Who I Am

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God,

and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”  ~2 Corinthians 10:5

I recently became a leader in the youth ministry at my new church.  After each mid-week gathering, we have a leader meeting around a firepit in the church courtyard.  The gas-powered flames glow in a cross formation on a bed of vulcanic rock.  Our folding chairs form a full circle around our feet, which rest on the concrete around the pit.  The eucalyptis trees rustle in the breeze that carries a bit of sea coolness, and the sound draws your eyes upward to the black expanse of sky dappled with a few brave, strong stars and the moving lights of planes from the nearby airport.

It is a beautiful setting.

On my second night, I spent the meeting as an observer–part of the physical circle, but not yet having the shared experiences required to join in the conversation.  For at least half an hour, I listened, and time flew, and I was amazed.

That whole time was spent in encouraging two of the leaders.  They shared what the Lord has revealed about a specific thing, then their fellow leaders encouraged them with remembrances of the past and prayers for the future.  Their deep, true, pure love for each other flowed out, filling the circle.  I thought in awe, “This is a team, in the truest sense of the word.  This is a family.”

Then, in a horrible moment, shame filled me.  “I’m not good enough,” my heart whispered, clearer than the rustling trees.  There is no way I could ever deserve to become part of this amazing team.  I know who I am: a wretch.  The lowest wretch.

Then the Holy Spirit spoke, in silence.  “You’re wrong,” He said.  “I put you here.”

This was truth.  The whole process of me joining the leadership was drenched in prayer on all sides.  God put the desire in my heart, dictated the timing, provided the need, and directed the church leadership to welcome me in.  The Lord had told the youth pastor I belonged there.

I almost started crying.  For just a brief split second, I glimpsed what God sees in me.  Someone who absolutely belongs in this beautiful, powerful, wise, supportive team.  Then the glimpse passed, but the knowledge remained.

How do we look at ourselves?  What do we see?  If you are a follower of Christ, do you see a sinful wretch of the lowest degree, a pitiful, ugly waif?

Don’t.  That is a lie–an “argument and…pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God.

The truth–the TRUTH is that you were that way.  You were, but now that past is dead.  You have been raised in Christ, and you have a new identity: Child of the Living God, Coheir with Christ, Temple of the Holy Spirit, Member of the Bride of Christ, about whom it is written, “Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant Church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Eph. 5:25-27).

That is who you are:

Holy.

Cleansed.

Radiant.

Stainless.

Unwrinkled.

Unblemished.

Blameless.

When we know our identity, when we know who we are, the Kingdom advances in power, and the enemy cannot stand against the Truth of God.

So now, my prayer for me, for you, for us, for the Kingdom of God, the Bride of Christ, is this:

May we see ourselves as You see us.

May I see me as You see me.

Amen.

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