Friday, July 2, 2010

"Hidden with Christ in God."

I'm pretty sure I've blogged on this topic before. But it's been a while. And I'm also pretty sure that I didn't say everything that I have to say now. So I'm going to visit it again.

I used to feel pretty crummy about myself, my life. I didn't know why. In the full spectrum of quality of life on earth, I didn't have a terrible life. It was pretty good compared to many others. And as far as I was concerned, I was "perfect" to most people. That wasn't true, of course, but I was arguably more well-behaved and more "moral" than the average person, or child, considering that I've just barely entered into the world of the adults. Delinquent, mean, these words were not ones used to describe me. Regardless, I rarely could consider myself or my life and feel good about either.

I started finding out why when I was 17.

Before then, I didn't know who I was. You can't feel good about something that is non-existent. And although I wasn't non-existent, I was unaware, and in this case, that's almost like being non-existent.

What changed when I was 17 was that God became more real to me than he ever had before. That made all the difference. Here's why:

Colossians 3: 1-4 "1Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory."

When I became a Christian, I died. Spiritually. Christ became my life. But I wasn't looking to him to define me. Because I didn't get it. I believed in God's existence, and believed on him to be the Savior of my soul, but he was still really distant to me. I didn't realize how closely my life was intertwined with his. Bearing that in mind, as distant as he was, I was just as distant. Without knowing God, I couldn't know myself.

But once God became very close and very real to me, I followed. My life finally had meaning. I finally had definition. And I began to realize how important it was for me to continually stay centered on him, because without him as my focus, everything falls away. Nothing makes sense, everything's messed up, it's a terrible way to live.

My identity is found in Christ. As is that of everyone else who has decided to follow him. In doing so, we gave our lives over. We are now his, and he is the one who gives us meaning. You may think you know who you are, but until you understand this, until your life is "hidden with Christ in God," you don't. You can't.

I really hope this encourages you as much as it does me. It has been so freeing to me. I know where my meaning comes from. I don't have to go looking anywhere else to find it. Anything else I may try to hold up as something to complete me is always disappointing, because it can't define me. Only Jesus can. And as bad as things may seem sometimes, I can truthfully tell you that I have an amazing life. Even when it seems like everything is falling apart, I still have a peace inside of me, because those things can't ruin me. Even if my whole world fell apart, Christ would still be there. And he tells me who I am, not anything or anyone else. For this reason, I am joyful.

I will now finish with the lyrics of my favorite song from Jason Gray, "I Am New."

Now I won't deny
The worst you could say about me
But I'm not defined
By mistakes that I've made
Because God says of me

I am not who I was, I'm being remade
I am new
I'm chosen and holy
And I'm dearly loved
I am new
I am new

Who I thought I was
And who I thought I had to be
I had to give them both up
'Cause neither were willing
To ever believe

I am not who I was, I'm being remade
I am new
I'm chosen and holy
And I'm dearly loved
I am new
I am new

Too long have I lived in the shadows of shame
Believing that there was no way I could change
But the one who is making everything new
Doesn't see me the way that I do
He doesn't see me the way that I do

I am not who I was, I'm being remade
I am new
I'm chosen and holy
And I'm dearly loved
I am new
I am new

I'm not who I was, I'm being remade
I am new
Oh, dead to the old man
I'm coming alive
I am new
I am new

Forgiven, beloved
Hidden in Christ
Made in the image of the Giver of life
Righteous and holy
Reborn and remade
Accepted and worthy
This is our new name

Forgiven, beloved
Hidden in Christ
Made in the image of the Giver of life
Righteous and holy
Reborn and remade
Accepted and worthy
This is our new name

This is who we are now

3 comments:

  1. Thank you, Emily, for your beautiful thoughts and awesome interpretation of the Word of God.

    ~Tina Williams

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  2. Thank you, Emily. What do you think it means to be "hidden in Christ"? Do we need to be hidden from the world or something?

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    Replies
    1. Thank YOU. As I don't have any other way to contact you, I'm posting this reply trusting you will see it, and not be like me, posting questions on blogs the Internet over and never going back to see if a response has been posted.

      I only used the word "hidden" because it was chosen for the particular translation of the Scriptures I was quoting. Others could work in its place. What I understand the phrase to mean has nothing to do with the idea of "hiding from something," as if the something being hidden from needs to be avoided. Nor do I even think it means the outside something needs to be disallowed to see the hidden subject. I think the important part of this scenario is what, or whom, my life is hiding in. I thoroughly believe in my own imperfections and failures, and believe even more thoroughly in the completeness and perfection of Jesus. This belief is only relevant to me because I also believe Jesus freely gave his life to me to take as my own. This is where the "hiding" comes in, which could also be thought about in terms of "covering." My life is now encompassed in his. I'm not afraid of the world. I don't think the world should be afraid of me, nor do I think the world isn't worthy to see me. To the contrary, I think the world is better off seeing me in Christ, and I don't say that in any sort of humorous self-deprecation. On my own, I can't do the world any lasting good, but Jesus can.

      I hope that was clear and I answered your question. Thanks again for asking it. I'll be happy to give you my best answer if you have any more.

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I like conversation. Your comments promote conversation. You know what to do. Vielen Dank.