“Living in our true identity with God” Isn’t this what we long for? When God says we are more than conquerors do we say “I know that! I live that!”? Or do we say “Really? That’s not my take away. I feel defeated more than not.” Yet Paul said in Christ we are new creations. Old is out. In with the new that is a warrior, a winner, a prophet speaking the truth of God, a priest blessing and interceeding for others, an ambassador of the Kingdom of God, a fragrance of Jesus, the letter of God read by all mankind, entrused with Jesus’s mission to release the captives, bind up the broken hearted, proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord!
But a lot of us are living more in the shadows. We feel chained to reputations and how people expect us to be. The name Jabez, in the Bible, means pain. Jabez’s mom made sure everyone knew how much she suffered giving birth to this baby that she named him pain. Jabez. How hard would it be to live that down? First of all Jewish moms have the reputations of never forgetting–never letting up. If its praiseworthy the child couldn’t ask for a better press agent! But gotta say this must have been the WORST delivery EVER to hang this on her son for the rest of his life! It got so bad the Bible says Jabez CRIED OUT TO GOD. In the New Testament bad things happening to people was seen as punishment for sin. When the disciples and Jesus came upon a blind man the disciples asked Jesus “Who sinned, his parents or this man, that he should be born blind?” Because God’s curses were seen in loss of fortune, ill health, defeat, Jabez, a man undeserving of his name, for the Bible called him a man more honorable than his brothers, cried out for God to prove to everyone he was not the man they thought he was. Pour out Your favor over me! Line my pockets with money. Prosper me and expand my borders, my territory. And God answered his prayer (1 Chronicles 4:9-11).
When I was about 4 years old our family went to the Fun Zone at Santa Cruz California. My dad took me up a high stairs to a long wooden slide. He wanted me to slide down it. I was afraid. I didn’t want to. I cried. I felt panicked as he kept insisting and got a splinter in my hand from the wooden hand rail. My dad returned me to ground level in disgust and called me “panty waist”. What would have changed about my selfimage after that if my dad said “You are so brave! We are unstoppable together! Let’s take on this slide together! You sit on my lap and together we’ll see how scarry this slide really is!”
God says we are more, much more in Christ. Listen to this message from Graham Cooke as he unlocks the mystery of being an OVERCOMER in Christ!