THIS is living inside of you:
- Overwhelming peace
- Overflowing joy
- Relentless gentleness
- Enduring patience
- Catalytic kindness
- Victorious faith
- Unending goodness
Key scripture in this episode:
Today, we are going to take a Posture of peace by removing the heavy burden of trying to protect our image.
Posture is a short, audible fist bump to remind you God is with you in everything. Together, we’re going to be emboldened to take a daily Posture of perfect peace.
I’m just gonna read several scriptures over us today, more scriptures than usual, which is always a good thing, great way to start. So I’m gonna start with Romans 7:6, it says, and I’m reading from my mobile Bible in case you’re wondering, “But we now have been released from the law, for we died to it and no longer are captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the spirit.” 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away and behold the new has come.” Ephesians 4:21-24 says, “When you heard about Christ and were taught in Him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus, you are taught with regard to your former way of life to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires and to be made new and the attitude of your minds, and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Colossians 3:10, “For you have acquired new creation life, which is continually being renewed into the likeness of the one who created you, giving you the full revelation of God.”
My mentor friend Graham Cooke says this, he says, “Allow the certainties in God’s heart create an expectation in your heart.” It is evident by his word that God is very certain in the finished work of Jesus that made you a new creation, so you can be certain of this too. You can expect to live dead to sin and alive to God every day. Why am I bringing this up? Well, I get quite a few messages from people who are afraid, they are concerned, they are not measuring up, they are not living the life that is required by them, they’re not living according to their calling, to their purpose, and so I want to talk about who we actually are, our identity in Christ and what that means for our life.
First of all, God’s primary purpose has not changed. Genesis 1:26, “His purpose was to make us in His image and likeness.” He’s still doing that, and through Jesus, we became new creations, which means our new nature is God’s nature. We bear His image, how? Jesus. Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in flesh, I live by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave himself up for me” Christ is in you, you are one with God. It’s the truth, it’s an internal truth that affects external expression. But this is important, external expression does not affect this internal truth. Your behavior, your reputation, your counterculture Christian lifestyle, your ability to evangelize people, to be different, to be set apart, that has no effect on your oneness with God. Because the truth is, you’re one with God in Christ Jesus. And this is good news, because there’s a lot of people out there who believe that following Jesus is saying yes to living in religion. And they believe their whole life purpose is to be good for God, to protect their image in the eyes of the world and the church so God will be glorified by their good behavior and their good deeds.
But let me tell you, in a broken world, that is a losing game because eventually, you’re gonna let someone down. The way you dress or don’t dress, what you say, what you don’t say, what you talk about, what you don’t talk about, what you post, what you don’t post. Eat this, don’t eat that, feel this don’t feel that, be nice, don’t offend, don’t cause people to stumble, which is different for everyone. So really, exhaust yourselves and trying to be a people pleaser, be good for God. And we think that is our testimony, we think that’s how we’re gonna change the world, how we’re gonna evangelize people by keeping the strictest of standards. But here’s the problem, we’re still not at peace, we’re just as stressed out as the world, we’re just as impacted by external pressures as the world if not more, because we are trying to be good and the world doesn’t carry that pressure. Protecting your image is a heavy burden that you were never meant to carry.
Jesus said in Matthew 11, he said, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Christ did not die so that you could do better at keeping a moral code or performing religious rituals, Christ died to bring you into and keep you in a relational covenant with God. You’re not an image protector, you are an image bearer. And it’s an image that in Christ, you have been empowered to bear. God does not need a PR team, He wants sons and daughters carrying His glory here on earth, not when we get to heaven someday. But Lindsay, what about behavior? What about sin? Would sin even be an issue if you lived with overwhelming peace? Overflowing joy? Relentless gentleness? Enduring patients? Catalytic kindness? Victorious faith? Unending goodness? Led completely by the spirit? Living in the newness of life? This is who God is. This is His character, this is the fruit of His spirit and it’s who He is in you and it’s who you are in Him. This is the power of being one with God. So, I wanna encourage you to allow the certainties in God’s heart create an expectation yours. How do we do this?
You know, I believe it, but I’m not seeing it. I hear that a lot, I understand that. We have to come to understand that there is so much grace in our becoming, in our journey with God. Sometimes we expect something different from Him than who He is, what do I mean by that? I mean, we don’t expect Him to be patient with us in our practicing this truth, we don’t expect Him to be loving, to be kind, to be faithful, to hold us in His faithfulness and His mercy, at some point, we just expect him to come out of His character and do something that is beyond who He is. Take us out, hit us upside the head, remove himself from us, abandoned us. And maybe that’s because that’s what we’ve experienced externally with other people. We’ve experienced the abandonment, we’ve experienced the distance when we don’t behave or do what we’re supposed to do, but God is not like this. We need to spend time discovering His character, not trying to be something we’re not in order to earn favor that He never intended for us to earn, love that He never expected for us to work for. He’s given us Himself, and who He is is who we get to discover and explore our whole lives. Our life purpose is not to be good for God, our life purpose is to be one with Him.
So I want to encourage you today, practice this truth. An an easy way to start doing it, is to just own your identity with Him. Instead of saying, I’m trying to be more patient, I’m trying to be more kind, I’m trying to be more joyful, I’m trying to be more peaceful, or I’m not trying to be this or that, or whatever the thing is that we’re trying to avoid, say, I am. I am patient, I am peace-filled, I am overflowing with joy. Because even though I might not be seeing the evidence of that immediately, I know Him, and I know that He tells the truth, and this is who He says I am, so this is who I’m becoming in Him. Who you are in Christ is exactly what this role needs.