Who am I in Christ? That is a big question. The weak and watered down gospel of rescue is far from what Jesus taught. He taught victory over sin and situation. He taught kingdom living. He taught rescue from the power of the world, the flesh, and the devil. He taught son-ship with the Heavenly Father. He taught unity and peace. He taught service to all. He taught discipleship, following, and radical change of heart and direction. Dare to be a Disciple.
Let’s examine three more aspects of the a Christian Disciple. You want to know who you are now that you are following Christ in conjunction with His leaders. Jesus worked through the principle of leadership. He selected 12 to be leaders to initiate the work of the kingdom in the church, the body of Christ. He appointed 70 to be instigators of miracles and change. He baptized 120 with His Holy Spirit to set off the historic birth of the church on the day of Pentecost. Jesus lives through leaders and followers.
In Him I am a conqueror, I am confident and I am connected. These three aspects will be our focus for the next few minutes.
I am a conqueror in Him.
Confess that. Pray that. Declare it over your heart and mind and body. This life will strip you and attempt to get you to live in defeat. Resist through your position in Christ and the power of the gospel, the good news of conquest. A middle-aged truck driver pulled me aside for a talk. “Pastor Phil, I want to tell you something. When God began to send Black folk into the congregation, I became angry. My whole life, I have hated Blacks. But I decided I could be bigger. So every time I come to service, I make it a point to sit by someone who is Black and get to know them. At first, I would get angry and hot. Now, after a few months, I have no problems. I am joyful to sit with anyone in the congregation no matter how much they are different than me.” This man found himself in Christ. He discovered that he was a conqueror, who is not bound to old ways and old ideas and old habits. He expressed his conquering position through love and acceptance and repentance from dead ideas. Romans 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
What area of life resists being conquered? Have you taken the time to search out the Bible for a promise that empowers? Have you let leadership guide you in your search?
I am confident in Him.
Confess that. Pray that. Cover your thoughts with it. I am confident in HIm. Loss breeds discontent. Discontent destroys confidence. Confidence is a given in Christ. It is a privilege and gift. We don’t have to go and get it, but we do have the honor to live and use it. A young director I know struggled with confidence. At his annual appraisal with his senior executive, he admitted this had been his worst year yet. It seemed that at the end of the year, no significant progress had been made on goals. It was frustrating to him. The executive looked directly into his eyes and told him that he would find that during his hardest years he would discover that he had grown the most. His confidence boomed at that point. He got it. Results don’t build confidence. It is an inside job. In Christ, the inside job of building confidence goes on daily as the hidden man of the heart is developed over and over. Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
What have you lost that makes you feel less than confident? What has God given you to make up for that loss?
I am connected in Him.
Confess that. Pray that. Resist the way of the world. One of the biggest struggles of our century is an ailment title ‘attachment disorder’. Many write of this ailment only in relationship to how it affects children. Children grow up into men and women.
“Attachment disorder is a broad term intended to describe disorders of mood, behavior, and social relationships arising from a failure to form normal attachments to primary care giving figures in early childhood.” Wikipedia
Our nation is full of adults, who grew up fatherless and detached. It is an harbinger of domestic violence and constant change in relationships. The average person only stays in a congregation from 18 to 36 months and then moves on. Over and over we detach and struggle. In Christ this is not necessary. We have a healing attachment through Jesus to the Father from whom every family gets its name and call. We are connected in Christ.
This connection needs to be chosen. Like all of the positions and powers we are given in Christ, we must choose to live in them. We are to put on Christ. We are to conform to His image of us and not the image of the world. Get connected. Stay connected. Through problem and pain, there is no reason to escape connections. That is the way of the world, not the position of a believer. Get connected and stay connected. It is your heritage.