By Bob Merritt, Crosswalk.com
Have you ever seen something that stopped you in your tracks—completely wowed you? The first time I saw a giant Redwood tree in CaliforniaI almost drove off the road and caused an accident; I said to my wife, “Look at that, it’s unbelievable.” It was like Jack and the Beanstalkthat shot up into the sky without end. But 20 trees later I was like, “Eh, seen it.” It’s so easy to lose our wow. Pastor Mark Batterson writes, “There has never been and never will be another you. You are unlike anyone who has ever lived. But that uniqueness isn’t a virtue, it’s a responsibility. Uniqueness is God’s gift to you, and it’s your gift to God.”
Are you good with how God made you uniquely you, or are you trying to be someone you’re not? Lots of people never figure out who God made them to be, their true identity, so instead they make their muscles their identity, or appearance, or degrees, or sports, or financial status, but the Bible says that our true identity is found in Christ. When you know who you are—your identity—you’ll know what to do.
There will always be someone better, stronger, better-looking and more talented than you. You can either spend your life trying to be someone you’re not or be wowed by who God made you to be. There have always been better speakers, writers and leaders than me; sometimes I’ll listen to someone speak and I’ll think “I’m a chump.” If I don’t stop myself and remember that God made me to be uniquely me, I can miss my purpose. The Bible says your true identity is found in Christ, in who God made you to be, and there’s a wow in there somewhere. Stop trying to be someone else and start thanking God for the amazing person he made—you.
How do we live our lives with purpose and gratitude for who God made us to be? I think there are three ways we can position ourselves to be wowed by our identity in Christ.
1. Let Go of Yourself
Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ. I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. So, I live my life in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
I love that verse. It’s always been one of my favorites. But what does it mean to be crucified with Christ? It means, I’ve died. It means, my life isn’t about me, me, me. Your life isn’t about you, you, you. It’s not about us and our strength and our abilities and our talents. Life is about trusting in the Son of God who loves us and gave himself up for us. Would you say that you are trusting in the Son of God, daily? Or are you relying on yourself? When it comes to the power of Christ in us, God wants us to receive it, not seize it.
2. Prayer Is How You Release the Power, So Pray
Let’s say you have a meeting at work that you’re worried about—it could be rather contentious. What if you prayed before that meeting, “Greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world.” Maybe you’re confronting a friend about a sin issue in their life. What if you prayed, “Lord, I have the same Spirit in me that rose Christ from the dead. No matter how they respond, I’m trusting in your power right now.” If you’re struggling to forgive someone or overcome anger, start praying this prayer, “God, I have the same Spirit in me that rose Christ from the dead. I pray right now, by that power, that I can overcome this sin that I’m struggling with.” And keep praying it—don’t stop—moment-by-moment.
In Ephesians 3:16, Paul prays, “I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty power and strength through his Holy Spirit.”
Notice the word “unlimited.” Is there any limit to the power of God? Is there any limit to what God can do in a person’s life? God is bigger than your biggest problem. He’s bigger than your biggest dream. His grace is bigger than your biggest sin. Is there any limit to what God could do in your life?
Prayer is how you taste God’s power. You can hear others talk about the power of God. You can read stories about it, but until you pray—daily, in every circumstance—and see God move in your life, you will only know it rationally, not experientially.
Elisabeth Elliot once said, “The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances.”The secret is not, “Lord, get me out of this relationship. Get me out of this job. Get me in a different school, with different friends.” The secret is, “He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world. I can do all things—not through myself—but through Christ who lives in me.”
You don’t need your circumstances to be different. You, in a different set of circumstances, isn’t the secret. Christ in you is the secret, if you want to call it a secret. Tap into that power that has been given to you, pray, and then remind yourself that Christ in you is greater than any circumstance outside of you. That’s the secret: Christ in you.
3. Be Wowed by Your Purpose
God gave us our uniqueness—not so we could hoard it and use it for our own purposes—but so we could use it to live a God-honoring life. And the intersection where our uniqueness and the circumstances we’re in meet—that’s where our purpose lies.
It isn’t about living a life centered around me. It isn’t about living a life separated from the great power, through Christ, that’s living in us. It’s about letting go of ourselves, living a prayer-filled life, and being wowed by who God made us to be. We should be amazed that God made us as masterpieces and created each of us for a unique purpose.
When you look at all God has done—all he’s created—isn’t a transformed life the biggest wow of all?
Bob Merritt is the senior pastor of Eagle Brook Church in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. His latest book, Done with That: Escape the Struggle of Your Old Life releases in August 2019.
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