Thursday, August 18, 2016

Hidden with Christ in God - Part 1 - My Initial Reaction

Lighted City Skylines under Deep Blue Sky during Night

When I first read the words, "hidden with Christ in God", I was angry. It was not until my mid-forties that I discovered my true self; and I was not willing to give up my new found autonomy and be demoted and hidden in the background once again.

I had just learned, from the loving tutelage of my employer, that I am a person too and that I have rights and privileges that no one prior to this point, myself included, had ever allowed me to enjoy.

My father was autocratic and bombastic by nature (the Italian Mafia type). Due to my insecurities, fears and codependent attitude, I taught my friends and extended family to treat me as an appendage rather than as a viable member of their society. I lived like a doormat most of the time.

Then, out of nowhere, when I reached my limit of patience or was extremely wounded by someone's treatment of me, I used anger to attempt to wrestle away from others their control over my life. This often left them puzzled, resentful and wounded in return.

Therefore, when I read that verse in the Bible, I did not want to be hidden away again. I had no desire to give up the ground I gained when I realized my freedom as a person to be accepted, listened to and part of the decisions made concerning my life.

As I prayed about this verse, God showed me that He wants us to be hidden with Christ in Him, because He desires that we live in constant fellowship with Him, intimately knowing Him and Christ whom He sent (John 17:3).

He wants His rivers of living water to flow in us, through us and out of us and upon everyone we come in contact with throughout our day (John 7:38). He changes the course of lives through Christ in us.

I knew that I could ultimately trust God with every aspect of my life, so I totally submitted to His desire to hide me with Christ in Him (Isaiah 57:15). I want Him to use all of me, holding nothing back from Him, to further His Kingdom in the earth.

Father God, as You search our heart, You understand the motives behind our thoughts, words and actions (1 Chronicles 28:9). Your ways and thoughts are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). As we trust in You, we come to realize that in times of stress and trials, You hide us with Christ in You.

This is not a negative concept to belittle us or to force us to abandon our true self, but it is actually teaching us that our true identity is in Christ alone. Thank You for revealing Yourself to us (Psalm 18:2; 62:6; Exodus 33:22). Help us to live as imitators of Christ, as Your beloved children (Ephesians 5:1; 1 Corinthians 11:1).

Thought for the Day:
Our Rock of Ages is ever present to help us in our time of need, but if we only seek His provision, we will never be happy; however, if we seek Him and His presence in our life, we will live a fulfilled life regardless of our circumstances.
- Isaiah 26:4

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