Sunday, September 03, 2006

Chris Adams

Who am I? This is the question, in some aspects, we spend our entire lives trying to answer. This question prompts career changes, interest in spiritual matters, and educational pursuits. We are constantly trying to figure out who we are and what our place in this world is.

Being a Christ-Follower I believe in this pursuit of discovering our identity we must turn to God for the answer. God is our Creator and He knows the purpose for our lives. He knows who we are to be.

In the book of Judges we meet a man named Gideon. God comes to Gideon and reveals to him Gideon's true identity:
The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said, "Mighty hero, the LORD is with you!" (Judges 6:12; NLT; some commentators believe that "the angel of the Lord" is Jesus)

According to God Gideon is a mighty hero, that was his true identity. Gideon sure didn't feel that way. I verse 15 of chapter 6 in the book of Judges we read how Gideon saw himself: the least of people. Gideon didn't see the hero God was talking about, but the reality is that God knew Gideon better than Gideon knew Gideon, for God is the creator.

God knows who we are. This is why John Eldredge suggests we ask God these series of questions: God, who am I? What do you think of me? What's my real name? (pg. 84ff; Waking the Dead). God will reveal to us who He knows us to be. Remember Romans 8:16 says; For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God's children (NLT). The Holy Spirit is speaking in the hearts of every Christ-Follower revealing to them God's truth. This seems mystical and so unreliable because it isn't about propostional truth or facts which can be studied and dissected. I believe so many Christians have missed a vibrant and life giving faith because they have chosen not to listen to the Holy Spirit speaking in their hearts because they have come to believe it isn't as reliable as God's written word. When we open ourselves up to hearing the Holy Spirit speaking in our hearts we add a new and exciting deminsion to our faith. It also needs to be pointed out that what the Holy Spirit speaks in our heart will always fit within the framework of what we read in the Bible. So our identity will always exist within the framework of the reality of being God's children, God's chosen people, and new creations (just to name a few glimpses the New Testament gives us about our identity).

I have said all this to give you the reason why this next character is hero of mine. After reading through Waking the Dead for a second time I decided to do the simple excerise Eldredge mentions and I prayed asking God to help me understand exactly who I am. The image which came to mind, which seemed to rise from my heart, was the image of Chris, the leader of the hired guns in the Magnificent Seven. It was an odd image to me. For one it had been a while since I had watched Magnificent Seven and the other reason is because Chris wasn't my favorite character from the story. If I had to choose I would have choosen Vin (Steve McQueen) or O'Reilly (Charles Bronson). After all Chris (Yul Brynner) is the leader and I don't see myself as a leader. I would much rather play the supporting role such as Sam to Frodo.

My response to this revelation has been similar to Gideon's response to God's revelation of his true identity. I think: Being a leader isn't my personality, I am better suited playing second fiddle, I am too laid back, and I lack the courage to lead. But if the Holy Spirit did speak in my heart that means that my true identity is found when I lead and step out in courage to do what needs to be done, no matter what the consquences. In other words I can settle for living a moral life hiding behind the "Christian" mask or I can take a step of faith and respond to life according to the person God created me to be.

Who are you? I don't have an answer for you. I can point you to places in the Bible where it gives us glimpses of the identity of every Christ-Follower, but I don't know you like God knows you. Seek out God's answer for only He knows the true reality of your identity.

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