Insert deep sigh here. Deep breath in. Slow exhale.
This part of the Bible Study was at Week 2 Day 4. I’m now at Week 6 yet Week 2 Day 4 is still on my heart like holy fertilizer. The Holy Spirit is working to drive this message home for me. I see it. I’ve read it. It’s biblical. I’ve heard it multiple times. But, I just CANNOT wrap my mind around this spiritual concept and lesson. Human thinking challenged me to believe that in order to be a child of God that I must be perfect 100% of the time. As if I can somehow “work” or “earn” my righteousness. But honestly, I’ll never be perfect and even my best is not good enough and never will be.
Pastor Duane Sheriff at Victory Life Church originally taught me this spiritual concept years ago using the best illustration possible. One of his daughter’s is named Shekinah which means “the glory of God”. Of course, as all people (especially children & teens do) she would make mistakes or do things wrong that she should not do. One day she looked at her dad and said “I know I’m bad” or something like that. To which Pastor Duane replied, “you are the glory of God and you are the righteousness of Christ. Now act like it.” That just rang in my Spirit man for weeks (or obviously months and years).
I have sinned and made many mistakes over the course of almost 40 years of life that I am not proud of. And I have no problem recalling each and every one of them to memory at any given time. Or, it’s like the enemy can hit me up and remind me of every wrong thing I’ve ever done in under 1 minute. It’s literally like writing out a grocery list. We need eggs, milk, bread and do you remember when you did A, B, C and D?
There are 2 things that stand out for me in particular when I hear that reminder.
- I do not truly believe that God has forgiven my sins.
- I do not truly believe my new identity in Christ.
Psalms 103 8:-13 NLT says “The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.” I have been redeemed and forgiven of all of my sins. The debt against me is cancelled. God has forgiven me and I am washed clean by the blood of Jesus. Now, I need to believe that and act like I believe that.
What is my identity In Christ?
I am a new creation, created in Christ Jesus, with “new” things from God on the inside of me. 2 Cor. 5:17-18
I am righteous and holy. Rom. 5:17; Eph. 4:24
Sin no longer has power over me. Rom 6:1-6
I have the mind of Christ. 1 Cor. 2:16
I am forever free from condemnation. Rom. 8:1
God is now my Father and I am His child. 1 John 3:1
God is for me and no one can successfully stand against me. Rom. 8:31
He has chosen me and I am blameless in His eyes. Eph. 1:4-5
With Jesus, I am more than a conqueror. Rom 8:37
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil 4:13
I have become a temple of God. 1 Cor 6:19
I am a friend of God. John 15:15
I am a saint. Eph 1:1, 18; Phil 1:1
I am a partaker of Christ; I share in His life and heavenly calling. Heb 3:1, 14
I am a member of a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession. 1 Peter 2:9
I have direct access to God through the Spirit. Eph 2:18
I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins. The debt against me has been canceled. Col 1:14
I have been given everything I need to live a godly life. 2 Peter 1:3
I have been given a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Tim 1:7
In Gideon, Priscilla Shirer writes “Gideon didn’t have the look of a ‘mighty man of valor’. Cowering silently in the winepress, Gideon felt and looked anything other than valiant…. But Yahweh’s view was not bound by Gideon’s reality or actions… [Yahweh] could see beyond the exterior, calling out of Gideon something that the timid man probably didn’t even realize was in him. Gideon wasn’t a scared farmer. Not really. That’s how he was behaving, but that’s not who he was. Yahweh’s perspective of us is often so unbelievable… The angel had already told Gideon who was with him, but now he wanted to reveal what was in him.”
Behavior does not determine my identity. That reminds me of a great quote I saw on social media recently. “The enemy knows your name but calls you by your sin. God knows your sin but calls you by your name.”
Thank you Priscilla Shirer for reminding me of that yet AGAIN in the Gideon study and thank you God for continuing to show me what is in me and for calling the best of me – Christ in me – forth.