Publisher's Letter May 2018
Identity…. Crisis or Craving?
This month’s “Identity” theme can create a lot of confusion in the world of Christianity.
Simply Googling “Identity in Christ” yields 15,600,000 results. That is multi-million e-searching for one of life’s most important questions!
While the internet has its place, this can create a lot of unnecessary confusion. Most of the search results came from well-known Christian speakers and authors who have taught on the topic of identity in Christ. While often inspiring, wouldn’t it be better if we read the Bible to allow God to shape our individual identity? If they had a revelation from God, we can too.
There is a phrase I recall from my pastor that stirred deep in my heart: “Read the Word; let it do its job.” Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
If the Bible is a living document that penetrates every part of our body, then we must read it for ourselves, trusting it to minister to the depths of our being. As we read, it changes us and aligns our heart with His will for our life. God wants to speak to each of His children individually through reading and meditating on His Word.
Earlier this year I was cleaning out a closet and found 61 completed Bible study work books. While I could view that as an accomplishment, I found one study I’d completed three times, workbooks completed to prove it, yet did not recall the study! My question quickly became: What would have happened if in all of those hours of study, I had just sat with my Bible, a journal, a quiet space and God?
Please don’t misunderstand my message. I attend church weekly and am also in a Bible study group as well as a community group that meets weekly. Those environments nurture my soul and deepen my relationship with God and others. But when I need to know what God has to say to me about decisions in my life, I need time with Him to read the Bible and wait on His spirit. If Jesus, the son of God, set aside large chunks of time to seek God and find quiet, shouldn’t we?
Our identity is intimately unique and can’t be compared with others. That is why having a few anchor Scriptures is key to remembering who we truly are when challenges come. Here are some of my favorite scripture promises: I am bold and stouthearted (Psalm 138:3); He will surround me with angels (Psalm 91:11); He delivers me from trouble (Psalm 34:6); I am free indeed (John 8:36); My cup overflows (Proverbs 3:10); I have the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:30); Be anxious for nothing (Philippians 4:6); I’m forgiven of all my sins (Colossians 2:13); I have the peace of Christ (Colossians 3:15); I have strong faith (Hebrews 11); My calling in Christ is secure (2 Peter 1:10); I am an overcomer (1 John 3:4); God hears and answers my prayers (1 John 5:14, 15). There are many promises of God, and all are worthy of our complete trust.
Do you have an identity crisis? Recognize your craving to seek intimacy with our Creator.