I am going to say something controversial. Continue reading at your own risk. Are you still reading? Maybe you are still reading because you are curious. I might be curious too, if I were you. If you keep reading, just make a deal with me that you will read the whole thing lest you get the wrong idea about what I am trying to say. Well, here it is. Have you ever heard someone say, “I do [such and such] and I’m still saved”. This statement has a lot of different meanings to it. Usually; however, a person is suggesting that God lets them get away with something without blotting their name out of the book of life. They are saying that it is possible to do [you fill in the blank] and still be a Christian. The message to the onlooker becomes, “Christians do the same things I do, so why should I become one? If they can’t do any better than me, why should I take the trouble of getting out of bed every Sunday?” I hear some people say that they toe the line because they want to identify with people who are struggling. Then want people to know that someone just like them has a relationship with God. I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t impress me when someone who has the same problems as me attempts to instruct me in how to overcome. Let’s say that someone is promoting a weight-loss product, but they haven’t lost any weight? Would you buy the product because they tell you it works? How do they know? If we tell someone that they should become a Christian, our suggestion isn’t valid if we are not presenting a Christian life to them. This generation believes in evidence. They want to see that things are the way you say.
Some people argue that they need to maintain a certain element of their past identities to be able to reach people. I can’t speak for everyone. Perhaps this is true for someone, but it isn’t true for everyone. Moses was not a slave like the children of Israel, yet he was able to lead the entire nation out of bondage. God used him because he was different, not in spite of his differences. God knows what we need to be. When we come to Christ, we give up our right to ourselves, “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price…” (1Corinthians 6: 19 & 20). The identity we are supposed to have is the one God gives us. A lot of people are afraid to come to God or to let God take control because they don’t want to lose who they are. The truth is, they have already lost their identity through sin. God created us to be one person, but sin takes us and makes us someone else. When we come to God, He wants to set us on the correct path and make us what He intended us to be in the first place. Sometimes that is very different than what we have become. To hold on to our old identity for dear life is to insult God and to engage in idol worship. Our identity can be an idol. If we can’t give it up, it is an idol.
When I came to God, He took me just the way I was. He didn’t change me so He could love me, He changed me because He loves me. He asked me to do some things I didn’t understand, but I did them to the best of my knowledge and ability. Sure, I failed quite a bit, but God picked me up and put me back on the path. Later on, I would often see why He’d asked me to do or not do some things. God did not; however, remove my individuality or my creativity. Actually, I am more creative now than I used to be before I knew Him. I am more free than I used to be. No one who knows me would say that I’m in a box or that I have conformed. I do not have the ability to conform. But I am more myself, my real self than I used to be. I like me much better now. By letting go, I found out what God wanted to do. It was better than I expected. The best part is, He is not through with me yet. I haven’t quite finished growing, but I am happy so far. I admonish you to let go and let God. He knows what He created you to be. It may seem scary at first, but it is really for the best and you will be happy you did. “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever Amen.” (Jude 24 & 25).