Summary: What makes up your identity? Sanctification is a process that God wants to use to refine you. You'll find your identity there.
In general, selfies tell a false story about us. They’re just a moment captured, not the whole picture. They’re misleading. Who we see in the mirror isn’t what others see. They’re as good as we want them to be. We can re-take them until we get it perfect. (not that I would know)
The Bible has a lot to say about this…not selfies of course but the idea of us seeing one thing and God seeing another. That’s one of the things I love most about God: He doesn’t have my eyes. He has His own and they don’t see what I see.
It’s a theological term called Justification. It simply means that (upon accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior, explain salvation…) God sees Jesus in us!
That starts a process in us called Sanctification.
It’s a process where God refines us. Where God wants to start making us more Christ-like. That’s exciting, right? Here’s the problem…It’s not a fast, microwaved process. It takes the length of our entire lives to happen.
Planting grass… it was a lot more work in preparation then I had bargained for. Not to mention the grass took a lot longer to grow than I wanted it to.
I went out every morning, looked at the grass, and said hurry up. The grass, in turn, looked at me and said, shut your mouth, I will grow when I want to grow.
Then I looked at the grass and said, Bears got some poop over there, how about I smear some of that on your face.
And the grass was all like hey thanks for accidentally leaving the hose on for 6 extra hours yesterday when you left the house IDIOT.
And then I was all like, (laughing) why is my grass talking.
Thankfully, God is patient beyond our wildest dreams. He’s working a process in you. Right now.
To truly understand the process, we need to be honestly aware of our own sin. The book of Isaiah chapter 1:5&6 – the prophet Isaiah says that we are all sick. Our entire bodies are sick he says. Diseased.
He says from the sole of our feet to the top of our heads there is no soundness in it.
Most Old Testament prophets were healers too. Isaiah knew medicine. He knew disease. He knew the human condition of not just the body but also the soul.
We have a little thing going around right now called EBOLA! It’s all over the news, it’s terrible. It basically melts you from the inside out. Sin is nastier than Ebola! Ebola rots your body, sin rots your soul. Ebola ends your life on earth, sin ends your eternity in heaven!
Do we really GET what God did for us? Really?
Jesus was in His perfect, stainless, matchless, untarnished and majestic Heavenly home when He CHOSE to come here, to a place that had an epidemic spread to every human soul on the planet. It was infection, it was irreversible and it was catastrophically FATAL.
Would YOU go to a city where EVERYONE had Ebola, EVERYONE was dying, EVERYONE was contagious and you go, knowing the disease was going to suffer you a horrific, brutal death just to save people who WILLINGLY CHOSE to get sick!!???
Now I bet you’re glad God doesn’t see us as we see ourselves.
Have you ever looked in the mirror and been horrified? Usually first thing in the morning. You can be the best looking person of the year on the cover of people magazine and still wake up in the morning and think you’re ugly.
God does His best refining when we stop looking in the mirror.
With this human body comes a dashing suit of insecurity doesn’t it. We are riddled with insecurity. Each and every one of us on some level.
You’ve all used the term “identity crisis”. Maybe on yourself, maybe on someone else you’re observing.
Most Christians are suffering from an identity crisis.
Time to be brutally honest with yourself. If you can’t do this right now, there’s NO reason for me to even be wasting my time. – What makes up YOUR identity?
Is it what others think of you? Friends, co-workers, husband, wife, kids? Is your identity found in what car you drive, what house you have (that isn’t even yours because the bank owns it) , what job title you have, what successes you achieve?
As Christians our identities are found in CHRIST ALONE. The King James version says it best in John 1:12 when you believe in the NAME of Jesus, He gives YOU power and strength…even so much that you are considered SONS (and daughters) of GOD!
God sees Jesus in the mirror in your bathroom, you see a failure. God sees His child in your face and you see imperfections. God sees a champion and a warrior in you and you see a coward. God sees a saint of holy standing in you and you see a spiritual wreck.