There are so many ways in which to describe the tremendous blessings that we have in Christ. Here are a few:
- 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.
Like Israel fleeing from Egypt, we are “delivered yet still pursued.” Satan, like Pharaoh, was forced to release us but still connives to entrap us. He could not stop the Word from becoming flesh but he kept Jesus on his radar, plotting to intercept the life-giving message whenever possible. It’s what we call “spiritual warfare” today.
In tempting Jesus in the wilderness he used the words “If you are” the Son of God. There’s nothing new under the sun; he used this strategy in the garden against Eve and Adam. Insecurity is prone to doubts and is tempted to find alternate sources of fulfillment. On the other hand, the secure person knows that He will be sustained by “every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” Jesus 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 already possessed in exchange for all the kingdoms of this world.
Security, identity, and belonging – three wells that we continually drink from and that mark us as His own.
We have dear friends who have adopted four children. These precious young ones, who I’m privileged to personally know, were previously orphans but are now firmly planted in a loving family. I watched these parents travel across the ocean, 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. (see link below) It’s restoration in action. Always easy? Of course not. But it makes life worth living. What these parents feel towards orphans is sourced in their hearts’ intersection with Abba. It’s what 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 part of a family.
Over the years, one of my arch-enemies has been my own opinion of myself. Can anyone else relate? I was a shame headliner in my day, living overcome with falsehood. 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 new “repeat messages”, aka the Word of God, and let the light of His Word push out darkness. I’m living now as an over-comer – one who has “come over” to the side of truth.
In surrendering my life to Him, thirty-nine years ago, I began to walk on the path of revelation, to know this Man who changes everything. He is my beloved partner on this journey, the incarnate Agape of God, Jesus Christ. His thoughts towards us are clearly seen when His Word becomes revealed. His perspective is everything.
If we are “seated in heavenly places” in Christ (Ephesians 2:6) then we can make His view, our view.