In my previous blog post I wrote about how humans like to conform to certain laid down labels and stereotypes for a subconscious sense of belonging. I wrote about my own journey into figuring out which one I fit into, and I must say, putting it all down there was quite … releasing. I didn’t put in everything I had wanted to, but it was okay.
This one is about moving on from there.
You see, in trying to pick an appropriate label, we can sometimes be like the girl who walks around a room, looking at pictures of flowers on the table and trying to figure out which one is the most beautiful. She would learn something, of course, and may find out which of the flowers is the prettiest.
But then, someone opens the day and calls to her. “Hey, girl!”
She replies with a reserved but cute smile. “Hey.”
“What you doing?”
“Looking at pictures of flowers.” She holds up one picture. “I think this one’s quite pretty.”
The person smiles. “Come on outside. You’ve been looking at pictures all this time. I want to show you real flowers. Flowers you can touch, you can smell, you can see in … well, in 3D! You think you’ve seen ‘pretty’? Wait ‘til you see the real thing.”
We have lived our whole lives in the room full of pictures.
We’ve lived our lives searching for identity in the options laid out by those that have gone ahead of us. We tack on labels popularized by the media in movies and music and novels and the news, picking those that seem to describe us best. We consider ourselves based on our nationality, our background, our race.
But God comes from outside the room and says, “I’ve got something better for y’all. A New and Better Identity.”
Come out. Let me let you in on this Identity a little bit.
Coming to Christ is like stepping out of the room. We receive a new life with this new identity; a new history, a new future, a new background.
With His blood, Jesus “…purchased men unto God from every tribe and language and people and nation.” (Revelation 5:9) When you buy something from a store it belongs to you, not to that store anymore. It’s no longer called “that shirt on the Top Shelf, Aisle 5, Megabuy Stores”. No, now it’s your shirt. It’s called “my shirt.”
You are God’s own.
He makes you His child with the full identity and rights of a son, an heir of God. Imagine being the heir to Bill Gates estate! Pretty tight, huh? Now imagine being the heir of the Creator of all things. Now THAT’S bigger. MUCH bigger than we can or could ever imagine.
He remains with you forever, and He produces from within you a nature of love, of joy, of peace and serenity, of patience and perseverance. He makes you kind, good, faithful, to not find the need to insist on your own way, and to be self-controlled.
Sounds like the perfect human being. Actually, it’s so much more than that: He’s making you like Himself. That’s much more awesome than being the perfect human being.
The earth and all that is in it is your inheritance, to take care of and to prosper in.
As a child of God, He gives you the ability to heal the sick, to cast out devils, to live supernaturally, and to be an all-round blessing.
That’s what He promises. That’s the new identity He gives.
But the girl in our story has grown used to the room. It’s not her fault, though, ‘cause she’s been in there all her life. But now she’s been invited to come out.
“But I’ve never been outside before,” she says.
“I have,” he says.
“What does it look like?”
“It’s … beautiful. There are flowers, lots and lots of flowers. And not just flowers, my dear. Grass, trees, animals! The blue sky, the amazing clouds taking different forms, the water flowing, the breeze in your face … and you can feel it all.”
“I’ve never seen these things you’re talking about,” she says. “I don’t even know if they really exist.”
“They all do! My dear, they are! And it’s all just outside, waiting for you.”
“But…” she crosses her legs as she takes a step backwards. “I’ve been doing pretty well in here. I don’t need to go out there. I’m fine where I am.”
We like to hold on to the reality we are familiar with, to the life we are used to, to the things we have seen and experienced. Even the bad memories and painful experiences that we’ve gone through. We want to hold on to it all because, good or bad, they have all contributed in building us into the people we are. In a sense, we see them as a part of us. And as much as we want to let go, we really don’t want to. We are comfortable with them.
We want to stay in the room, while God has a whole world that He’s prepared for us – OUT THERE.
The world we know pales in comparison to the awesome life he offers. We think we are comfortable where we are … but we haven’t even a clue what ‘comfort’ really is.
True comfort can only be found in the one that made us, God.
You know the hardest part? Accepting.
Accepting the new identity that God offers would require giving in. It would require admitting that we were ignorant and wrong in staying in the room of pictures, and that He’s been right all along. It punctures our pride, the shield we’ve given ourselves to building all this time. It shames what bliss we thought we had to think that there is greater bliss beyond, bigger and better, just a door away.
And that’s how we miss out on God’s greatest gifts.
But when we do accept, we realize that we’ve been wrong all along.
When we do accept this Identity that He gives us, we come to know that we’re already accepted. That we’re affirmed and accepted by the Ultimate Dad, who defines fatherhood for all.
There is no more fear of rejection. There is no need to prove anything ever again.
We’ll come out of the room into an awesome new world that makes the room of pictures look like nothing but a mud shack.
It’s a new identity.
And it’s for us all.
“What if I get hurt?” she asks. “Every new picture I’ve seen in here promises something better, but … it never lasts. I’m tired of getting my hopes up.”
“It’s OK. I know. What’s waiting for you outside this room is much bigger and better than you can imagine.”
“I’ve never been outside before.”
“All the more reason to come. It’ll be OK.”
“What if it’s not? What if it’s not everything I’ve hoped it’d be?”
“You can trust me.”
And, with a smile he responds, “Because I made it all.” He stretched a hand out to her. “I made it all for you. You can trust me.”
(TO BE CONTINUED)
Special thanks to my friend and brother, Joshua Babarinde (author of DONUT) for his suggestions and review on this article. You can read his inspiring writing on his site, HeirWalk.