I have been thinking a lot recently about my identity.
Besides the obvious (no, I didn't forget my name already!) (and no, I don't have Jason Bourne syndrome) I have been thinking about where I am in life and what my purpose is at this point. I am 22 years old, have a violin performance degree from the University of Memphis. I teach violin, write and perform music in a band and want to serve God through music and youth ministry. BUT my life just doesn't look the way I thought it would right now. Not that that's a bad thing! It's actually kind of an adventure. But at times I feel kind of insecure about things. As my friend Maggie put it "You are a freshman at life now." Ah yes, the fun times of a freshman.
So I enter into the next phase of life, trying to define who I am and what I am going to do. Just like I sought out upperclassmen when I was a freshman in college, I now find myself seeking out upperclassmen at life. Godly men who have been there and know what it's like to pursue God in the midst of music ministry and life. At the same time though, as much as I try to define myself and I try to figure out who I am, I manage to forget some of the most obvious answers.
My LORD has already told me who I am.
"All who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back
into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption
as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit
himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children
of God, and if children, then heirs- heirs of God and fellow
heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that
we may also be glorified with him"
- Romans 8:14-17
I am a son of God, adopted into his family and fellow heir with Christ! If that doesn't boost your self esteem
I don't know what will. And self esteem is a personal vice that Satan has used for years to get me discouraged. I think that now, in 2011, I have finally understood that this promise is for me as well! Somehow we can get into the mindset that the promises of God somehow apply to everyone but us. I had a wonderful coffee conversation with my friend Dave the other day and this is exactly what we talked about. In the midst of our frustrations in life and battles, we forget that Christ has ALREADY WON! Hallelujah.
So, we are given the freedom to fight our battles FROM victory instead of FOR victory!
"Since then we have a great high priest who has
passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God,
let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have
a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our
weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been
tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with
confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we
may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of
"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors
through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither
death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present
nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate
us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."
This confidence that Hebrews mentions is the key to unlocking living TRUE LIFE in Christ. If nothing can separate us from the love of Christ and nothing is too big for our God, then WHY ARE WE STILL LIVING AS IF SIN STILL HAS A HOLD ON US?
This is not a matter of getting free of our sins, we ARE free from them! We just have to claim that liberty in Christ! I can say from experience that living under the bondage of guilt from our past will make us miserable. As Romans 8:1-2 says "There is therefore now NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has SET YOU FREE in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death." (emphasis added) It's the same thing for the spiritual gifts. We act as if we somehow have to work up to being patient, and being joyful; act is if righteousness is something we can attain by ourselves. In fact, Christ is the embodiment of these things, and if we simply claim our victory and live in Christ, these things are automatic!
As it says in Ephesians 1:3, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with EVERY spiritual blessing in the heavenly places." Often we look over this passage as being nice and fluffy without examining its truths. It says our Father has blessed, as in the plural, as in it has already been done, US with EVERY spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. How? My dear friends it is quite simple.
So brothers and sisters, let us throw aside this insecurity and the weights and sins that so easily entangle us. Let us run together the race of life, looking to Jesus Christ- who is the author and PERFECTER of our faith.
The REAL Bowman