…harmonizing identity with present reality

As we were learning during our discipleship class, our teacher mentioned the need for us to remember/learn about our identity in Christ. To illustrate the message, he led us to read 2 Corinthians 5:20-21. In verse 21, we read that as believers, we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. That is our God-given identity. We are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.

However, a lot of times, it does not feel that way. The reality of our day-to-day experiences differ from the ideal of our God-given identity. So, on one side of the scale, we have God’s word and our ideal standards, and on the other side, we have the mark of our current reality.

Let me give an example.

The word of God says “you shall be the head and not the tail”; but then here you are struggling to pass a professional exam, getting poor scores in your performance appraisal, or being unable to get admission to university. You know God’s word, but then it does not seem to be reflecting in your life.

You might be wondering, “If God has spoken it, why have I not seen it?” or “If God has given me victory, why am I still struggling?

Two of the areas where the gaps between God’s word and the believer’s experience show up in two areas are: Behaviour and Blessings.

There are times when a believer’s behaviour does not align with God’s word. In Galatians 5:22-23, we learn about the fruit of the Spirit. Love, joy, peace, amongst others. Also, in 1 Corinthians 13, we are instructed about the characteristics of Love which we are expected to reflect. These traits are the expectation but sometimes the believer’s present reality differs. He is not patient. She keeps records of wrongs. He sometimes boasts about his accomplishments.

Now, about the Blessings. We read God’s promises to us in scriptures. His promise that we will not lack anything good. His promise that we will be lend to nations and borrow from none. His promise of provision. However, sometimes, believers experience lack, they borrow, and it seems that nothing good is coming their way.

God’s word seems different from the believer’s present reality.

How do we close the gap?

  1. Pursuit.

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. Philippians 3:13

The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Philippians mentioned how he focus on what was ahead, rather than the past. Experiencing the reality of God’s word requires a relentless pursuit! The pursuit of knowledge in areas where limitations exist. The pursuit of examples who have successfully walked through the paths we are walking. The pursuit of references in the Scriptures to serve as anchors for our journey. The pursuit of perfection.

If you think it is not possible to become exactly what God has stated concerning you, then the journey has not stated. You must firstly believe that it is possible to live in the reality of what God has said and done!

  • Patience

“…imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.” Hebrews 6:12

Change takes time. There is no alternative. Behavioral change takes time, effort, discipline, and commitment. It is a renewing of the mind. A construction of new neurological pathways. It does not happen in a moment. Patience is vital!

Also, God’s blessings require us to build our capacity.

“I will send the hornet before you to drive the Hivites and Canaanites and Hittites out of your way. I will not drive them out before you in a single year; otherwise, the land would become desolate and wild animals would multiply against you. Little by little I will drive them out ahead of you, until you become fruitful and possess the land.”

A blessing that comes before its time can be mismanaged. For example, the Bible makes it clear that God gives us the ability to make wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18), but you find yourself addicted to splurging on items that you don’t need, and not being able to build a financial reserve, as a result. Changing that pattern would take time, training, and probably a tutor to hold you accountable. That would not happen instantly. God needs to deal with the flaw before he shifts you to the next floor.

  • Prayer

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:12.

Entering God’s promises is declaring a battle against the enemy. As believers, we are called to pray about situations that do not reflect God’s promise. Are you struggling with a habit that does not honor God? Pray about it. Are you giving up hopes of getting a good job? Pray about it. Does it seem like your family is at risk of drowning in debt? Pray about it!

Prayer changes situations. Prayer aligns our reality with God’s word. Prayer establishes God’s will on earth as it is in Heaven. Prayer is powerful!

Men ought to pray and not faint! (Luke 18:1)

Is there an area of your life where it seems like your reality does not match God’s word? Well, it is time to put the 3Ps into action. Decide to pursue the picture that God has placed in your heart through his word. Make up your mind to be patient, no matter the pressure. Most importantly, take the issue to God in prayers. He will answer. His will and plan will be done in your life. Amen!

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