Blog, Living in the Abundance of Christ

Identity Crisis

“I am a child of God. God is my Father; heaven is my home; every day is one day nearer. My Savior is my brother; every Christian is my brother too.”
-J.I. Packer

I forget. Yes, I forget who I am and to whom I belong, and start acting like a total spaz. Focusing on all the wrong things, returning to worry, being distracted by all sorts of useless endeavors, and on and on.

This last month has been a good reminder. A reminder of the things I so easily forget when confronted with even the slightest pressure or uncomfortable circumstance. I forget I belong to the Lord. I was bought with a price. (1 Corinthians 7:23)

So, I’ve spent some much-needed time in prayer. In reading God’s Word. In reflecting on what’s important. I listened and read less news reports, and listened and read more of the things that God has to say. It’s been good, and I remember.

I’m just finishing up the book “Knowing God” by J.I. Packer. A wonderfully rich and full book about God. Who he is. The knowable attributes that he has. I thought I would get a lot more reading done in this last month, but with this book, since it has so much information, I have to read bite size pieces and take time to mull them over; to digest and try to grasp what they’re saying.

I considered my ease at devouring books dedicated to me. Who I am, what I’m doing here, how I can succeed in life. It’s harder to read books devoted to knowing more about God, even in relation to me. Aha! This has been a good eye opener.

I decided that I’m tired of trying to know more about myself. Trying to analyze my personality and see why I do the things I do, and why I don’t do the things I don’t. Blah! I want to know more about God. I want to know my Lord and Savior, Jesus, more and more. I finally understand what Paul was talking about, even if just slightly, when he says “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2:2). I want to know Christ more fully,even as I am fully known by him. (1 Corinthians 13:12). And in some upside down or right side up way, the way God seems to work, the more I know him, the more I know myself.

“The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian makes me a different kind of woman.” – Elisabeth Elliot

Along with reading and cutting (significantly) down on news, I’ve spent time listening to some great messages in the form of sermons, teachings, and panel discussions through two recent conferences.

The Gospel: 2016 West Coast Conference with some of my favorite preachers including R.C. Sproul, Derek Thomas and Steven Lawson, along with others I had not heard before, but thoroughly enjoyed listening to.

The Gospel Coalitions 2016 Women’s Conference with Kathleen Nielson, Jen Wilkin, Don Parker, John Piper and many more. I’ve been able to listen to a handful of these messages and they have blessed and encouraged me so much; I can’t wait to hear more!

There is one panel discussion I want to highlight in particular and that is On the Persecuted Church. I don’t think, in this country, we fully grasp the magnitude of persecution towards fellow Christians going on in other parts of the world. This video is a good reminder, or if you haven’t realized, a great wake-up call, to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ that are enduring great hardships for following Jesus. I ask that you’ll take the time to watch this and join with me in prayer and support (in any way you can) for them.

I have needed to immerse myself in God’s Word, both written and verbal, and meditate on these things, to combat all that has been going on personally, logistically and culturally. Maybe others can get away with far less of this, but for me, if I don’t inundate myself with His Word, I won’t be able to complete the tasks which God has called me to. This means letting go of distractions and all the things that don’t contribute positively to keeping my focus on the more important things. There are so many distractions that I must actively fight against, and choose less and better things to do.

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
    and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
    giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
    it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
    and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11

I am compelled to do this, and must, so I don’t forget who I am in this world. And I know who I am, when I understand who God is, and what he’s done for me by sending Jesus.

 “For God so loved the world,that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:16-17

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