I often pause to consider what defines us. If you take a moment to think about it, you will find that the majority of who we are is based on what we allow to define us.
I was sitting out on my porch the other day, taking in the warmth of the sun, the cool of the breeze blowing on my face and the smell of fresh cut grass. Gazing into God’s creation I began to think about how creation is defined. God made it. So, He defines it. Water is called water because He said, let there be water. Light is called light because He said, let there be light. He defines what He creates.
Too often we are the ones defining ourselves. We allow our past to define us. Our future/vision or lack there of to define us. But, why? Why are we constantly searching for definition? Well, because we were designed to. But, and this is a big BUT: our definition doesn’t always align with His. There in lies the problem. That is what I desire to share with you today.
Looking at my life I can allow a lot of things to define me, especially my past. I use to have a major drinking problem. In my late teens and early twenties, I could not have a drink without getting drunk. Drinking was a way to take what I was dissatisfied with my life and try to add meaning or excitement to it. I use to be a man who viewed pornography. Pornography, like drinking was a coping mechanism for the excruciating pain in my heart. The hatred of myself and never feeling good enough. I use to lie and cheat constantly. I cheated on more tests through high school and college than I would like to remember. I was never a good test taker, so I justified it. Growing up, I went to a rich kid school and wasn’t a rich kid. So I lied all the time, to try to fit in, to feel like I had something to bring to the table.
This is just a tiny glance into my past. The funny thing is, after becoming a Christian, I didn’t transform into perfection overnight… no, my heart changed. The desire to do those things slowly, over time, began to dissipate.
Now, I look at my life and am still trying to define myself. I don’t drink alcohol anymore, I allow that to define me. I am waiting until marriage to have sex. I allow that to define me. I serve at church, I write blogs, I started a ministry, I, I, I, I, I… Ugh, I get sick of even talking about myself. Because when the day is done, it just isn’t about me anymore.
The bible says, It is no longer I who live but CHRIST who lives in me, and this life I live in the flesh I now live for the ONE who died and gave His life for me.
There is good news in all of this, we are defined by Jesus.
We live in a material world that is constantly looking for definition and to be re-affirmed. Look at social media, it revolves around posting for affirmation and definition. We allow our feelings to define us. Anger, depression, anxiety, fear, the list goes on and on. We allow our successes and failures to define us. The amount you work or how busy you are is how you prove to the world that you are good enough, that you are making the most of your time here. The funny thing is the old you and the old me is no better at being defined than the new you or new me. They both are desperately searching for definition in what we do, not in who He is.
You, just like water, light, the breeze or the sky whose names will never change, you have been defined.
You are an entirely new creature in Christ, the old has passed away and all things have been made new. (2 Cor. 5:21)
You are seated in Heavenly places with Christ. (Ephesians 2:6)
You are the light of the world. (Mathew 5:14)
You are a disciple/follower of Jesus. (John 8:31)
You are an heir to God’s inheritance. (Galatians 4:7)
You are not a slave of fear. (Romans 8:17)
As He is, so are you and I in this world. (1 John 4:17)
These are the words which define you. They are the very breath of God (2 Tim. 3:16)
All things are possible to those who believe. Do you believe what you do defines you, or who He is? I want to challenge you to examine your life. Why do you do what you do? Who are you trying to prove yourself to? Where are you trying to go? What is defining you?
Many people come to the ideal level of “success” in their lives only to find a terribly lonely spot on the peak of the mountain. They look back on their lives and think, “what did I miss?” I thought there was going to be more, I thought this was going to feel much better.
I am pleading with you, to not waste your life. You only have one to live. Engage with God, with the Creator of the Universerse for it is He alone who has the power to define who you are. He alone can take the old you and the new you and make them both good in His definition which is Jesus. We come alive when everything in us is defined by Him and for His glory.
The best is yet to come,