Good Morning! I read this awesome devotion last night that really triggered something in my heart. You see, before I surrendered my business, I was my business. Let me explain…If my business was failing, I was failing. If my business was successful, I was successful. I was who my business was for the day. My identity was trapped in the successes (or lack thereof) of the business. If people asked me what I did, some days I was proud to share, others, I felt worthless. I was caught up in what it “looked like” and really missing the beauty that God had intended for it. Not to mention, I totally took it all for granted. Through surrendering it all, I have found peace, patience, and true identity in Him which has transformed my heart and business tenfold. Maybe you’ve had similar situations, or you catch yourself sometimes just feeling unhappy, discontented and bitter. Could it be you’ve put your identity in something other than Christ? I promise those things won’t fulfill you like He does. -ash
“You are now liberated from cultural categories as you look into your heart to understand yourself. There are many things that are true of you – how do you know which ones are “you” and should be affirmed and which ones are not? Do we (like the Anglo-Saxon warrior) follow the dictates of a shame-and-honor culture or those of our contemporary, highly individualistic society?
Christianity says “neither” because it does not see either the individual or the society as having the ability to reveal who you are. God, your creator and designer, alone has the right and the wisdom to show you those things in your heart that, if they are embraced and enhanced, will help you become the person you were made to be.
Passages like Romans 7:14-25 realistically describe warring desires and deep conflicts within, but progress can be made.
“So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
I have discovered this principle of life – that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.”
Ephesians tells how to “put off [the] old self,” which is distorted by inordinate, enslaving desires, and “put on [the] new self, created to be like God” (Ephesians 4: 22, 24). When we stop building our identity on career, or our race, or our family, or any other created thing and rest in God, the fears and drives that enslaved us recede, and we experience a new freedom and security.
Walking with God, who always sees us and loves us, brings a new integrity and sense of self. We cannot and do not simply blend into each new setting, saying the things we need to say to get the most benefit out of the situation. We are not merely a set of dramatic roles, changing every time we play to a new set of spectators, because God is our primary audience every moment.”
“throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception.
Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God – truly righteous and holy.” Ephesians 4:22-24
Excerpt from Making Sense of God: An Invitation to the Skeptical by Timothy Keller
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