Whose You Are

It was time to take a step back, reflect, do a little introspection and expand perspective.  Sometimes we don’t recognize it’s time to step back.  The last podcast I attempted to record went nowhere; my sound board died.  Was there more behind this embarrassing incident than I realized?  Yes, but at the time was unaware.  

How do you begin to summarize the cacophony of events that occurred in our country for the past few years?  These events caused me to come to the conclusion that I really don’t know anything.  I have learned to question lessons I’ve been taught from the pulpit, images I’ve viewed on a screen, and words blasted from trusted sources.  Learning to dig and question turned me into a healthy skeptic.  I’ve had to ask my Father’s help in forgetting what I had been taught and letting Him guide me to the truth.  

Honestly, I’ve been grateful that during this time of questioning and learning, God graciously caused my sound board to not work so that I could take some time to remove myself from the equation.  I was taught that we must “die to ourselves”.  Hold on here, hoss, where does the Bible actually say that we are to die to ourselves?  

Luke 9:23-24 says, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”  Ok, Jesus, what did you just say?  Let’s look at what it means to deny oneself.  The correct wording should say, “let him deny” or in Greek, aparneomai.  What does that mean when my South Georgia accent can’t even say that?!  Here is a direct quote from the Strong’s concordance: “to affirm that one has no acquaintance or connection with someone; to forget one’s self, lose sight of one’s self and one’s own interests.”    Wait a minute…..is this saying that I have to forget myself, forget who I am?  Does this mean I can’t be me?  

Yes and no answers the questions above.  Maybe we should look at ourselves as I’ve learned to look at the book of Revelation.  It’s the already but not yet.  Now that I’ve thoroughly confused you, let’s unravel this with my life as the illustration.   I had become very dogmatic in some of my views.  They weren’t necessarily bad views but I had to look at the end goal.  What was I really trying to accomplish with my views and actions?  Do I like it when I win or my side wins a victory?  You betcha!  However, if my goal is all about my side winning and not about what Jesus wants His disciples to do: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”Matthew 28:19-20. What am I as a Christian really accomplishing?

I had to forget everything I had been taught that was causing me to have biases against my fellow man.  Miss Stubborn, Angie, a word for you……”you do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12. In the same way that I had to unlearn what I knew to be true, I had to let go of myself.  There are some things in this world I may never know the truth about this side of heaven.  Yahweh told Adam & Eve in Eden that, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die”.Genesis 2:16-17. If we knew everything and had it all figured out, we would have no need to trust our Father.  There is no need for me to be that bossy girl on the playground who knows it all.  Nobody likes that kid.  They run away from her.

When we learn to trust God with our self, we can forget our need to be the one in the know.  To realize you don’t know it all is when you begin to learn. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10 Our pride that screams we have to win at any cost can be checked at the door.  We can walk away from petty disagreements that hinder our relationships.  Look, I’m not going to lie, everyone seems to have an identity crisis, but I can tell you this, forget who you think you are and you will find freedom in Christ.  Your mission doesn’t matter.  You will discover whose you are, not who you are.  You may enjoy discovering that you really don’t know anything at all, but as Paul so eloquently stated, “For I decided to know nothing among you except Christ and him crucified”.I Corinthians 2:2

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 10:39

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