Currently on Sunday mornings Pastor Bill Logan is preaching through the Bible in a year in chronological order. We have chosen as a family to attempt to do the same. This Sunday we reached the story of Abraham and Isaac. It is a story that is very familiar since I have heard it, studied it and read it more times than I can count during my 36 years in the church and yet is one that I never tire of hearing. God's absolute provision and His knowledge of how to get to the heart of Abraham captivates me. I have heard and applied over and over the concept of holding the gifts God has given me loosely. I went through realizing that material possessions must be held with an open hand as well as relationships and people and dreams for the future. This time God drilled into my heart and exposed something I was not holding with an open hand, partly because I had no idea it was even there...that is my view of who I am, my identity.
I have gotten the concept that God is a jealous God and nothing or no one can take His place in our life or He is compelled to remove it for our benefit. I never realized my identity as a redeemed child of God makes my primary identity in Christ a thing I can replace. Any other identity that gets in the way of or takes over my identity in Christ is not God's desire for me. God chose me and He placed a calling on my life (Col 3:12). I am to fully immerse myself in Christ and become a partaker of Him (Heb 3:14).
Since this calling has been placed on my life I must sacrifice on the alter any concept of myself that I may have. I am a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a good friend. I am a college graduate, I am homeschooler, I am a scrapbooker, I am a Bible teacher, but first and foremost I am Christ's. If that is not the identity I place as my primary identity then God will lovingly show me where I need to change.
In the last year God has rearranged many things in my life to help me see that my identity needs to be Christ first and always. I must be willing to be stripped of any other identity other than Christ and Him alone. This is difficult but very rewarding because I know who I am even when everything I thought or knew to be true changes. No matter where I live or who comes and goes in my life or what any other person believes to be true of me, I KNOW who I am. I am holding fast and pressing on with my identity in Christ and all the other things that define me held loosely.