The start, the journey and the arrival at the destination are all equally important. Errors come when we over emphasize one part and ignore the others. It is quite typical for churches to emphasize the how of the journey with good guidelines like the Ten Commandments laws and ignore the others resulting in legalism. It is equally bad for some churches to emphasize the start of new man of creation and grace and ignore the need for the journey and ending up producing babies and/or orphans. Focusing on the glorious destination causes one the ignore the present living and influence with just waiting for the great day.
Hence, it is important for us, now and then, to review and reflect on our lives and see the part we may have neglected. When we feel trapped in the journey, may be we should look at who we are again. When we feel depressed in the journey, may be we should look at the glorious ending that awaits us. When we do not know what to do, or think that we have lost our way, we need to get back to God and His word.
Begin the Journey by Knowing Our Identity
The journey is our present time and naturally occupies our attention. There are much teaching written about the how. I have shared much from the Ancient Chinese Classics on this as well see Chinese Classics & The Bible. So in this post, I want to talk about the starting point of the journey, our perspective of life, our identity in Christ.
Who we think we are determines how we behave.
Pro 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he
You start your New Life - Complete in Christ. There is no lack.
As a believer,
- We are a new creation 2 Cor 5:17.
We are taught that we are sinners saved by grace. If you still thinking about the sinner part, then you are trapped in sins. Paul emphasized that we should focus on the saved part - the New Creation. I am a new creation and no longer a sinner. I am the following ....
- We are children of God Rom 8:16, Gal 3:26, 1 Jn 3:1. Since we are God's children, we are like God and have His character within us.
- We are complete in Christ. Col 2:10
- We have received all Christ's fullness, and grace for grace. Joh 1:16.
For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ Joh 1:17. Christ gave us the grace to exceed the Laws.
- You are God's children. He sent Christ Jesus to save us and to make us wise, acceptable, and holy. 1Co 1:30 [CEV]
- We have everything we need to live a life that pleases God. It was all given to us by God's own power, when we learned that he had invited us to share in his wonderful goodness. 2Pe 1:3 [CEV]
The is the complete, righteous, wise, holy, empowered identity in Christ that we start to live out the journey of life. The Laws are no longer something that condemns us anymore because Christ had redeemed us from the curse of the Laws Gal 3:13 but something that we could easily exceeds because of our new identity. The Laws become guidelines, minimum standards actually, for us to show our light to the world and bring glory to God. See positive aspects of the Laws in Principles & Insights from the Ten Commandments. When we know we can make it and excel in it, we are not afraid of being measured. Measurement also shows out the ability inside us. This is the attitude of the champions. Remove the measurements, we could not tell. So, we our new identity of Christ in us, let are boldly move forward.
How we behave in the journey actually reflect our identity and character.
What happen when we fail?
- Hebrew tells us to approach merciful God receive the grace power. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Heb 4:16 ESV
- But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2Co 12:9-10 ESV
Remember who you are in Christ, be righteous & capable centric and live out with Christ within.
- And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Eph 4:24 KJV ... the putting on is about letting the external behavior to be seen like the internal Christ in us.
- Each of you is now a new person. You are becoming more and more like your Creator, and you will understand him better Col 3:10 CEV
and Seven Easy Steps to Great Success According to LaoZi (You will find many quoting this "A Journey of a thousand miles begin with the first step - Lao Zi. This is a better explanation on the complete text).
Lim Liat (C) 2011 updated 5 Dec 2011