“Being” IN Christ
Identity first, activity second. Who you are informs what you do (and don’t do). This is the simplest outline for the book of Ephesians (and in fact a number of the Pauline Epistles). It makes sense and it is simple enough in theory. The difficulty comes in reality. Being a ‘doer’ by nature and firmly western in my mindset, I have struggled with “being” in Christ. I want to do something for Jesus- (WWJD?) and I forget to start with who I am in Him. I have far from arrived in a journey of understanding my identity in Christ or having my activity flow from that identity but, I have found some help and by God’s kindness seen growth in “being” in Christ. Here are some ideas/resources in helping you grow in grasping your identity as one who’s been given every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus:
1. Meditate on Ephesians 1:3-14. Take time to deeply consider what it says of you. Take time to praise God for each aspect. Take time to say (or even declare) each of those aspects over yourself. Consider which aspect(s) you doubt, ask God to settle these things deep in your soul.
2. Put it on the wall. Write down who you are in Christ (or use this pdf: Who We Are In Christ) and put it somewhere you will see it. Read it. Re-read. Let it sink deep.
3. Let God speak it into your life. This sounds super other-worldly and in some sense I suppose it is. However, supernatural is exactly who we are in Christ. The Holy Spirit loves to speak reminding us of God’s truth. Find a quiet place. Pray asking God to speak to you and to remind you of your identity in Christ. Listen for the Holy Spirit to speak. Write down what you hear.
4. Practice the pause. Pause before you go charging into the next activity for God and in the pause remember who you are. Identity first. Now go and do.
These are only some ideas. There are a lot of other ways you can practice this vital spiritual order: identity then activity. What we must not forget is that if we get this order turned about our activity will push us to be prideful Pharisees or fatigued failures. If we get the order right then out of our life IN Christ will flow Christ-like action.