Who are you?
Really, who are you?
Take a few moments and write it down.
Now, go read Romans 8. If you have been in church 5 minutes, then you have probably heard or read parts of this chapter. Take a moment, though, to read the whole chapter. Don’t skip over the parts you think you know by heart. Now, try reading it again in a different translation (or two or three).
Now go back to that list you wrote down (or thought about for 10 seconds). What does what you wrote down say about you? What does it say about how you feel about yourself? Is your list positive or negative? Of the positive things you wrote, how many of those things do you actually believe about yourself?
I’ve recently come of the opinion that our self esteem is a reflection of our spiritual state. Before yo get up an arms, I’m not talking about the bad days we all have. I’m referring to what might be the average–how you usually feel from day to day. Why is it a reflection of your spiritual state? Well, it goes back to Romans 8. This chapter lays out pretty clearly what God did for us through Jesus and how He feels about us. The question is not whether or not we believe God did these things but rather He did them for us, for you individually.
Do you really believe Jesus would intercede for you personally (or that He actually cares about)?
Do you really believe God works all things for your good (or that He’s not out to get you or mad at you)?
Do you really believe you were created to do more than succeed?
Do you really believe all the crap you are going through will end and have some sort of good outcome?
I can guarantee that we would all automatically just say yes to these questions. However, to be able to honestly answer these questions with a 100% yes, we would have to also believe all the promises in the Bible wholeheartedly. AND we would have to trust God enough to not just believe but know He will fulfill all of His promises. I think, for many of us, our honest answers are something more like, “Yes, but…” or “Yes, except for…” or “Yes, but only after I stop…”
We have a tendency to believe God will fulfill His promises in all areas of our life except for one, or to believe God will only fulfill His promises after we have met some qualifier. If you go back to Romans 8, the only qualifier is to be led by the Spirit. I’m sure there are books upon books of what it means to be led by the Spirit, and I could write multiple posts of what I think it means. However, I think you can simply define it as loving Jesus and believing His life is the ultimate example of how we should live. It’s hard to love Jesus and not be led by the Spirit at least a little bit. Even then, He wants these things for all people. Jesus saved us before we loved Him, before we allowed ourselves to be led by His Spirit. So, even if you don’t think you love God enough, He still desires all of these things for you.
Ultimately, it’s not an “either or” situation. It’s not based on “either you love God or you don’t.” Everything that was written in Romans 8 was God’s desire for you from the very beginning, regardless of how you felt about Him. From the very beginning, Jesus was willing to die for you, even if you never loved Him back. If Jesus was willing to do all of this, even before you decided to love Him, surely it is His desire now that you do.
We must all understand the difference between knowing God’s desires and actually believing them to be true. We must know the difference between knowing how God feels about us and actually believing those things about ourselves. Even more, we must be able to identify the areas in our lives in which we know but not believe. We must humbly and honestly say, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.”
So, I’ll ask again.
Who are you, anyway?