All of us struggle at times with spiritual amnesia. We forget who we really are. We are the children of God. “ But to all who did receive him (Jesus), who believed in His name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).
The Apostle Paul reminds us that, as children of God, we will face obstacles when we endeavor to live in light of our true identity. This verse highlights two obstacles: One is internal and the other is external.
First, unchecked pride in our hearts leads us to grumble and complain to God and to others. When we do so, we begin to think that we deserve better, and we regularly refuse any pain or suffering as part of God’s plan and purpose for our lives. God’s people have struggled with this for generations. We are not unique in our struggle. Do you remember how frequently the people of God in their wilderness wanderings complained to the Lord about their leaders and their circumstances? How can we avert their repeated failures in murmuring against the Lord? How do we wrestle this untamed beast?
Ask the Lord to give you the grace to focus on the blessings that you have rather than the blessings that you don’t. And be sure to regularly thank him because thankfulness destroys a grumbling spirit.
Secondly, the world is no friend of grace to help us live in light of our true identity. Here the Apostle Paul calls it a “crooked and twisted generation.” The word for ‘crooked’ here is the word scoliosis. The word for ‘twisted’ means depraved and perverse. One of the fundamental ways that the world influences us is by luring us to root our identity and significance in the things that the world values rather than what God values; things like performance, appearance, and wealth. All of these things can be quickly taken from us.
What are the results of living in light of your true identity? You will shine as a light in a dark world and point people to Jesus Christ who is the light of the world.
Prayer: Father, do such a deep, transformative work in our hearts that we live as Your blameless, innocent, and unblemished children. Make us today the sweet aroma of the Lord Jesus Christ to those we meet. Amen.