How easy it seems to be. It seems surprising sometimes how easy it is to forget who I am – to think my rights and status are greater than they truly are. I somehow begin to think that I deserve blessing and favor. I have been given love, blessing and mercy not out of obligation but out of the desire of a Father to love His child.
When I have moments of obedience and sacrifice, my nature is to expect blessing in return. Surely, there is a cause and effect, right? This is truly deception. I must repent and seek forgiveness. Here is what is promised me:
- God is love
- He has won the battle for me through the sacrifice of His son
- Following Christ will bring persecution from this world
- For my part in the battle for souls – reward awaits in heaven not here on earth.
This is taught throughout the Bible. There are many other promises but these are the ones I need to remember today. Here are two examples of the appropriate attitude from the Word – first in the words of Job then from the Apostle Paul:
Job 9: 19,20, 32-35
19 If it is a matter of strength, he is mighty!
And if it is a matter of justice, who will summon him?
20 Even if I were innocent, my mouth would condemn me;
if I were blameless, it would pronounce me guilty.
32 “He is not a man like me that I might answer him,
that we might confront each other in court.
33 If only there were someone to arbitrate between us,
to lay his hand upon us both,
34 someone to remove God’s rod from me,
so that his terror would frighten me no more.
35 Then I would speak up without fear of him,
but as it now stands with me, I cannot.
Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me.
For the record, I haven’t really suffered much. I simply haven’t remembered my blessings – which somehow causes me to think I am suffering. I have mostly lived by the promise in Jeremiah 29:12-13. I’ll let you look that one up.
Any thoughts on this? How are you doing in embracing your identity?
I am grateful that there is One who came to rescue and present us blameless to the Father. Thank you, Jesus