He was under a lot of pressure at work. While he was trying to keep up a regular exercise routine to stay healthy, the long hours and stress were taking their toll on his overall health and wellbeing. The tension was not being left at the office but beginning to carry over into his marriage and home. His identity was defined by success in the job but his life was spiraling out of control.
There are three primary identities men associate with: A secular life is caught up in the worldly pressure to succeed, provide for the family and help the kids succeed as well. None of this is bad necessarily but it reflects man’s will done in man’s strength and is grounded in an identity with the world; A religious life is disciplined in doing what needs to be done – work, family activities, exercise, church and volunteer activities. Again, all good stuff but it reflects an effort to do God’s will in man’s strength and is grounded in an identity with self. An abundant life is disciplined in being in relationship with Christ, living that relationship in marriage, family, church, work and beyond and trusting God in all things. These priorities reflect God’s will done in God’s strength and is grounded in identity with the Trinity through Jesus the Christ.
Anyone who loves Me will obey My teaching. My Father will love them, and We will come to them and make Our home with them. … All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. – John 14:23, 25-27. Wow! As I submit to the teaching of the Holy Spirit, listen for all Jesus had to say to the disciples and obey, Jesus and His Father will make their home with me! Identity in the Trinity through Jesus the Christ guides man in a life of peace, Jesus’ peace in this noisy world. It is important to remember that peace, in its most expressive fulness of the Hebrew word shalom, is the positive state of rightness and wellbeing in the midst of battle. We will have our share of battles in life trying to navigate through the secular and religious life. But victory will be realized in the abundant life with identity grounded in the Trinity through Jesus the Christ.
The young man received a wake-up call, turned to God’s word and began to submit to the teaching of the Holy Spirit. As he learned to prioritize the right stuff, work was kept in the proper perspective and associated tensions were left at the office. In My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers writes, “The reason some of us are such poor specimens of Christianity is because we have no Almighty Christ. We have Christian attributes and experiences, but there is no abandonment to Jesus the Christ.” Abandoning my own strength in a situation I want to control is not natural. But in contrast to the strength of the resurrected Christ, indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the Father, I realize the futility of my thinking.
Prayer guide: Father, thank You for Your word and Your love. Too often I am the guy I trust to do my plans in my strength and even what I think are Your plans in my strength. Forgive me. I have used the phrase, “let go and let God” almost flippantly. Now I am convicted of the insincerity of the words if they are not backed up with abandonment of self on this journey with You. Grant me strength to let go and let You do what You want to do through me. Help me lead by example with an identity in the Trinity, to PASS the BATON of faith and family well to the next generation. Amen.
A faithful father lives an identity grounded in the Trinity through Jesus the Christ.