The Christian Switch – On or Off?
Christ’s life demonstrates to us that what we do comes out of who we are, rather than what we do defining who we are. Jesus received his affirmation from Father God before he had done anything (Matthew 3:17), refused to conform to society’s expectations (Luke 7:24-34), the religious leaders ways (Mark 3:3), or the temptations of Satan (Matthew 4:1-10). everything he did came from his nature, his character, and his identity.
In the same way we are called to live form a place of identity not performance and not to conform (Romans 12:2). Being made in the image and likeness of a god who is awesome & powerful, kind & compassionate, healing & comforting, generous and infinitely resourced defines who we are. Knowing our identity comes from God who made us, rather than trying to live a certain way or do these things in order to define our identity changes the perspective of our lives. It’s some of our core teaching at TSM.
But what’s the difference?
We can always choose to do or not do something. Switch on or off your intentionality to complete a task, whether it’s a simple household chore like cleaning the cupboard under the sink, or something considered more meaningful like showing compassion and love to the homeless person sitting on the high-street, or offering to pray for the colleague who has a long term sickness at work. Sadly, I’m guilty of all of these examples and it’s because I’m also guilty of believing my actions define who I am and giving into the fear of rejection or the apathy of being comfortable.
When what we do defines us, we can switch what we do on or off, feel great or guilty based on our choices, because internally we feel it’s defining who we really are.
I asked a group of people how they were going to be courageous the following week, and one response I heard was “I’m going on holiday so I don’t think I will be”. I empathised with their position and their thought process. But when courage is something we switch on or off because it’s a task rather than who we are, we can miss out on the privilege of seeing God’s kingdom wherever we go.
But when we leave the switch on, that I am always a child of God, always a servant of God, always a friend of God, Always a minister of God, then life can look a whole lot different.
Earlier this year I was on holiday, and me and my wife Amanda had a meeting with the resort’s holiday rep. We didn’t think we’d be interested in the products but thought we’d hear him out. It was only a few minutes before our conversation (in which Amanda took the lead), 250 miles away from our home and our ministry, with this Muslim holiday representative, who wanted to meet with us to sell us a holiday package, turned into an hour long conversation about loving the poor, his broken family situation, Eternity, and ultimately the good news of Jesus and what we believe.
The simple truth, I am not what I do; but who I am drives what I do. When we live from that place, leave the ‘switch’ on, then every moment of every day can become a glorious adventure of seeing God’s kingdom come.
Take some time to remember who God says you are. If you struggle with this switch, don’t worry; you’re certainly not alone. It’s one reason it’s so great to be in community together through the church; to help encourage one another, share with each other when we fall down, help each other get up again, and celebrate with each other when we manage to stay ‘switched on’.
My name is Jake and I’m married to Amanda; an amazing woman who has a huge heart for the poor and disadvantaged. We first met whilst doing TSM – Training for Supernatural Ministry (www.tsmbedford.org) in Bedford in 2010. We have a son called Harrison. We love giving our lives to others; our family, our church, and our community.