Kingdom Principle: Identity takes root in you moving you from blindness to blessedness through the process of brokenness.
- Identity is formed universally in People of Faith by being a Kingdom & Priest.
- Identity is formed in uniquely in People of Faith by being Called, Chosen, & Commissioned.
|Acts 9:1-6, (7-20)||Psalm 30||Revelation 5:11-14||John 21:1-19|
Do you think you are more likely to be a sprinter or a marathon runner? Paul was more of a marathon runner (Acts 20:24, 1 Cor. 9:24), while Peter was a sprinter (Luke 24:12, John 21:7-8). Regardless they were both runners in the race. In order to run with perseverance the race marked out of you, you must throw off that which entangles you. (Hebrews 12:1) The two things we learned to throw off in last week’s post was sin & fear.
- To throw off sin – we confess, repent and recieve forgiveness.
- To throw of fear – we cast , release and belief in freedom (fear is expressed as anxiety, worry, stress, etc)
This week in Acts we read the calling of Saul (he will be renamed and commissioned as Paul), in John we engage the conclusion of the Peter’s choosing and the re-engagement of his commissioning. In Revelation, we are given a glimpse into Heaven where the billions of angels, the elders and four living creatures are encircling the throne of Jesus. There they fulfill their lives’ purpose to bow in worship of the Lamb who was slain and is worthy to open the scroll. (Rev. 4:1-5:10) Finally, Psalm 30 is a beautiful picture of worship and exalting of the Lord forever and ever living into our calling, because of our choosing and out our commissioning. These acts of calling, choosing and commissioning will be further explained below, but before we can address those concepts, we must address the reality that Anxiety in the world is a bigger obstacle to our life’s purpose than sin.
You were born in this world – sinful (passed on to every generation). You make chooses everyday of your life that can be classified as sin. To both of these – Forgiveness is a Gift. Yet – most of us are not dying under the weight of sin (because we practice the engagement of forgiveness) rather we are dying under the pressures of this world – anxiety, stress, fear… it is to this that Jesus say – my Peace I give to you… and we are invited to give to him our cares. (1 Peter 5:7) In those same passages – Ananias had to release his anxiety, John has to move through his fear, and we discover in a state of worship that both sin and anxiety has been removed.
Let’s return to the race metaphor of Paul and Peter and you. When you are at the starting-line of a race, the call is to be “On your Mark” – this calling is to be in position. Sin at times has been described as missing the mark, based on an archery term. While that is not totally wrong, it may be more correct to say that sin is not only missing the mark it is also hitting the wrong mark. Like being in the wrong lane, on the wrong mark… Before you can run a race it is important you have your appointed mark – you know where you stand and you are in the correct posture. Your true identity is rooted on your mark. This is the gift of receiving forgiveness. This mark is established in being called by God, to be “right” with God. Being “On your Mark” enters you into the race, but it does not release you to go, next you have to “Get Set”. To get set, is to move into a ready position. While in this shift from on your mark to get set, the race has begun, and yet no one is allowed to run, and this is where most fouls occur, here we are prepared to give it all you got. “Getting Set” is affirming your awareness of being Chosen and for you to choose to move solely in the direction of God. This is the place where we must release our anxiety and be focused on one thing – Listening for the “Go!” Anticipating the “Go!” is being totally ready to run at a moment’s notice, but not moving until you are released. This is the point of breaking your will and seeking only His. In the scriptures this week we see Ananias leave his mark flawlessly. In a race, when everyone is lined up on the line – they all look somewhat similar, not identical, but generally in the same posture and position… but once the gun is sounding everyone’s race becomes their own. This is why it is so important to be “On your mark” (called), “Get set” (Chosen) so that when you “Go!” – you run in such a way to win the prize – for this is your Commission.
Defining the terms:
Calling happens in a moment’s time, and is unique to each person. For some it seems as if they must receive multiple calls from God before they every truly pick up or complete the call. Both Paul and Peter hear the call of Jesus to “Follow Me”. Peter hears these words directly (Matt. 4:18-20), while Paul is blinded and told where to go and what to do (Acts 9:6, 22:10). Our Calling into a greater light reveals our Blindness – what we once did not see we now are able to see. For Peter, His calling matured over a longer period of time – but he too had his eyes opened (Matthew 16:15-17). For Paul we read the story this week – it was a matter of three days and Ananias prayed for his eyes to be opened…
Choosing happens throughout a life time. This is the process of us facing our brokenness and wilderness experiences where we come to know and trust the Lord. Here is where we see Peter as a sprinter and Paul as a marathon runner. Peter often and quickly chooses to sprint off to accomplish a task for the Lord, only to discover it was on his strength and his will that things were pursued. Paul’s choosing is a long obedience in the same direction. In choosing we encounter Brokenness. It is out of our brokenness that we come to release our anxiety. Paul is told by Jesus how much he will have to suffer, but also what his Commissioning will be. (Acts 9:15-16) Without being totally broken we will not chose the Lord, he has Called and Chosen us – but now we must choose him and “Get Set”… Matthew 22:14 states that “many are called but few are chosen”
Commissioning begins in a moment and culminates in a life time. To be faithful follower of Jesus Christ, we are to be both called (our eyes open) and chosen (our heart set for Christ). (1 Peter2:9, Rev. 17:14) Calling is an act of God of alone, Choosing is mutually engaged by God and us, while Commissioning returns to be an act of God in response to our choosing His will over ours. Since Choosing is a process that never ends. Every day we choose to release our Anxiety to God. Every day we choose to surrender our will to his, and the day that we don’t we feel the weight of the world upon us. This weight obstructs our commissioning to be fulfilled. Yet this freedom brings God’s Blessing and Favor in our lives. Again to be commissioned is an act of God that takes but a moment, but culminates in a life time. Commissioning is identified in favor, which is grasped only by faith. Faith again is the root of our identity.
Paul is commissioned to reach the Gentiles (Acts 9:15, 22:21), Peter is commissioned to establish the foundation of the Church in Jerusalem. (Matt. 16:18, Acts Chapter 1 – 12 show Peter’s Commission, Acts Chapter 13-26 show Paul’s).
Our Identity matures as we move from Blindness to Sight revealing our Calling (On your Mark), into Brokenness via Wholeness to Holiness revealing Chosen-ness (Get Set), and into Blessedness and Favor revealing our Commissioning (Go!)