“Who Do I Say That You Are?”

There are so many ways in which to describe the tremendous blessings that we have in Christ. He makes us secure, rescuing us from a life of insecurity. He gives us a new identity, saving us from the weight of feeling illegitimate. He says, “You belong” – powerful words to counter the effects of abandonment. It is to these very areas that Satan’s forces direct their assault. In tempting Jesus in the wilderness Satan used the words “If you are” the Son of God. There’s nothing new under the sun with his strategy; he used a form of it in the garden with Eve and Adam. Insecurity is prone to doubts and is tempted to find alternate sources of fulfillment. The secure person, like Jesus was, knows that He will be sustained by “every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” Jesus also knew who he was. He didn’t need to “leap tall buildings in a single bound.” No need to put God to the test here. Even without performance, especially without performance, we are “legit” in who we are in Christ. That means we are “valid.” Jesus also knew where he belonged and who alone was worthy of worship. Hence He was able to spurn Satan’s invite to trade what He had in exchange for all the kingdoms of this world. Security, identity, and belonging – these are three wells that we continually drink from and that mark us as His own.

We have friends that recently adopted two girls from an orphanage in another country. This makes a total of four children for them, previously orphans, but now firmly planted in a loving family. I watched this family travel abroad, in faith, with no guarantees, in pursuit of children. They worked hard, prayed hard, and paid hard, because there’s no value too high that can be placed on a human soul. I watched them pursue and now I get to watch them impart, a brand new value system. Like all of us, these former orphans must deal with other messengers who wrote on their tender hearts; messages that were not true, but hurtful. It fills me with joy to observe this family. It’s restoration in action. Always easy? Of course not. But it makes life worth living. What these parents feel towards orphans contains the same DNA of what God the Father feels when He looks upon the human race. People are searching to and fro: to feel secure, discover who they are and be a part of a family.

Over the years, one of my arch-enemies has been my own opinion of myself. Can anyone else relate? A certain “branding” takes place over time. Repeat messages become carved upon the heart and they don’t erase easy. One sure-fire antidote is to adopt some new “repeat messages”, aka the Word of God, and let the light of His Word push out darkness. Beginning the journey is not rocket science. It starts with believing that He is the Christ, to say with Peter, “You are the Christ, the son of the living God.” In surrendering my life to Him, thirty-seven years ago, I also, answered Christ’s question to Peter. (“Who do you say that I am?”) My beloved partner on this journey, the incarnate Agape of God, Jesus Christ, now wants me and you to know how He feels about us. Thus He asks, “Who do I say that you are?”