Who We Are and Whose We Are
Today's writing is a lesson having to do with our sense of identity and belonging, both of which are fundamental needs of all human beings. We will look at how God has made many provisions in Christ to fulfill and satisfy this hunger and thirst to belong and identified as valuable and loved.
The portion of scripture that the lesson will be based upon will begin with Christ's baptism in the River Jordan, an act that was not required, but practiced by Him, as an example to for us to follow Him. At this event, the Father declares to all who were present that this is His Beloved Son.
As will be shown, there is no purpose, value nor belonging apart from the living God who made us. And the key to our finding all that we need is in relationship to His Beloved Son Jesus Christ and following Him.
Let us continue with the Bible text about Baptism and look at how this applies to us personally.
When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
— Matthew 3:16
Death and Resurrection
Baptism is all about surrender to God by dying to the old aimless sinful person we were. It is the immersion of ourselves into the waters that symbolize our death and burial and rising from those waters to become a new creature in Christ bringing us into a right relationship with God and belonging to Him.
we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life
— Romans 6:4
When we surrender our lives to Christ "the heavens are opened" All of God's resources which are in heaven are made available to us to enable us to live a life of godliness by knowing who we are and whose we are.
:...His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
— II Peter 1:1-4
Identity and Position
It is shown in the baptism experience how the Father blessing the Son with His approval and reminding Him of His identity will be pivotal to His next experience. When we surrender and immerse (baptize) ourselves into Him and His ways we are blessed with the Father's approval and discover that he is pleased with us and that we are His, not because of what we have done but because of what Jesus did. This revelation will be pivotal to us as well in this life's wilderness journeying.
Right after His baptism in Matthew Chapter four, Jesus is led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit to be tested. The very first question that the devil asks Jesus has everything to do with what God had just spoken over His life. Satan asks,
"If you are the Son of God command the stone to be turned into bread."
He attacks His identity (This is my beloved Son) and position (in whom I am well pleased) with God. If He in any way doubted who He was or that God was pleased with Him or if He in any way doubted that God alone was enough for Him (meaning more to Him than, even, food while He was ravenously hungry), He would have succumbed to the temptation. So it is with us. The Word comes and so does the test.
The very first temptation in the garden was directed at the appetite of "self" satisfaction rather than God's satisfaction. Appetite can mean so much more than simply food. Adam and Eve had forgotten who they were, children of God who held everything they could ever need or want in the palm of His hand. Their disobedience spoke much more than words could say about what they believed about how God felt about them. They could have just as well called Him a stingy, manipulative, uncaring Father who had no interest in their well being or success.
We can scoff at them all we want for making such a poor choice but it is in us too. I was watching my granddaughters play the other day and set out for them some toys to play with and I observed that no matter what toys were offered they most often wanted the toy that was the furthest from their reach or the one the thing (not a toy) that they couldn't have (electric cord, pencil, cup of liquid). Isn't that how we are sometimes always wanting what we cannot have while many fine things are sitting right in front of us.
The key to overcoming temptation is knowing our identity and position with the only one in the universe who really matters and valuing this relationship above all else.
God created man in His own image. In other words. Man saw himself in God's eyes and the reflection he saw was like God. He could see he was like Him. When the devil averted the attention of the two and convinced them to surrender to the temptation the image became corrupted and a great distortion took place. Man now saw God in distortion and He began to see Himself as reflected in the eyes of his new evil master.
We tend to become like the things or people we look at most intently.
Those who make them are like them;
So is everyone who trusts in them.
— Psalm 115:8
this verse in reference to the idol images the people worshiped. We become like what and who we trust.
Jesus' purpose in coming was to show us the Father and restore our identity and position with Him.
“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
— John 14:7-9
His purpose was to clear up the distortion by the forgiveness of our sins through His death on the cross so that our vision could and would be restored first and foremost concerning the goodness and the greatness of God and secondly the ability to see ourselves in His eyes as a child with whom He is well pleased.
I think one of the greatest human battles is to be convinced that we are loved and I think the greatest disappointment for some is that it seems no person or circumstance is able to convince them of that. It is never enough only because we seek it from human earthly resources than can never satisfy. I believe Philip knew this when he told Yeshua that they would be satisfied if He would just show them "The Father"
In order for God to be God, He has to be the only opinion of us that truly matters. Our confidence and good feelings about our lives and ourselves should only be found in Him. When we know that we are loved by the creator of the universe now one can take that away from us no matter how we are treated.
There is only one person who can satisfy the longing of our hearts and only one way to truly know that we are special, someone that is valued, and that our life really matters and that person is Yeshua (Savior) God's only Son who felt us worthwhile enough to leave the comfort of His heavenly home and the presence of His Father, to be beaten and hung on a cross to remove our sin-stained perceptions so we could know just how much "The Father" truly does love us.
Until we see this truth we will continue to attempt to manipulate the physical world around us (people and things) by begging and demanding that the world around us convince us we are of value all the while we end up in places that confirm what we fear the most because they are not God and have no means to erase our personal crimes nor the crimes committed against us..."Nothing but the blood of Jesus"...
Put God first. If we do not see Him properly we will not see ourselves properly.
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
— Matthew 6:33
I believe that God has spoken something over each one of our lives about who we are and whose we are and as Jacob wrestled with God one night and would not let Him go until He blessed him, so it must be with us. We need to wrestle with God and not let Him go until we are convinced of how deeply loved we are in such a way that no other opinion or circumstance matters and immerse ourselves in this truth. We then become a mission to serve, love, and convince others of His transforming love with the opened provisions of heaven.
© 2010 Tamarajo