A funny conclusion that I came to recently is that, no matter how old or mature we think we are, we are all bratty, little kids on the inside. While that assertion may offend some people, bear with me here. As cute and naive as they may be, children are like ticking time bombs. If a toddler asks you for a piece of candy, you better get that kid a piece of candy or they'll go ballistic and throw a snot-nosed, teary-eyed hissy fit. (wow so cute, aren't they?) But on a serious note, even as we grow older and wiser, we still tend to harbor that impatience and desire for tangible results. For example, look at the Story of the Gold Calf (Exodus 32:1-10).
RECAP: Moses ascended Mount Sinai in order to receive the Ten Commandments and the Law from God. While waiting for Moses to return, the Israelites became anxious and impatient, so they decided to make a gold calf to worship as an idol.
While the fact that the Israelites tried to worship a fake animal seems idiotic, we do the same thing all the time. Our golden calf may be a sport, an occupation, a social status, another person, etc. Instead of placing God in the most sacred parts of our hearts, we instead constantly fill them with objects and distinctions that we allow to consume our souls and define our identity.
So why do we do this and why is it bad?
Going back to the children analogy, we all like to find comfort in things that are tangible or things that give us immediate results. It's often hard to place our identity in things that we can't always see, like our faith. Instead we identify ourselves with worldly things.
"Oh, I'm a soccer player."
"I am an honors student."
"I play in a band."
"I'm a professional League player."
Now, I'm not saying that being a soccer player, an honors student, or a band member is bad, but when we place these things in our heart where the Lord should be, we are only going to be disappointed. Who will you be when these things fade? What will your identity be then? In the long run, the tangible things that initially make us happy are only temporary pleasures, and we will only want more to fill our needs.
Luckily, we have better and bigger option. We can place our identities in Christ, who promises us an everlasting purpose and eternal life. I'll be the first to admit that its incredibly difficult to identify with something as mysterious and intangible as faith, but we can find comfort and security in the Word. God makes promises to us in the Bible that affirms our lasting identity in Him.
While there is a whole list of the promises that God makes us on this handy dandy website that was shared with me (https://bible.org/article/who-does-god-say-i-am), I'll go ahead and share a few of the ones that really hit me.
1) As a child of God, I am a fellow heir with Christ.
- The amazing thing about this verse is that "together with Christ we are heirs of God's glory." So even though we are all messed up and broken, God offers us a position on the same level as Jesus.. HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!
- On the flipside, this verse also says that "we must also share in His suffering." As Christians, we will surely endure ridicule for being firm in our faith; but this can't deter us from walking in the glory revealed to us through Jesus Christ.
2) I have been predestined by God to obtain an inheritance.
- As Christians, we have been called by God to achieve something bigger and greater than ourselves.
- He has prepared something extraordinary for us to fulfill and a place in Heaven for us to celebrate.
- Everything we do and everything that happens to us is in line with His plan for us to bring glory to Him.
3) God supplies all my needs.
- No, this does not mean that God will give you a big house and lots of money like the word "needs" has been warped to imply.
- What it means is that those who are generous to God (not just with money) will find that God gives right back.
- Through the sacrifice of Jesus, God has supplied us with new life and everlasting mercy.
4) I am God's workmanship created to produce good works.
- In this verse, God promises us that He has a plan and worthy purpose for us in His Kingdom. We are made new and are not held captive by our sins anymore, allowing us to fulfill that purpose.
- ^that sure beats a 9-5 job that makes a lot of money. :')
While placing our identity in faith, something that has such an insecure and mysterious connotation, is ridiculously difficult, letting worldly things consume our hearts only results in disappointment. Instead we can find security in the promises that God makes to us in the Bible and allow His purpose and plan for us to take over; only with Him can we have everlasting life. God bless and sleep easy, fam.
SUMMING IT ALL UP:
- We are constantly placing idols in our hearts.
- Idols only lead to disappointment.
- God promises us bigger and better things.
- God is always true to His promises.
And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.
Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.