Bind Us Together, Lord Part 2
We want to hold fast to the identities we think we want or to the things and people we think define us. You hear that word all the time now, too: identity. Identity is subjective and ever-changing. Identity is like an elusive beast roaming around untamed and its very nature is fickle and capricious. It’s fleeting. We’re lost in our identities because it has become the cultural idol we readily embraced—even if we don’t realize it. That idol is sabotaging our discipleship, relationships, fellowship, mentorship, and robbing us of the blessings available through obedience to Christ.
I enjoy sports and outdoor activities, but I’d rather be known as a professing believer in Christ than a runner or a cyclist. I’ve been serving in law enforcement for 11 years and I can tell you working as a police officer is not my identity. If you came to know me and didn’t know very soon after that I was a believer that would be a real tragedy.
I was born in Georgia in 1985. I’m 33 years old. I’ve been a professing believer in Christ for almost 20 years. What I’ve learned in these years about my identity is that it is hidden in Christ. Friends, I serve an incredible God who sent an amazing Savior to die a brutal death for my sin to reconcile me to Himself. I’m a child of the Most High God, washed in the soul-cleansing blood of the Lamb. I’m a follower of Christ. I’m daily sustained by the Rock of Ages and living under the influence of the Holy Spirit. And whether someone is 99 years old or 9 years old, those in Christ share that same identity with me. An identity found in Christ is one that unites, uplifts, holds accountable; and, transcends age, race, gender, personal beliefs, and upbringing.
What I have learned in 33 years is my Jesus is the great cycle breaker. He has freed me from my sin and has given me new life (2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 4:22-24; Rom. 6:4; Rom. 12:2). If the power of Christ can change me from a heart of stone to a heart of flesh and put a new Spirit in me (Ezek. 36:26); He can do that for anyone. He can do that for anyone in any generation, if they will let Him. I’ve learned that my Jesus is powerful enough to reach the atheist, the Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, satanic, agnostic, monotheistic, Wiccan, the old, the young, famous, rich, poor, powerful, weak, and so on. As Dr. S. M. Lockridge says, “That’s my King!” Nothing can stop Him.
I’ve learned that as I expect the older generation to reach down to the younger, it is also incumbent upon me to reach out to those older and wiser than me. I know this, because it is believers 10 to 20 or more years older than me who have discipled and guided me, shepherded me, walked this walk of faith with me, challenged me, uplifted me, scolded and corrected me, loved me, and pointed me to Christ over and over again through the years. I am surrounded by many wise 50-somethings that I regard as treasures I never want to part with. Some sought me out and others I sought, but the result has been the same. I am better for those relationships, because they have been a sharpening iron in my life (Prov. 27:17).
Stay tuned for the last installment in this series…