Saturday 21 January 2012

Perception and Identity by Rich Novek

Between 1983 and 1986 I prayed a prayer which was prescribed to me by a dear friend;
“Lord, bring me to the end of myself and give me a revelation of who I am IN Christ!”
For us to know who we are God has to break through certain engrained religious barriers. Barriers built by a wrong perception of who Christ is and just as important, who we are IN Him.
Identity and perception are everything, and if one or the other is skewed in any way, we become like a ship heading for the rocks when every outward indication says “safe seas” ahead! What the Apostle Paul called being shipwrecked in our faith.
For generations the church has been ineffective in it’s worldwide influence.
I believe what I am sharing today is the key!
And He fed you Manna which neither you or your Father’s knew. (Deuteronomy 8:3)
This Manna is a perception of Christ, not known by past generations because of a people who walked with a double mind and double heart towards God.
The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve “two” masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (Mathew 6:22-24)
It’s that same “double minded” perception of God, in believing we can serve God and serve our own self interests, which is the reason many believers today don’t know the reality of who God is or who they are IN Christ!
Perception, what I see, and Identity, who I am.  Is there anything that could be more important to a people who love God with all their hearts, yet at the same time are afraid to approach Him as the loving Father He is?
When we hold to the belief of a so called gospel that promotes our working for Him in order to receive from Him, we get a picture of God that looks more like a child abuser or task master than a loving Father!  I spent most of 2011 recovering from a deadly infection in my spine and the loss of a kidney.  An illness that landed me on my back in pain for 77 days. Because of my illness, my wife and I earned less than $5000 in 2011, yet God sustained us by His Grace alone! In 2010 we faced another severe trial that could have landed us in prison, and through no fault of our own! And yet God rescued us again by His marvelous Grace!
I have a REAL relationship with a REAL God, and this by knowing Him and knowing who He is IN me, not by following the law or the historical traditions of men.
Over my 30 year journey (to hell and back) I have suffered the loss of everything several times. And it wasn’t during seasons of comfort and ease I learned the reality of who I am IN Christ, but in the long seasons of pain, suffering, loss, brokenness, and isolation!
He trained us first, passed us like silver through refining fires, brought us into hardscrabble country, pushed us to our very limit, road-tested us inside and out, took us to hell and back; Finally he brought us to this well-watered place. (Psalm 66:10-12 Message)
He has wonderfully redefined so many things I once thought were the whole truth, but NOW know are only partial truths found in a partial gospel.
And now, my wife, myself, and a dear friend who I have known since my youth, spend our evenings praising, interceding, petitioning, and believing God for an international move of True Grace!  Where we are calling the things that are not as though they are. (Romans 4:17)
We “stand in the gap” for His people, that they may see, recognize, consider, and gain insight as to the reality of who they truly are IN Christ!
It took God, not a punishing God, but a loving God who brought me into and through one impossible situation after another, all so I would finally know the true perception of Him as my One true identity.

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