This is part one of a chapter from the book The Mind of Christ by David Murry. With his permission I post it here for your affirmation as my brothers and sisters. The book is available as a free PDF download from David’s blog. Click on “Books”. This is chapter 2 from Section Two. https://dwmurry.wordpress.com/author/dwmurry/
Fear of Failure
(a.k.a. my self-worth will rise and fall)
“and in Christ you have been brought to fullness.” Colossians 2:10
Lie #2- My Worth is Determined by My Calling, Function & Actions
I am going to address a widely spread misconception about who we are as His children…and who we are not. The truth is, our worth is never changing. It cannot be added to, nor can it be diminished. Our calling (or “purpose, or “anointing,” or “vision,” etc…) is independent of our value as a child of God.
Ministry is an outflow and by-product of our relationship with the Lord. We are called to Himself, not to ministry.
“Such as I have, I give to you…” Acts 3:6
If we derive comfort from our “calling,” we misplace our identity and self-worth. Invariably the question of “who am I?” will have its answer centered around what we believe He has commissioned us to do.
Our fullness is given to us in Christ. It is forever established. It cannot rise and fall. Our fullness is in His righteousness that was given to us. It can never change. It cannot be altered.
Without embracing this, we misplace our rest. Our rest is not in our calling. Our rest is not in our ministry. Our rest is not in the way we function in the Body of Christ or in our gifts. Our rest is in Christ. Him alone.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish…” Proverbs 29:18
This is another verse that is so often twisted. How often this verse is used to encourage this “quest” for our identity. When we get wrapped up in trying to determine what our “ministry” or “calling” is, we will feel lost unless we know what we are “supposed to do.” This is misplaced identity and it is another area which reveals we are drawing from the fallen thinking of the carnal mind. We will remain feeling lost. Or worse yet, we will become a Pharisee. We accept Christ and then instead of being taught the truths about how special and wonderful we are as His child, we simply run to another idol for our sense of well being and value. Only this time we do it under the guise of spiritual maturity.
One of the main reasons the body of Christ struggles so much to look different from the world is that we don’t feel much different from the world. What is more, we have not been taught to think from the mind of Christ that is now inside us, and is accessible through His word and prayerful communion. We are discouraged, sullen, depressed, without peace and rest. Above all, we don’t understand the vision we are called to walk in.
“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you.” Isaiah 26:3
The vision we are to have is not a vision of ministry. It is the vision of our Savior. We keep our eyes fixed on Him. He is our vision.
He is our calling. We are called to Him.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick: but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12
The reason so many children of God fall to deception, discouragement, depression, witchcraft and pride is because our hope is misplaced. Our hope is never meant to be in how He will use us. Nor is it in what He will “do” through us. That is not our true vision. If we study the Word, and look at how our brothers and sisters who had a relationship with their Redeemer lived, we will see a common theme. A principle of His Kingdom is this: Greater revelation of Him will reveal greater revelation of what He wants to do.
Study the prophets. Every vision God gave them, whether it was events to come (foretelling) or expounding on events or principles that already exist (forth-telling) was aimed at entering that child into a deeper understanding of the nature and heart of God. This is to be our vision. The definition of “vision” is this: the faculty or state of being able to see.
The more we seek the heart of our Creator, the more we will think what He thinks, feel what He feels, and see what He is desiring to reveal to His Church. We will be more passionate about the things He has passion for. This is called “communion.” This is fellowship.
And this is why we were created. It is our true purpose, our true ministry, our true vision, our true calling.
“You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for you have created all things, and for your pleasure they are and were created.” Revelation 4:11
It brings Him great pleasure to spend time with His creation. I urge you to read Genesis, The Songs of Solomon, The Psalms, Hosea….
“Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.” John 13:23
Did you catch that? John was literally resting his head against our Lord’s chest. This picture often chokes me up. Both Jesus and this man were so secure in who they were, the freedom to give and receive from each other was without hindrance. I say “both” because we often forget Jesus was also a man. In fact, He was the – perfect – man.
Did you hear that my friend? Want to know what a man is? Read about Jesus. Begin to let go of what fallen man says, and let yourself be who you are created to be. Stop stuffing it behind the veil of this fallen world, constructed by the one who made himself unworthy to stand in the presence of God.
Misplaced vision causes us to begin to create a conditional sense of self-worth, contrary to what God says about us. We are complete because we are His child. Not because of our calling. Not because of the vision He has given us to minister to others.
NOTE: If we seek to find worth, not acknowledging that our worth is already forever established as His child, servant, and friend, we will fall into self-deception.
That deception will come in the form of legalism, spiritual excessiveness, self-delusion and pride, to name a few.
NOTE: Any area in our life that we pursue because we think it will add to our worth IS IN OPPOSITION to the Kingdom of God, to His word and to His will for our life.
“Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation— if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel….” Colossians 1:19-22
We are already complete. It is finished. What we do or don’t do cannot alter this reality. All we can do is live in the realm of self-deception. A “vision-based” identity, at its root, is to say that there is more to get than what Christ has already imparted to you. This is another lie.
This is one of the greatest deceptions being perpetuated in the Church today.
Let’s read the rest of the verse:
“…this is the gospel that you heard and that has been
proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.” Colossians 1:23
What is the Gospel? The word gospel means good news. The good news is NOT that God has a vision for us in terms of ministry. The good news is NOT that He has a plan for us to make ourselves feel special and unique based on the unique, one-of-a-kind blueprint for our life.