As we approach the end of 2021, we see a common theme play out, just as we’ve seen in years past. The traditional New Year’s Resolution. This idea is centered around an individual going into the new year with not only a fresh outlook on life, but also becoming a newer, more improved version of themself. People create new goals and write out lists of things they want to achieve in the year to come. Whether it be creating an extensive work-out plan to lose weight or filling up their schedule with advanced college courses to ensure that a graduation awaits them at the end of the year. Some people want to make sure that they receive the attention that they didn’t get the year prior. So, they plan multiple exotic trips around the world so they can boast about it on social media. On the other hand, you have those that are engrossed with the idea of creating wealth, so they formulate business plans, take out loans, and take on more jobs to stack their money. These are just a few examples and yet there are many that were not mentioned. With so many resolutions, it’s hard to find Christ in any of them. Perhaps we are attempting to adjust the wrong things in our lives. It seems that over time the church (body of Christ) has lost its identity. Many people have become increasingly self-absorbed and greedy. Constantly seeking attention and validation in others. We must ask ourselves a few simple questions. Where are we placing our value and attention? How do we find our identity in Christ? Ultimately, what resolution am I really looking for? In order for us to begin to answer these questions, we must first take a look at our life guide, i.e. the Bible.
In Genesis 1:27, the bible says that God created man and woman in His own image and likeness. Image in Hebrew means resemblance. In the Ancient Hebrew Lexicon Bible, it means an outline or representation of an original as a shadow is the outline of the original. Our creator chose to fashion us in such a way that we would look like Him. Clearly this isn’t speaking of us physically, in the natural, looking like God, right? No…God is spirit (John 4:24). If that’s true then how do we look like Him? We’re going to find out. Let’s briefly look at a popular biblical figure’s life and how he found his identity in Christ.
Paul, formerly known as Saul, was an established Pharisee who was well studied in Judaism. He took pride in his extensive knowledge of the laws of Judaism and because of this, he was prominent within his community and surrounding areas (Galatians 1:13-14). From adolescence into adulthood, Paul found his identity in his religious up-bringing until he had an encounter with the Lord on the road to Damascus. Paul was on his way to persecute a group of Christians when the Lord’s light shone upon Paul and He spoke to him and instructed him on what he was to do. In this same chapter, the bible says Paul was baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 9). Immediately following his experience with the Lord, Paul began to proclaim the name of Jesus in the synagogues (Acts 9:20-31). During his transformation period, Paul experienced many battles and trials. Through the pressure, testing and hardships his faith increased and so did his desire to preach the gospel of Jesus. In Galatians 2:20 (AMP), Paul says,
“I have been crucified with Christ [that is, in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body I live by faith [by adhering to, relying on, and completely trusting] in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”
Remember this is the same man that had Christians imprisoned and executed for their belief in Jesus. Before Saul became Paul, he was self-righteous, zealous, and eager to condemn anyone who failed to meet the standard of the Judaic law that he so vigorously defended. For a time, I’m sure he thought he was fulfilling a worthy and just cause, but it’s apparent that this wasn’t the will of the Father. The Lord had to re-direct his path. He revealed Himself to Paul and gave him a new purpose in life. The Lord showed him that his identity could only be found in Him. Paul went on to spend the rest of his life preaching the good news of the Savior. Many people came to Christ and followed the teachings of this man of God.
How do we find our identity in Christ? We must first get spiritual ears to hear the voice of God and spiritual eyes to see His word. The Bible says,
“But blessed [spiritually aware, and favored by God] are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear,”
Afterall, the Bible says,
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,”
Paul heard the voice of the Lord and as his spiritual eyes and ears were being opened; he was receiving a revelation of Jesus. He began to have an apocalypse. Apokálypsis in Greek means lifting of the veil, seeing something which has been hidden. As he received these revelations of the Savior through divine impartation (Galatians 1:11-12), he was able to preach the Word (Jesus) to the masses.
Now we must examine ourselves. Have we given our lives to Christ, as our brother Paul had done? Have we surrendered our will, wants and desires to the Father? Have we resolved within ourselves that the only way we will see true transformation in our lives is if we seek out the solution? As we saw in the life of our brother Paul, notoriety, education etc., got him nowhere. Our looks, Instagram likes, vacations, money etc.; this is NOT our identity. These things are perishing (1 John 2:17). We were created in the image of God. We are called to resemble Him, and the only way we can do that is by allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us how to become like Jesus, through the revelation of the Word of God.
I encourage you brothers and sisters to search for Jesus today, tomorrow and every day after…look to Him to be your guide. Trust in the Lord and let Him direct your path (Proverbs 3:5-6) Remember HE alone is your SOURCE and your SOLUTION!
1 Corinthians 8:6 AMP “…yet for us there is but one God, the Father, who is the source of all things, and we exist for Him: and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things [that have been created], and we believers exist and have life and have been redeemed] through Him.”