Identity in Christ ~ Part 4: Failures

~By: Jeanne Litke~

The very beginning of the Bible states, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) In the last verse of that chapter we read, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31a)

Understand that God does not make mistakes -- we do. Ever since the Fall in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3), humans inherited Adam and Eve’s sinful nature. Because of their choice to rebel and sin, we are prone to this same pattern.

I have made many mistakes where I have had to start over from the beginning. Most of the time, thankfully, they are minor fixes requiring little time, energy, and finances, such as a missed ingredient in a recipe, a wrong purchase, a forgotten bill, or a mix up of an appointment. Other times, however, my mistakes haven’t been so easily corrected, and amending them has been painful. These were the times when I’ve said or done something unkind to someone I love, or made poor financial or employment decisions. They required much more than just a quick fix or simple “do over.” Those mistakes have called for a complete “hand over” to God at the foot of the cross. He is the only one capable of restoring and making all things new.

Isaiah 64:8 says, “Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” It is only in our full surrender to His design and plan for our lives does the beauty of what He is creating take shape to reveal His power in and through our lives.

Thankfully, I don’t have to look at my past mistakes as complete failures because God isn’t finished creating me. I am being perfected. Because my identity is in Christ, I have been given the ultimate “do over.” Jesus Christ has forgiven my sins, and I am changing from within by the Holy Spirit’s transforming power (Christ) in me. In Ephesians 4:22-24, we are told, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

2 Corinthians 5:17-19 tells us, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.”

I now look at my past (and future) failures in the light of the cross and as opportunities to grow into my identity of Christlikeness. This also gives me a whole new perspective in regards to how I see others. They too are being made new, so it is with a humble heart that I must give the same grace that I have been given and see them as God does -- not according to their past mistakes, but instead in view of who they are becoming. In the Kingdom of God, you and I are His perfect first version -- nothing short of a flawless masterpiece.

Let the following words of godly wisdom from Charles Spurgeon, ”the prince of preachers,” sink deep into your heart:

“My brethren, it was more difficult, if such terms are ever applicable to Omnipotence, it was more difficult to create a Christian than to create a world. What was there to begin with when God made the world? There was nothing; but nothing could not stand in God's way -- it was at least passive. But, my brethren, in our hearts, while there was nothing that could help God, there was much that could and did oppose Him. Our stubborn wills, our deep prejudices, our ingrained love of iniquity, all these, great God, opposed thee, and aimed at thwarting thy designs. … Yes, great God, it was great to make a world, but greater to create a new creature in Christ Jesus.”


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