If these last seven months have taught me anything, it is only by God’s abundant Grace that I have actually awakened to it and allowed it to take hold! My long silence was somewhat enforced and partly voluntary as my wonderful family and I journeyed through uncharted waters and rode out, not a few storms. Depending on how you choose to look at it, it was in truth, onerous and yet, in Truth, a priceless gift. We are choosing to see it as the gift that it is. Our Heavenly Father has chosen to reveal Himself in and through the person of Jesus Christ, and although we may still stumble around somewhat, like a blind man, lost in our identity and purpose, the Truth is we are His beloved, we are included in the Life of the Trinity in the person of Jesus Christ, and we are filled with He who gives us life: His Life!
We simply do not know who we are, for we do not know Whose we are. It may sound trite I know, but our identity, as I have shared before, is of the utmost importance and is rooted in our knowing to whom we belong; who gave us life in the first place and who gave us our be-ing. As Francois du Toit states, you cannot be lost if at first you did not belong. Our be-ing flows out of the Life and Passion of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Our ‘I am’ness, is birthed in and sustained in He who is ‘I AM’. You cannot exist outside of the Trinitarian Life shared by Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Not one single thing and not one single person does.
Jesus Christ, the eternal, only begotten Son of God existed before all things and holds all things together in Himself. He is, all and in all (Col. 3:11; Col.1:17). Life is the supreme gift. Christ’s very zoe life! The very same life and love the Trinity have shared from all eternity and will enjoy for all eternity is the very Life you were conceived in and created to enjoy! You were brought into existence the very image and likeness of the Godhead, for the sole purpose of experiencing and sharing it with Them! Such Gracious philanthropy should astound us and similarly free us from any hint of, or attempt at a legalistic, religious piety and vain self effort. You are included and were never and will never be excluded, except in our own misguided thinking and blindness to the Truth. The very fact that you exist, is proof positive – if proof were needed – that you are supremely loved, adored and celebrated. Ephesians 1 tells us that before the foundation of the world He chose…not someone else; not someone more successful or beautiful or holy or righteous…He chose, indeed They chose, you in Him! This is personal.
It was The Trinity’s Heart’s desire to have a child; a family. And They wanted you! It is so important we know in our hearts that we were – from before Genesis 1:1 – and always will be, children of God. When Almighty God desired a child to love eternally, and on whom to lavish His Riches and Joy and Freedom, and to give Himself to entirely, He wanted you! It was always Their heart’s intent and Their Will to Love you into existence; Your life is located in Love itself, to experience their Joy in Loving you and for you to then give that Love away as freely as you received it. You are the image and likeness of God. The finished work of the Cross of Jesus Christ, His death, burial, resurrection and ascension redeemed and restored that which was Father’s Heart’s desire form all eternity (2Cor. 5:19). That logic, that Truth of who we are, must be the lens through which we live out our lives. It is also the lens we are to see others through and, indeed, to interpret and understand scripture.
I used to think, but I don’t anymore…No, wait. What? As a little boy growing up in Belfast in the 1960s and 70s (or, if you remember Barclay James Harvest, I was a chiieelld of Northern Ireland), I never doubted God was my Da! Never. When religion told me He was not at all pleased with me nor did He want to love me, nor could He love me until I went through all the required yoga posses of legalistic, traditional, institutionalised and self-serving religion, I began to baulk and still baulk at such diseased thinking and lofty orations. And yet, like all of us, at times my life was not one that glorified God as my Da.
But that did not alter the fact that He is! The lies I believed blinded me to Truth.
When we lose sight of our Father, of our belonging in the Great Dance and Romance of the Trinity we live an altogether different and separate life, which, as we have seen before, is a lie. As Francois states, out of our “I am not…” existence we erroneously think “But I can be, if I …”. Religion, self-righteousness and sin are intent on destroying our understanding of our true identity, others’ identity and God’s true nature. Circumstances are given to present us with an opportunity to either believe a lie, or the Truth; and that, whether we experience it or not, or feel like it or not.
We have misunderstood our family tree completely and have lived as orphans yet all the while sons. Always at home yet believing we are homeless. Always blessed and richly and abundantly provided for, yet living under mammon’s lie and deceit. Accepted yet striving to be accepted. Loved yet seeking ‘love’ in any guise that promises to feed but poisons and distorts our God given appetite for pleasure, joy and a full life.
Your identity has its origin in Him who gave you life. Whatever we do, however we live, we do so because we are living out of our perception and understanding of who God is and how much God loves us. Is your understanding rooted in traditional, western, evangelical thinking, of a solitary holy and just god who seeks restitution and to punish you for your sins so he can then accept you and forgive you? Or, is it rooted in the Truth of the Trinitarian Romance that loved you and is loving you to life…even as you read this! And you are not even sitting on a pew! Are we asleep, blind by our own “I am not…” determined to sacrifice ourselves to earn (an illusive) religious purity and self-righteousness? Or…
Orphans we are not. Though we may live like Oliver for a while, we still have a Father, a home and an inheritance. As the Truth awakens us and as we then choose to be still and know He is our Loving Father, that we are accepted and included in The Trinitarian life, seated in and with the ascended Christ – and that not by anything we accomplished – we can be truly free to see and experience Life, firmly established in and persuaded of our True identity (John. 14:20).
As He is. Ger