- Moses was an excuse-giver, but the Holy Spirit called him his face-to-face friend.
- Sarah laughed when God promised her a miracle baby; but the Holy Spirit lists her in the hall of faith.
- Peter denies Christ thrice, yet Jesus never labelled him a ‘betrayer’ but instead called him a rock.
Looks like Jesus always saw the treasure in people’s lives – he could literally dig out the gold from the dirt in their lives, and call them according to the greatness inside of them. He is a gold-digger, and he knows how to mine out the gold he placed in us.
We see people transform when they realize who they are and what God has placed inside of them, instead of always telling them what is wrong with them.
Beloved, God calls you out, not according to your sins, your failures, your shortcomings, but according to your true identity: as His sons, made in His image and likeness.
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus – Gal 3:26
This is not an expectation, this is an identity given to us. Don’t look at it from a law-lens, you will go around condemning yourself for not being like-Christ.
When Jesus comes back from the grave and meets Peter, He performs a miracle for him first, then challenges his love for him, and never takes his calling back – he reinforces it to him instead, and asks him to feed his sheep. He didn’t put him on a discipline-break like most of us religious folk do. He trusted him to fulfill his calling. And a Jesus-denying Peter went on to storm the world with the power of God, with even his shadow healing the people – he did the works Jesus did and even more!
What about Samson? We have only heard sermons on how-not-to-be when it comes to him. He is used as an example of failure, to infuse fear in us. Look what report the Spirit gives:
And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:
Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. (Heb 11:32-34, Emphasis mine)
The Bible does document the stories as they happened; and that’s how we know the victories and failures of the people of God. But when it comes to talking about his people, God always gives a good report.
Samson looks like a failure to us, but in the end, he had the come-back power – a man with eyes gouged out had the courage to fight back, and destroy Israel’s enemies, with one big blow, by simply trusting that the Holy Spirit will empower him once again. We call him a failure, God calls him a prophet, who “out of weakness was made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.”
What does God say about you?
What do you imagine Him saying about you – is it a bad report, listing your failures or celebrating your victories? Can you imagine God boasting about you?The reason you can’t is because we are taught to be too sin-conscious.
We are sin-conscious
Sin is falling short of the mark – and we are always beaten up by religion to feel like a failure, unable to ever please God or meet his righteous standards. Truth is there is only one righteous standard acceptable to the Father, and that is His Son Jesus Christ – unless your righteousness is like Jesus, you have no access to God’s presence. That’s why, the only way we are justified (declared righteous), is by faith in what the Son did for us!
If you still feel condemned that you don’t live up, then you’ve not got a revelation of what Christ did for you. He made you just like Him, and earlier you fell short of his glory, now you don’t! (Read my article on the glory of God, for more on this)
Beloved, the Holy Spirit is the one cheering for you in the stands, when no one seems to even recognize you; He is the one urging you not to give up when you have given up on yourself; He is the one encouraging you, day in and day out – literally putting courage back in you when you start calling yourself a failure. But if you see Him as a fault-finder, you will miss out on the powerful partnership with the best coach and dad in the whole world!
The Spirit reminds you that you are a son!
He is the one who constantly reminds us that we are sons and not slaves, bold and not cowards, above and not beneath. He always bears witness with us that we are indeed sons of God (Rom 8:16). Any voice that condemns you, finds fault with you, the ‘look-what-you-did’ accusing voice, the language in your head that shames you, is from the depths of hell – it is the accuser’s voice, NOT the precious Holy Spirit.
This is my identity. I am a son, my Father will never leave me, nor give up on me.
Don’t look at yourself through your failures or defeat, or through the labels people might have given you. We have the habit of calling ourselves according to our condition or worst failure: jobless, failure, hopeless, good-for-nothing, ordinary, lonely, less-talented, poor, unmarried, widower, depressed, shamed, and so on.
But can you look inside yourself today and see the gold that’s waiting to be revealed? Everything you need for life has already been hidden inside of you. Partner with the Holy Spirit today :only He is the revealer of your true identity.
When I walk in the consciousness that I am a son of God, I begin to look at others through the same lens. I look for the glory in people and call it out. I am not overwhelmed by their sinful behavior, but I can look for the gold hidden in them, and treat them according to their true identity.
I promise to be a gold-digger to my children, and to everyone around me, through the help of the Holy Spirit.
When kids are born, oh they are so glorious … everything is cute, even when they poop or drop food while eating. It is easy to love them and call them treasures, then. It’s when their pants wrung low as teens, or when their behavior changes when old, that I still want to be able to call them out according to their identity, and not their obvious mistakes. I don’t want to be overwhelmed by their sin or offended by their public failures. I choose to look for the gold buried deep inside of them.
Father, help me to be a gold-digger, like you!
(Please understand that I’ve deliberately used the word ‘gold-digger’ to mean something apart from its original meaning)