Discovering Our Inward Identity
But when the perfect comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put aside childish things. For now we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known. 1 Corinthians 13:10-12
If we were to look into the “mirror of our soul” what would we see? Would it reveal what we thought we would see? Would we find Christ revealed in us, or merely our own reflection?
If we once perfectly journeyed into the inner life of Christ, and tasted a little of his gracious, abundantly passionate love, then we would no longer be concerned about our own convenience or inconvenience. We would welcome the shame we would find there. Why? When we view our life in the light of his life, that comparison reveals us as we truly are. His strength reveals our weaknesses!
Those who are true Christians and genuinely embrace who Jesus was and is, and the truth he presents, and exist free of excessive emotions, can freely turn to God, arise in spirit, and joyously grasp the peaceful rest that we all desire. Those among us who can judge all things as they truly are and not as they appear to be are truly wise; guided by God rather than those of this world. When we are guided by God, we live inwardly and place small value on outward things. There is no need for a special time or place to grow spiritually to please the Savior. Such Christians are not hindered or distracted by work or business that may be necessary, but adjust their lives as is needed. They are rightly focused and organized – free from distractions of others. Only when we focus on external matters are we apt to be distracted and bothered by the strange and perverse behavior of others around us.
When our spirit is reestablished and anchored by the Spirit of God, we will be instructed and guided by the Lord dwelling within us. Our lives will be built upon a foundation of righteousness. Oppression and fears will be removed as our inward lives reveal Christ within us. Certainly, if things were well with us, and we were purified from sin, all things would work out to our good, and for our spiritual growth. However, there remain many things that displease and often trouble us, because we are not yet perfectly dead to ourselves or separated from all worldly things. Nothing destroys and defiles and decays the heart like impure love for others or the things of this world. If we refuse outward comfort, we will be able to contemplate the inward peace and joy that flow from heaven. We should strive to come out from the clutches and bonds of this world and be separate. Then the Lord will welcome us, and reestablish his relationship within us, as he has promised.
While the Lord has called us to remain in the world for his purposes, inwardly we are called to not be of this world. We are called to dependent only upon him, and independent of the world and its influences.
My daily prayer: Heavenly Father God, I seek this day that you search my inward spirit, and reveal to me all that will distort or distract me from seeing Christ as I should within me. As I look into the mirror of my soul, all I desire to find is him plainly face to face. Father, please accept all my heart, soul, mind and strength, I am totally surrendering myself to you. Removing all of my “self” and the influence of this world from my inward focus remains a struggle, but it is what I desire so that I may live outwardly at peace, because inwardly I am at home with you and your son. May my life reflect the spiritual example that pleases you so that my family will follow me into the same relationship with you through Jesus, your son. Father, please remove from me any oppression, fear or burden that threatens my inward relationship with you. Reveal the way I should go in this world for your glory and honor and praise and I know such a journey will be all the reward I need in this lifetime. Amen.
For additional reading: 2 Corinthians 6:17; 12:10; Matthew 11:28-30; Isaiah 52:11; 54:13-14; Romans 8:28