I saw a small boy once who was tied to the umbilicus of an old piece of leather – furry on one side and smooth on the other. He would not leave home without it and despite the fact that he was not a toddler or an infant, remained attached to His Comfort Object well past the normal age.
Thankfully he had abandoned it before he became a teen. But not all of us abandon our comfort objects. We can remain bound to our other gospels and pseudo identities at the expense of a real identity in Christ. Contained in arrested development, we disguise this reliance to ourselves with the fiction that our dependency on this gospel is loyalty to Christ when its loyalty to ourselves.
Some of us do not move on from our more subtle security blankets, even in our adult life. The effect is that we are retained in spiritual infancy and do not advance into maturity – something like a caterpillar who never becomes a butterfly. An old covenant understanding is usually the lens of our first part of life. Once we live this to the full and see its limitation we are ready to advance into the second part of life. This is our rebirth into the new covenant mode where We and Father are one and we become sons in spirit and in truth.
IDENTITY OF SONS
Fathership is the other side of sonship. Mistaken identity numbs us to who we actually are and prevents the advance of the Gospel of the Kingdom. Sure, lesser and impotent gospels can be advanced as if they are something. But they always short change us. The Fathership of our Father and our inheritance as sons lies dormant and waiting for us to find our identity in Christ alone.
One can talk Holy Spirit, gifts of the Spirit and the anointing until the cows come home - but if we are people of a diluted or mistaken identity we will fade and enter a state of dormancy until we determine to leave our husk behind and become sons - not notionally but in spirit and in truth. Now we are on the way to becoming a kingdom of priests. We are competent to minister life without limit.
'And do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven' Matt 23.9 NIV.
FATHER IN YOU
You have a real Father. You have access to Him through the Son. In seeing Jesus you have seen our Father. You and Father are one and you increasingly know Him because He lives in you and reveals Himself to you-in this relationship you come to know yourself as His Son.
The tragedy of mistaken identity is that we do not know we are dormant when we are dormant. We do not know that we are not in the Spirit when we talk the Spirit. We have eyes that cannot see and ears that do not hear. We plod on phlegmatically year after year because we plod on year after year. We plod because we have made a haven out of our cocoon.
To peddle an identity additional to Jesus; to hanker and cling to an identity shared between ourselves and Jesus is self deception and folly. We can have but one identity. We cannot have two. There is no such thing as a combined identity in the Kingdom of God. We are either in God's Son or in some human construct. There is no such thing as a Baptist Christian or any other kind of Christian. We either have our identity in Christ or or we are not a son of God – at least not in spirit and in truth. ‘Those who have the Son have life (an identity). Those who do not have the Son do not have life.’ They have no authentic identity and are unable to enter into their glory in the fullness of sonship.
ENHANCED OR DILUTED IDENTITY
'No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money [the currency of a man made identity]' Matt 6.24 NIV.
Your real identity is son of God, brother or sister of Christ. Sonship is state of living in Our Father courtesy of His Son. Any dilution of this identity brought about by a Siamese style attachment to a denomination or ministry dilutes the purity of our union with God.
Paul wrote, 'I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him' 2 Cor 11.2 NIV. If we are married to a denomination and to Christ we have two husbands.
There are folks who cling to human based identities like a baby to a bottle. They resist the idea that when Christ becomes totally one's life such things like denominational identities fall away like the encumbrance they are. Yet it is their addiction to such identities that numbs their spiritual senses, sentences what began in the Spirit to decline and dulls their ability to walk in the spirit of wisdom and revelation. In this space we can give out information but precious little Spirit and life. Spirit comes out of union with God - not reliance on something that we imagine gives us some status and importance.
'The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you--they are full of the Spirit and life' John 6.63 NIV.
We have an identity we can live in or an identity we can shun. In the garden of Eden the Sons of God were inveigled out of their true identity as sons. A lie shifted the seat of their being from the Father of Life to the father of lies. While the latter was notional it marked the difference between their exalted state of sonship in Our Father and their captive state of slavery in a life of confusion and woe. Either one's identity is in our Father in Heaven or it is in ourselves and the father of lies. Let's be clear. Industry and works for God, even miracles in His name cuts no ice with God. What counts is His Son as our life - totally.
‘But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity’ Luke 13.27 KJV.
Iniquity is a state of unlife, of growing decay that ends in death. Thus we have the body of death that is the old covenant and separation that stymies life when we retain ourselves in the law.
ENTHRONEMENT OF SONS
Since by Adam came the suffocation of our identity as the sons of God. Since by Jesus came the resurrection of this thieved identity. It's not legitimate to live from the law and the old covenant, to ignore the new creation life that is Christ our life; to carry about leaky buckets that can hold no water on the grounds that 'this is our identity.'
Clinging to a collective identity that one thinks gives us a name, a status or the notion of possessing some kind of special knowledge (Gnosticism) is to be the harbinger of folly. You have one husband, one identity in Christ.
Retained in the old covenant we have not entered the new birth. One can be attached to our comfort object and never really be born again. One can be a real son of God or put on a paper mache mask and pretend to be a son. One can claim to be keeping in step with the Spirit yet be walking up and down in the one spot in 'another gospel and another identity.' Bolting the Holy Spirit onto the engine of your tradition is not the cure for a dead denomination. What counts is a new creation - an identity in Christ; an identity that makes us the sons and daughters of God. This is the inevitable advance of the gospel of the Kingdom. It is the ever expanding new creation.