Monday, February 15, 2016

Identity in Christ - 61 (United to Christ)

The passage begins as a warning. We become one with whatever we unite with. We unite with whatever we ficus our hearts on.

The focus of the human heart is not pure and unadulterated. It is a mixed bag. Human hearts are captured by many things: money, see, love, fun, school, success, popularity, family, career, hobbies, sports, etc.

That is not to say God's family cannot like, engage in, practice things not solely associated with God. God does command a diligent attention to family, making a living, and doing good. It is not wrong to have hobbies or play sports.

It is wrong for any of these  things to have first place in a person's heart. It is wrong for a person to define his\her identity by something other than the Father, and our relationship with him.

 God's Perspective

God commands a focus on others and other things. God command we give our hearts to him. So, our hearts are focused, united and one with him. God does not command the impossible. So, we are able to focus our hearts on him, and football, at the same time.

There is a focus of the heart that commands all other focuses. It affects, colors, and controls all other focuses. God designed people that a relationship with him would be that controlling focus. The problem is the first people chose to give their hearts to something else. And all people, there after, have "broken" hearts. Not hearts that are very sad; hearts that do not work as they should. The problem is not that a focus on football is wrong; the problem is that some people have football as their fundamental, controlling focus. Football defines their identity. Or something else defines their identity ... other than a relationship with the Creator.

So, now there is a cosmic war. The Father strives to reconnect with people. The Father strives to establish a relationship with people where he is the fundamental focus of the relationship. So, the relationship with him becomes the basis of identity.

 Living My Life

At some point in life, many people collide with Jesus. Jesus disrupts their lives. And they find themselves needing to choose. There is a fork in the road.

Sometimes people confront their moral failures, and their inability to make those failures right. Sometimes people confront a need they cannot fulfill, like love or peace. Sometimes people confront an existential reality, like evil, or a certainty that something exists outside of this physical existence. And they choose an alternate focus. In my case, and in many others, they chose Jesus. I am one who realized God existed. And if he existed, then he is the one who designed, created, and ruled the universe. And if he ruled the universe, then he ruled me. So, I needed to put myself into the correct role, the correct relationship.

Since then, I have learned about who God is, and what it means to walk with him. I have faced my moral failures, and my needs. And I have continued to unite with the Father and Jesus. He is not just King. He is Father, Friend, Teacher, and Counselor. He forgives, advises, helps, provides, reveals, loves, and encourages.

I have failed more than I have succeeded. But, now that I walk with him, neither success nor failure is his prime concern with me. Restoration, transformation, and new life are his prime concerns. And these occur most in life with him, united to him, with the right heart focus. There are practices that can enhance, promote, and facilitate a proper heart focus. But it is not the practices per se. It is how they teach the heart.

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