But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.Philippians 3:20 NLT
Confusion reigns over identity in this present world. Am I identified by my biological sex at birth? Am I identified by the color of my skin? Am I identified by the nation I was born in? My occupation? My socioeconomic status? My political leanings? My past? My present? Or my future?
Do the labels I apply to myself matter? What about the ones others apply to me? Aren’t all these labels just convenient ways to dehumanize me and make me less than? If you can put me in a box then you don’t have to spend the time and effort to relate to me as a human being. That’s where we find ourselves today as a nation.
We group people into categories so that we can perpetuate an us versus them mentality. That’s how people behave when their minds are set on earthly matters. They think in terms of scarcity and survival. How can I protect my selfish interests from being swept away in the interest of the greater good?
The crucible of circumstances is revealing what is in our hearts. We have a choice. We always have a choice. Do we live in the futility of our carnal minds, worried about carnal things? Or do we identify with the truth of God’s Word and what it says about who we are?
The truth is, in Christ, we transcend all earthly identifiers. We are a new creation. This creation is no longer a separate individual, an island unto itself in the vast sea of humanity. We are a part of something greater than ourselves.
A finger by itself is nothing. It is dead. It is detached. Joined to the hand, it can point, it can grasp, it can communicate with the rest of the body. It becomes useful and can serve its intended purpose. And such it is with us who are joined to the Body of Christ.
In the Western world, individuality is exalted to the point of idolatry. Think celebrity worship. In the Eastern world, where Christianity originated, social harmony is more important than individual expression. Herein lies the point of tension in Western Christianity. Is it me and my Jesus? Or is it us and our Lord?
We have to make a conscious decision, daily, to die to ourselves and pick up our cross. If Jesus decided to do his own thing instead of go to the Cross, we’d all be eternally lost, forever separated from the life of God.
Thankfully, our Lord submitted to the will of His Father in heaven. He settled the score. He reconciled our accounts. He bore the punishment we deserve. He set us free, not by His own volition, but out of obedience to the will of God.
What a price to pay. What suffering He endured as an innocent man. His life cut short by the hand of mockers and sinners. Condemned to die between two thieves. A criminal’s death for the Savior of humanity.
But that’s not the end of the story. Jesus died, was buried and rose again. He has triumphed over sin, death and the grave. He has ascended into heaven where He waits until the appointed time to return and put all things under subjection to Himself. All authority in Heaven and Earth belongs to Him.
That’s our God and King. He unites all things in Himself. There is no division. We are one spirit with Him. The things that divide us on Earth don’t exist in Heaven. And that is our final destination for those who believe.
We are citizens of heaven. We are ambassadors of Christ. We are born again of an incorruptible and imperishable seed, the Word of God. If we are a word of the Word, we should be an echo of what God says. Align yourself with God’s will and you will not return void. He is watching over His word to perform it. On Judgment Day, will He say, “Well done, good and faithful servant?”
Living in Christ is about walking with God daily. You’re not left with a confusing instruction manual, expected to figure it out on your own. God is with you. The Holy Spirit is inside you. He will lead you and guide you, day by day, moment by moment, decision by decision, if you seek His will.
It takes conscious initiative to let Jesus be the Lord of your life. That is why pride is the ultimate sin. It precedes all other sin. Pride says, “I know enough to judge what is right for me.” Pride does not submit to God’s will. Pride is the road to hell. Humility is the key to grace.
Does our nation celebrate humility? Or does it reward arrogance? At some point you need to disengage from the cultural narrative that the devil controls. Christians are transformational agents of the Kingdom of God. We do not conform to the world. We are in the world, but not of the world.
The way of the world is passing away. Be brave. Be bold. Stand up for truth and righteousness. Lead by example. The world will hate you because you don’t subscribe to the same lies that they do. That’s okay. They murdered Jesus for the very same reason.
Where do you get your identity? Is it something that’s been forced upon you by the world? Is it something of your own choosing that you have fashioned? Or is it discovered in what God says about you?
We are citizens of the Kingdom of God. We have rights and responsibilities. The burden is not great. The task is not too hard. Simply believe and walk with the One who made you who you are. He knows better than we do. All the days of our lives are in His hands. Rejoice in your Savior. He’s coming back again.
May the God of all grace reveal Himself to your heart and mind today. May you disappear in Him and live by the power and anointing of Christ. May God be your everything. And may you freely share Him with the world. Amen.