Thursday, March 19, 2020
I had an eye-opening illumination of truth the other day. It got me thinking about many areas of my life, but specifically one big one. Based on this truth, I must now declare that I am NOT a golfer. Don’t get me wrong, I love to golf. I spend a lot of time thinking about golfing, even when I’m not. My brain reviews my swing and makes mental adjustments that hopefully translate into improved performance on the course. But those very mental and mechanical adjustments prove I am NOT a golfer.
Here’s the truth I contemplated the other day. My nature always dictates my activity, but my activity cannot transform my nature. You see, we humans are stuck in a tragic performance-based lifestyle where we seek to change who we are by engaging in more activity. We hope that ultimately enough practice will transform our nature. We have placed our faith in our activity, believing it will eventually make us worthy of an identity change.
The thing that caused me to contemplate this in my life is the statement Jesus makes to Martha after her brother Lazarus had died.
John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
Jesus says, “I AM the resurrection and the life.” He doesn’t say he does resurrections. He doesn’t say he helps with life, or practices life. He says I AM the resurrection and the life. His nature is resurrection. His nature is life. Every activity of His eternal existence is an outflow of His nature. His works do not define Him. His works are an expression of His nature. Everything about Jesus is resurrection and life. Our hope is not found in the event of His resurrection: our hope is found in the Person who is resurrection.
If I were a golfer by nature, then everything I thought, spoke, or did would be golf. And, I might add, my golf game would be perfect. But no matter how much I wish that were true, it isn’t. Yet everything Jesus thinks, speaks, or does is resurrection and life. When we by faith come to Jesus for forgiveness, we become completely new. His resurrection power overwhelms us with eternal life. We are now, by nature, the children of God – ETERNALLY.
When we understand that, we are delivered from our performance-based dysfunctions. We are now free to think, speak, and act as an outflow of who we are, rather than remain in the bondage of trying to earn our identity. When Jesus said, “I AM the resurrection and the life,” He delivered us from the need to find life anywhere else. Jesus does far more than just give life because He has it to give. He gives life because He is life. He doesn’t just tell us we will experience resurrection; He guarantees resurrection because it is His nature, and His nature is now ours through faith.
I am so thankful that my confidence is not in the activity of Jesus, but in the very Person of Jesus. And because that’s true, my confidence is no longer in my activity to define me, but in the identity of Christ in me.