I have been contemplating my own journey toward wholeness and maturity and in particular how I view myself as it relates to becoming who I have always been “in Christ”.
We are told that everything we will ever become and everything we will ever need to become what we are becoming is “in Christ”. We know that we can never become what God has not called us. What I mean is we are what God calls us the moment He calls us whatever He calls us.
For example, Jesus said to His disciples before they were ever born again, “You are the light of the world” and “you are the salt of the earth”. The question we must ask ourselves is this, “were they?” These men had anger issues. These men had issues with foul language. These men had authority issues. These men had control issues. These men had integrity issues. These men had issues with wanting to be something great. They all had greatness inside of them and they desired for that greatness to manifest and to be recognized.
Does this sound like any of us?
Jesus was not afraid to call, empower and release people with issues. In an empowering culture trust is given before it has been completely tested. The test of loyalty and trust is in the out working of the relationship. Jesus believes we will succeed. When we fall short He can confront the failures in us and watch growth happen.
These men were absolutely who and what Jesus said they were the moment He said what He said. “You ARE”! Jesus did not say, “You will become one day the light of the world and the salt of the earth.” The obvious conclusion is yes they would one day become those things and so much more. But they would never have been able to become those things had Jesus not said, “You ARE, right now, what and who I say you are.”
Paul understood this because he always addressed the Christians he was speaking, or writing to as “saints”. Christians do not become saints hundreds of years after they die and after they have had some major impact in the world.
People become saints [a holy person] the moment they are born again. Christians are far from perfect but they are still saints. Paul spoke to who they were in Christ, not what they were doing. Even when he had to address carnality in the Corinthian church he addressed them as “babes in Christ” [1 Corinthians 3]. The ‘babes” comment spoke to their behavior and the “in Christ” comment spoke to who they truly were.
As I said, Jesus speaks to our completion in Him and confronts everything in us that contradicts our true identity.
The Bible clearly tells us “not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought” [Romans 12:3]. I have been a disciple of Jesus Christ for thirty years now. I have been around people who thought more highly of themselves than they should. I have thought more highly of myself than I should during these thirty years of following Christ.
But I have also, and I do say truthfully that I have struggled far more with thinking more lowly of myself than I should. I have also been around far more individuals who struggled with this same low thinking.
It is just as dangerous to think more lowly of ourselves than it is to think more highly of ourselves. False humility is as pungent a smell in the nostrils of God as pride. Actually, false humility is pride.
Humility is not thinking less of ourselves. Humility is thinking of ourselves less. To demean, or denigrate ourselves, or someone else is to demean and denigrate the God who created us. Can we say, “not a good plan”?
So, as I have been contemplating all of this I thought of tires. I thought of tires that I have had on the different vehicles that I have owned over the years. I thought of the different times I had to change or replace my tires. There have been times that I had to replace my tires because they were worn because they were at or past the mileage rating for them. Normal wear and tear had depleted their ability to function as created.
But there also have been times when I had to change and replace tires because they were over or under inflated.
I can recall a time when I had a blowout because I filled my tires with air without the aid of a tire gauge and I over inflated them. They burst from the excess air and the pressure exerted from within and from without.
I can also recall times when I had to replace a tire or multiple tires because I was not being responsible to regularly check the pressure and they had become dangerously under inflated.
I have never had a tire blow that was under inflated but I have had several tires unravel due to under inflation.
Either conclusion can be dangerous, both to the driver as well as to anyone in close proximity.
Friends, David said of himself in Psalm 139:14, “I will give thanks to You, for I am [I AM] fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful ARE Your works. And my soul knows it very well” [Caps for my emphasis].
Allow me to translate what David said into our present vernacular. “I rock”! Or, “I am amazing”! Or, “God, you are amazing because You made me to be awesome”!
David was not bragging on anyone but God. David had a revelation of his true identity. Most people, and I include myself in this, most of the time think of themselves as if they were still in the first Adam, the one that failed.
The truth is, we are no longer in the one who failed. We are “in” the One who is perfect in every way and lacks nothing. “The Lord is our Shepherd, we shall NOT lack” [Caps mine for emphasis].
We must quite living a lie. We are who God says we are from the moment He says what He says about us.
The Kingdom of God is within because at our conversion the King came in. Working out our salvation means to get out-of-the-way of the King and His Kingdom so that He and It can fully manifest.
God never called people to live for Him. Christianity is about God living His life, His way, through people.
How do you see yourself? My prayer is that you, and I will see ourselves the way God sees us. And from that place of Truth we can fully become who we are already.
For HIS Glory!
Dr. Kevin M. Drury