Category Archives: Identity in Christ

Psalm 16:6-8 

” The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.  I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”

God’s word has marked out my boundary lines. God has shown me  what is acceptable and what is not. 
I am a wife who is understanding how to forgive.  Obedience brings peace and contentment. It’s a shame we don’t recognise it as the best way and fight before we submit. After submitting, all I can say is: “Thank you Lord for enabling me to forgive, because you have forgiven me first.”


I consider myself blessed. So many lessons learned and my sin has been revealed in all its ugliness. There is so much I am learning through his word.

Today I am just thankful. Thankful that he has used adversity to change me, shape and mould me. Adversity has made me appreciate  his grace more than I ever did before. What a saviour. 

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Since my last blog I am feeling in a better place. God is teaching me that it’s ok when everything is stripped back and laid bare. Submitting to his will, however impossible it seems,  is the only way for true contentment in him. I am slowly grasping this and asking God that I won’t fight against it any more.

Before I opened my eyes this morning I was praying a hymn by a lady called Frances Havergal. I pray that I will be able to make the words of this hymn my own with God’s grace;

1. Take my life and let it be

Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.

Take my moments and my days,

Let them flow in endless praise.

2. Take my hands and let them move

At the impulse of Thy love.

Take my feet and let them be

Swift and beautiful for Thee.

3. Take my voice and let me sing,

Always, only for my King.

 Take my lips and let them be

Filled with messages from Thee.

4. Take my silver and my gold,

Not a mite would I withhold.

Take my intellect and use

Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose.

5. Take my will and make it Thine,

It shall be no longer mine.

Take my heart, it is Thine own,

It shall be Thy royal throne.

6. Take my love, my Lord, I pour

At Thy feet its treasure store.

Take myself and I will be

Ever, only, all for Thee.

When darkness veils His lovely face,

I rest on His unchanging grace;

In every high and stormy gale

My anchor holds within the veil.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;

All other ground is sinking sand.

Submitting to God is the only way, and I pray that as we walk with Christ at the centre of our lives we will bring him glory. Then we will be at our happiest and most fulfilled. 

There are many lenses I have viewed my husband through over the last eight months. The lens of anger and hurt, of bitterness and displacement. Even though the world would say that I have a right to all of these reactions, I am learning that we have to be very cautious about which lens we choose to view our life through. Viewing our life through a wrong lens distorts our understanding of the gospel and brings disaster into our lives. 

After many hard knocks I have come to understand that it’s only the lens of God’s word that should influence our lives. It’s the only way for true contentment and fulfilment with the one who knows us best.

When we are looking through a wrong lens, sin is crouching at our door.
 

Proverbs 17:9 says:

Love forgets mistakes; nagging about them parts the best of friends. 

God forgets our mistakes, he hurls our iniquities into the depths of the sea. If we are loving God before ourselves, then we do the same when people hurt and offend us. 

James 1:25 says:

 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it, not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it, they will be blessed in what they do.

When we experience betrayal and hurt our instinctive reaction often turns to bitterness and distance, anger and unforgiveness. Looking through the lens of God’s  word  enables us to see that God reacts to us very differently. God  reacts with kindness and forgiveness, with tenacious love and with no thought to his own feelings when we have hurt and offended him. When we are looking through the right lens we begin to view those who have offended us as loved and precious to God. When we break it down, we begin to view ourselves as no better than those who have hurt us. We are all sinners that don’t deserve the outrageous kindness of our Heavenly Father. So, if  God reacts with love, grace and forgiveness when he is hurt and offended, so must we. 

The importance of right identity

“What do people think about us now?”  Is a thought that I often obsess over..

  

This is a very dangerous path to go on, especially if you have  an active imagination and a sensitive disposition as I have.  The right question to ask is this: “Does my identity lie in the opinion of others or is my identity in Christ?”

 
This is a massive challenge for me. How we like the good opinion of others, and if you’re like me, I often need validation from others in order  to feel good about myself. This is crippling,  as the opinion of others is flawed at best, and fluctuates, and is completely subjective and unreliable. Even so, my perception is that the opinion of others matter. 

I seem to be learning lots of lessons in the pit. It seems to me that God is teaching  me one hard lesson after another, with very little opportunity of taking a breath in between. There seems to be no let up, and as soon as one sin is sorted, another pops up ; a sort of spiritual “splat-the -rat.”

Genesis 1:27 says:

So God created mankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

 I love the account of God creating man. He makes man in his image – with his attributes and his likeness. We see Adam and Eve in a loving relationship with one another, and with God. It’s such a beautiful picture of God walking and talking with Adam and Eve in the garden in the cool of the day. There seems to be no awkwardness or fear, just a loving and transparent relationship between God and man. 

We were created to be in relationship with our maker and to walk with him and have fellowship with him. Sin has spoilt this open and transparent relationship, and has put the most awful barrier up between us and God. 

As Christians, that barrier has been removed. We are now in a restored relationship with our maker because of  Christ’s death and resurrection. We are where we should be, and our identity should be in him. He is our loving Heavenly Father, and he has written to us through his word, expressing how we should live our lives to the fullest because our identity hinges on the one who loves us best. 

Colossians 3:2,3  says:

Set your minds on things above , not on earthly things.For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God

when I look to the world for direction and identity it says :

 give him a hard time; Let him understand how much you’ve been hurt; don’t ever trust him again; remind him often to keep him humble; tell everyone how he’s hurt and spoilt everything ; humiliate him as he has  humiliated you;  leave him.

God says: 

But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgement ( Matt 5:22) ; love keeps no record of wrongs.  ( 1 cor 13 ) ;  hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers all wrongs  (proverbs 10:12);  above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins ( 1 Peter 4:8 ) 

I find it very easy to be swayed by the reaction of others.

 I will give you an example : if I know someone is struggling  or hurting as a direct result of my husband’s actions, I can take back that forgiveness in my heart and take back the resentment I’ve left at the cross. It results in a bitter and accusing attitude. Can you imagine if Jesus did this every time we hurt him?  We need to ask God for huge amounts of help in seeing the huge debt we all owe. Our sins are vast and many, but God has forgiven them all through the Lord Jesus. They have been hurled into the depths of the sea and God has deliberately chosen to forget them. 

My identity has got to be in Christ,  and my view of my husband has got to be shaped by who he is in Christ .  When I am tempted to be influenced by what people think, or I am influenced by hurt caused to others, and I am tempted to take back that forgiveness,  I must fly to Christ, and remember that my forgiveness cannot fluctuate – Christ’s forgiveness is firm and absolute. However badly we behave, however many times we hurt and disgrace him, God’s forgiveness is complete and totally unconditional  – concrete!  I pray that I may respond to my husband and others in the way God has responded to me. 

Dear lord,

Help me to understand that when you forgive us, you never hold it against us. Help me  to forgive fully and completely, and not take that forgiveness back because I am swayed by the opinions of others. That my forgiveness would not come with caveats, but it would be full and complete as you have forgiven me. This is a very hard  thing to do, but I can do all things through you who gives me strength. Help me to really understand that if I don’t forgive, then you won’t forgive me when I sin again you. 

Thank you for your amazing example and your amazing forgiveness, and help us to honour you in all of our actions and reactions.

Lord help me in this,

Amen