Just a few thoughts for tonight.
I’ve been thinking since a few weeks ago about a talk I heard at a Church recently in Northern Ireland.
The crux of it was very good, but one element of it disturbed me somewhat, enough to write a quick blog post about it. I hope that at least some of my thoughts come out as intended, but don’t stone me if they don’t 😉
Our identity as Christians, is pretty key to everything. And our identity is NOT found in what we DO, or even – as this nice, well intentioned pastor that day put it – “in your calling” (in his example this was as a prophet, but could have been as a teacher, evangelist, apostle or pastor – one of the “fivefold” ministries).
Our identity is actually – ( if we claim to be Christians / followers of Jesus ) in being sons (and daughters) of the living God, adopted into his family, and now rightly (by Jesus’ standing and righteousness, not our own) able to call him Father…or ‘Abba’…Daddy. In other words, FAMILY! It is actually not at all to be found centrally in what we DO.
Folks, this is GOOD NEWS!! Sadly it’s this ‘do do do’ Christianity that’s instead so common in the Church at large today in the West, and a barrier to coming into a true identity, with God as our good Father.
I should know: I did it for years.
Theologically, Sonship (which is for both male AND female, Biblically) is key to everything.
It is a lack of understanding of this, and the prevalent associated ‘orphan mentality’ that still so prevalently affects Northern Ireland “Church”. But things, are changing…slowly.
The Father heart revelation is paid lip service to a lot, increasingly, in a lot of more charismatic type churches, but one wonders and fails to see if the heart revelation is really there.
I include myself in that, as I’m definitely still only a beginnee entering into more of this.
The struggle also comes when one believes in it, and it’s centrality to everything, yet fails to experience true deeper change with any tangible, deeper, personal revelation of it opening up. The struggle becomes even more real when we’re hurting, suffering through circumstances or events not brought on by our own intentional sin. (However we’ll save the suffering article for another night!).
For now, I simply want to passionately reiterate: our identity is not just in Christ, nor is it to be fixed on what we do, nor even what God’s gifted us in or called us as, but simply as his adopted children, sons and daughters, free to focus on being, not ‘doing doing doing’ in the Church or for his service. Such a knowledge frees us from others’ expectations or strings. Such an identity frees us to actually eventually serve as much more healthy children, from a place of love, not to subtly or subconsciously try to earn love, as so much of Christianity actually fuels.
We are not merely just servants of the living God (as privileged and great as that may be). We are sons and daughters, brought into his incredible royal family. There’s a whole world of a difference!
This revelation of ‘sonship’ and Father hearted love frees us from doing anything out of obligation, or a sense of mere “duty”. One could say it frees us from the chains of religion. You could stop and rest for the next year (and if that resonates, perhaps you should?!) and revel in this and not serve doing anything outwardly at all, and it would not change or diminish God’s love for you (or me). Relationship is what it’s all about and contrary to popular opinion, it’s not just about relationship with Jesus. This Christian walk is actually all about relationship with Father, and then the rest of the Trinity which flows from this, in the holy mystery Trinitarian belief actually is. This revelation of identity frees us to serve and live gradually more and more authentically, from a place of more sincere, free love, not constantly having to perform. In fact, gloriously, we are not meant to ‘perform’ at all!
Education, careers and yes, sadly, Church teaches us to often become great performers.
If only that young pastor understood this fresh true revelation of Father God that morning. His performance and extreme busyness doesn’t have to be the way of the walk.
This ends my thoughts for tonight. That’s enough thinking for one week… After all, I’m female…
… more on that one perhaps next week!