“As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.”(Proverbs 24:7) This verse was one of the first verses that spoke to Kurt and I when we started trusting in the Lord. Years later as I reflect on this verse I am even more moved by it. How often do we find ourselves making decisions from “head knowledge” and then try to convince ourselves that the feelings in our heart aren’t real? “Out of the abundance of our heart, our mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45) Reminds us that it’s the seeds we plant in our heart that produce the life we live. By examination of our life, we get a foundational understanding of “what belief’s have taken root in our soul.” This is different than memorizing and reciting a list of things. Our desire in sharing this is to help all of us to place our identity in Christ, for as “He is so are we” (1 John 4:17). We do not want to give you a list of things that need to be done in order to be successful or healthy. Knowing who we are in Jesus is our guarantee for divine health and supernatural success in every aspect of our lives. Asking the Holy Spirit to change whatever beliefs we have planted in our hearts that have hindered us from walking into the fullness of what Christ finished on the Cross certainly helps clear out the weeds in our heart that have caused the struggles.
This week is a powerful celebration of Christ’s journey toward fulfilling the law, the psalms, and the prophets. He took all the punishment for all of our sins and inequities, then He rose for our complete justification! This is the ultimate Love Story and the ultimate final sacrifice so that we could be seated as sons feasting back at the table and celebrating with our Father in heaven! “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” (Romans 8:29-30) From the foundation of the world God knew each and every one of us. His character is Love. In that Love He took on flesh to bring us back into perfect communion with Himself, freeing us from the knowledge of good and evil and cleansing our conscience. He took away the sin of the world so that we could feast from the Tree of Life. Hallelujah!
Our Identity is in Christ Jesus, His character is our character. “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!”(Revelation 5:12) Through Christ we are all worthy to receive power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor and glory. Sadly, there are times when we don’t “feel” that way because what we believe in our hearts is telling us something different. The good news is our beliefs can be changed. “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2) As we rest in His Love and trust that what He says about us is true,our beliefs begin to change. “It’s the goodness of God that leads to change.” (Romans 2:4) The more we focus on His unconditional, unwavering love that he has for, us we effortlessly begin to be transformed more and more into His image.
When I hear these words pertaining to my identity in Christ, how does it make me feel? In Christ I am Loved, in Christ I am Forgiven, in Christ I am Saved, in Christ I am in Union, in Christ I am Accepted, in Christ I am Holy, in Christ I am Righteous, in Christ I Died, in Christ I am New, and in Christ I am Royal. As you go through the next week moving into Easter, identify the feelings you experience around those words. If for instance you look at forgiven, your mind might say “yes I know I am forgiven but your heart, or gut might say I know I am forgiven but I still have guilt around the situation.” Ask the Holy Spirit to heal the feeling that you get when thinking of that situation. Remember “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.”(Romans 8:1)
The point is to heal our hearts and receive the total ministry of reconciliation. The belief system that says that we can fall from God’s grace comes from a broken belief system about who we are in Christ. Maybe we were taught that we need to show God how much we loved him by our actions, or our earthly parents expected us to prove our love for them. This belief stems from feeding off the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We tend to do what we don’t want to do, and we conform to the world’s idea that for us to live in God’s Love we need to do something more than just believe. It’s from eating from the tree of Life (JESUS!) that sets us free from guilt and shame. Resting in Christ is our assurance that we can a live our life more abundantly. In Jesus we can never fall short of God’s glory again! Hallelujah! Christ took away the sin of the world. His whole mission was to reconcile us back to perfect union with the Father. Some of us reading this might think that God the Father is a lot like our earthy father, we may see Him as a reward for doing good or a punishment for doing bad father with conditions. We may see Him as all encompassing Love, we may see Him as distant and only being available on His terms.
How we see God the Father and how we see our relationship with Him is the ticket to living in the freedom of Jesus. If we see God as the disciplinarian we likely will struggle with many of the world issues. If we think we need to do good to get good, we will likely question if we are forgiven and if we think God is keeping a tally of the good we have done and the bad we have done, we might question our own salvation.
The good news is “you are God’s masterpiece.” (Ephesians 2:10). You are loved by God’s unconditional, unwavering, limitless love. You are forgiven and God sees you as perfect. In Christ you are forever saved, even if you mess up. You are married to Christ and he will never divorce you. You are accepted by your Father in heaven. In Christ you are whole which is why you are Holy! As a believer you are in right standing with God forever. The old man filled with shame, guilt, and condemnation died with Christ and in His resurrection you are a new creation. You are part of thee royal family as a prince or princess! Hallelujah! The more these truths are planted in our hearts, the more they grow and our lives begins to explode with peace, love, and joy that surpasses anything we could have previously imagined. We begin to see ourselves as God sees us, His masterpiece! We begin to care less about sin and become more grateful for the Son. We begin to see Jesus as he wanted us to see him, as the Savior, friend, and groom. We begin to weep with total gratitude for God’s unmerited favor in our life. We worry less and praise more. Instead of judging others we begin to love as we are loved. As we begin to see ourselves as God our Father sees us His peace that surpasses all understanding anchors us, His light shines and the world is seasoned with His love.
Heavenly Father we thank you and praise you for giving us back our identity that you desired for us to have from the foundation of the world. Thank you that this week as we celebrate Christ’s death, burial and resurrection, we have a true change of heart revelation that Jesus was, is and will always be enough! By believing in this truth, we can let the idea of earning His Love go and rest and receive the transforming life giving Love that He already gave us at the Cross and in His resurrection . We thank you that today our eyes of understanding our opened more to see us in your perfection and that our spiritual hearts are opened to all you have for us. We thank you that the Grace of God is not meaningless, it is all encompassing and it is life for all who rest in it.
Thank you Father for no greater Love. For eliminating the knowledge of good and evil the more we feed from the tree of life. In you we are perfect and we praise you for that. In the Precious name of Jesus we pray, amen amen amen.
Be blessed this week!
Kurt and Katy