to earth as a nobody, then pretended to be a somebody by tricking Adam and Eve and usurping their earthly authority. Ever since then he has taught mankind to think of themselves as nobodies, just as he is. After a lifetime (or thousands of years, really) of feeding on negativity and impossibility thinking, most of us have a certain amount of mental damage that the Holy Spirit must heal. We have been slaves for so long that we don’t know how to handle freedom. We apologize for getting ahead. We don’t believe we deserve or are entitled to the best. That may have been true while we were sinners lost and separated from God. As believers, however, we have been restored to our place as God’s children and are entitled to all the blessings and benefits of that station. The retraining of our minds is part of what it means to give ourselves as living sacrifices to God.”

When Jesus was baptized by John, the Holy Spirit descended upon Him and Father spoke audibly saying, “This is my beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased”. Jesus hadn’t done anything yet. Father wasn’t pleased because of how many miracles Jesus had done… He told Him how pleased He was before His ministry even began. Jesus knew who He was, and He knew how His Father felt about Him, and this was the foundation for everything that He did.

Jesus said and did some amazing things while He was here. He taught about the Kingdom of Heaven with wisdom and authority. He healed the sick, cast out demons, raised the dead, walked on water, gave orders to storms and fig trees, and loved the most unlovable, undeserving people He could get His hands on. And He told His disciples that if anyone believes in Him, that they would do the same things He did, and even greater things. He said that NOTHING is impossible for him who believes. He said that if we have even a tiny amount of faith, that we can tell a mountain to jump into the ocean and it will obey us. He told us to ask our Father, His Father, for anything in His name and it will be given to us.

Jesus came to earth, emptied Himself, and then showed us how a man with the Spirit of God dwelling in Him should live. He said that if we want to know what Father is like, we should just look at Him, for He only did what the Father told Him to do and He only said what the Father told Him to say. After all, it was “the Father who loved the world so much, that He gave His only Son…” and it was Father who was revealing Himself to us again through Jesus. Jesus loved to heal the sick because Father loves to heal the sick. Jesus cast out demons because Father wanted to reclaim His beloved creation from the kingdom of darkness. After all, Jesus said the KINGDOM of Heaven is near! Kingdoms do not co-exist in the same territory… if one rises then another must fall. Jesus made it very clear that the Kingdom of Heaven had arrived, and He demonstrated its presence and superiority with power and authority. Then He laid down His life so that humanity could go free—Free from sin, disease, sickness, death, and brokenness—free from the kingdom of darkness. And He rose from the dead to give us NEW Life. Abundant Life! Eternal Life!

“He who knew no sin, became sin, that we might become the Righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.” We have been made righteous by the innocent blood of Jesus. We who believe have become new creations—dead to sin, but alive in Christ! And not only that, but we are now suitable vessels for the Spirit of God to dwell in again. Almighty God is now OUR Father, which makes us His children, and He loves His children… (That is the way Jesus began His ministry—obedience, Holy Spirit, identity, Father’s love)

We can now be trained by our Counselor, the Spirit of God, how to live again as children of the King—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ. The Holy Spirit now lives in us and we are equipped to continue doing the same works that Jesus did—preach the Kingdom, heal the sick, cast out demons, and love the most unlovable and undeserving people we can get our hands on. We have authority over the kingdom of darkness, and where we detect its presence we are to demonstrate the presence of the Kingdom of Heaven. We are to allow the Spirit of God to use us the way Jesus did… to walk in power and in love. We are God’s beloved! Thank You Abba for your Perfect Love! Thank You Jesus for all that you’ve done! Holy Spirit, have Your way!