THERE ARE SO MANY certain distractions in this life that we are bound to lose our way. Not only are there a billion possible distractions, they sway our minds into the outcome of excess – and our identities are driven there, to be founded there, to replace God; and to find misery there, also.
Any identity based in anything other than God will find itself ensconced in misery.
Cases in point:
There’s the dancer who is dropped from the season’s final performance, having performed every date through the season. He is distraught and cannot sleep. He vacillates between anger and tears and is unbearable to live with. His soul is wedded to the consummate performance. His identity is entwined within something he has no control over. It is humanity, and a whole bunch of reasons, why it’s ended badly. He blames everyone bar himself.
Or, there’s the pastor who has been ‘given a vision’ of an ‘empire for the Kingdom’ – and clearly they’ve heard wrong. He or she is driven to grow a ministry that will not last; their passion is their downfall, for they want to please God so much they miss the vital importance of valuing people in their journey to a sense of ministry greatness (a ‘great’ oxymoron in itself). His or her identity is in the ministry – in a thing human beings can create, devoid of need to rely on God. The work is right, but there is a tragic and flawed underpinning.
Finally, the shy person has an identity in being hidden to the outside world, for their lack of confidence is their safety. They invest in what destroys them. Like those who battle addictions, the identity is placed in that which has them trapped.
Sowing Into a Beautifully Solid Identity – the Only One
We can do no harm to ourselves or anyone else when we encamp within the Almighty Shelter of the Lord our God. From the home base that is God, we screen all our decision-making. We have found the source of wisdom. God is power for both awareness and action. But within such an identity there is the requirement for change – people will notice, and not everyone will be thrilled.
The inherent safety of an identity in the Lord Jesus Christ is this – we are saved from grounding ourselves in anything else. Our worship is spent righteously on a righteous God. Without such a worship we find another thing to worship – it takes us on a road away from the safety of God in righteousness.
Prosperity – true and sustaining prosperity – is dependent entirely on being in the lap of God’s will. This is because nothing else is of defining importance as we view life from the aspect of eternity.
As we put the Kingdom first, we allow God to fashion within us a safe and prosperous identity – interdependent with the flow of life and dependent on nobody else.
Safe, prosperous identity is this: because of where our faith in Christ is pointed, we have a healthy God-balanced interdependence in the world, having transcended both independence (selfishness) and dependence (childishness).
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.