“Have the faith of God!” (Jesus, literal translation from Mark 11:22)
We have been talking about embracing a new identity, because of the work of Jesus – but just how far does that new identity take us? What is involved in being new in Christ Jesus. In other words, what are we to believe about our new identity?
Let’s get right to the crux of the matter… Everything that Jesus did for us is meant to make it possible for us to emulate Him, every moment of our lives. What we see in Jesus (as we look through the pages of the gospels) is what we should see in us. True Christianity is a true imitation of Jesus, The Christ.
Does that sound impossible?
It should. We cannot accomplish this by human will, ingenuity or effort. Humanly speaking… it IS impossible.
But what Jesus did was make it possible for us to do things that are beyond human abilities. Super-human, if you will.
And why not? What we are claiming is that the very God Who created the universe now lives in relationship with us (and, in fact, lives within us) – why shouldn’t He do what He has always done, through us?
The new you is indelibly attached to Who God is – and what God can do. We are not the ones acting like Jesus (doing the things Jesus did) – it is Jesus, acting like Jesus, through our surrendered lives. The amazing truth is that the new you is not encumbered by human flaw or frailty. The new you is not a victim of your past or a prisoner in your present. And think about this… The new you does not give place to the word, “impossible” – because nothing is impossible with God!
This was Jesus’ focus, whenever He was addressing His first disciples. He was teaching them of the stuff of Heaven – of how Heaven thought about things. And what Heaven could do about things.
That’s why we hear words like this coming from the Master: “Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.” (Mark 11:23) Our human ears can only hear… “Impossible! Words cannot move mountains – let alone heave them into the sea. This is crazy talk!”
But something within the “new you” wells up in response: “Wait a minute! Words cannot only move mountains, words created the mountains, in the first place! Whatever God wants to do, gets done – no matter how impossible it might look from a human perspective!”
And this is the constant battleground. Do we believe what our experiences, and our natural limitations, have trained us to believe? Or do we shift our focus to an undaunted trust in the God Who does the miraculous?
The choice is always up to us – but the new you will always desire to think as God thinks, and do as God does.
Because the new you has a divinely-ordained and divinely-formed identity…
Prayer focus: God, fix in my heart to always choose to seek what You desire, think as You think, and do as You do… for that is why You made me!