Our Position in Christ, Part 1
As a child of God who has confessed your sins and chosen to follow Jesus, have you ever asked yourself what all exactly this means? How did this decision change your identity? How did it change your position, now, here on earth and in eternity? Because of your belief in what Jesus Christ did on the cross for you, it is extremely important that you recognize exactly how God the Father now views you and what this means for you personally.
For me personally, early in my Christian faith, I had to face off with these things.
When I entered Wheaton College, a Christian school, I had only been a Christian for some 24 months. When I stepped on campus the first three people I met stunned me with their gifts and genius. I met an All-America football player, a concert pianist who played in recognized venues, and a national merit scholar who had his own radio program.
Within minutes I felt flooded with the feelings that I was quite inadequate and maybe a nobody. This put me in a place where many of us find ourselves when we ask, "Who am I really? Do I really have worth? Do I matter?"
During the first several weeks many things happened. I met the chaplain at Wheaton College, Evan Welsh. He was one of the most remarkable and loving men I had ever met. While on a Freshman retreat, Dr. Welsh was there. I had found out he still did 100 push ups a day, and he was 60 something. In front of a dozen or so students I said to him, "Dr. Welsh, you are better than me in everything. You do more push ups then me, you are more godly, you love people more than me..."
When Evan Welsh heard me say that, he teared up and then grabbed my shoulders. Looking straight into my eyes with a compassion I had never felt from another man he sternly said, "Don't you ever say I love people more than you. You will love people far more than I will ever love them."
I had never been flooded by such love and concern. It so overwhelmed me, I literally turned around and walked off out of embarrassment and an awkwardness. This was unlike me but I had never experienced what just hit me and did not know what to say because I was feeling too emotional and uncertain if I might start crying.
I told this story because a while later, I was still struggling with my identity.
Would I be left in the shadows as a nobody compared to all the students who excelled at everything way beyond me? Did I have value? And most of this centered on my relationship to God. Did God really love me? Was I fooling myself about how God felt about me? Was I really a reject in God's eyes as I struggled with my failings and and immaturity? There were times I'd awaken in the middle of the night wondering about how God felt about me. One such time as I laid there it was as though God Himself spoke gently to my heart, "If Evan Welsh, a mere man, could love you that much, would I love you less?"
The answer hit me deeply. Of course God loves me more, far more. Infinitely more!
That realization set in motion a new awareness of certain Scriptures that revealed to me what God felt about me. As I got into those scriptures I began to realize that I had incredible worth to him.
This profoundly affected the way I looked at God in prayer, how I saw myself in His eyes, and how I relaxed about God's unique will for me. I began to realize He was fully capable of acting on my behalf, and that He intended to where He called me to participate in His purposes.
What I need to do was trust and obey Him during the seasons where it seemed nothing much was happening other than the mundane fulfillment of one's duties.
In Part 2, I will tell how this story affected my identity and my position in Christ. Stay tuned!