There is nothing deeply rooted in us…only that in which we have deeply rooted ourselves. All of the things that we feel make up the core of our identity–our upbringing, traditions, pains, positions, etc.–only serve as the establishment of our thinking, not the essence of our being. What I mean to say is that these things don’t make us who we are. We make ourselves by how we root our thinking in them. This is a hard truth, but a simple truth nonetheless: The life we live out is the fruit of what we have rooted ourselves in.
Since this is the case, becoming like Christ means learning to think like Christ. If we thought as Jesus thinks, our lives would reveal the same significance He revealed. If we valued what He valued, we would humble ourselves, even empty ourselves as He did. If the heart that He lived from in all things, was the same heart we rooted ourselves deeply into, then we would reveal that heart just by simply being who we are–children of God.
We were created for this identity in Christ, a life that is radically defined by the Father’s love for us. It is this same life that radically reveals our Father–His love, His power, His heart–to others. And wherever His heart is lived out is where His Kingdom is advanced.
This is the substance of what discipleship is…becoming who we already are. We don’t strive for position, we are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). We don’t contend for His favor, we have already been blessed with every spiritual blessing in Him (Ephesians 1:3). And we don’t earn sonship, the right is given to all who receive Him, who believe on His name (John 1:12). The only thing keeping us from living out this identity is our willingness to think and live from this perspective, to root ourselves completely in the Father’s heart.
Hear me on this, the measure of God’s love for you is summed up in this one thing…Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Your ability to live out and advance the Kingdom of God is not something you have to attain. The same Spirit and power that was in Christ is in you who are in Christ. So your ability to walk in that same power is only contingent on your willingness to live by that same Spirit.
Your ability to live as Christ lived is determined by having the mind of Christ. And this is exactly what the Father made available to you when He set His Spirit inside of you (1 Corinthians 2:9-16). The life of Christ is the Father’s will for all of us. And that life lived out in power and love is where the Holy Spirit is always leading us. There is nothing to be strived for, nothing to earn. There is only learning and living as we follow the Spirit into the depth of what is already ours in Christ Jesus.
Thank you to our friends Greg and Jessica Hurlbut, lead pastors of New Testament Church of Massena, whose coffee shop conversation inspired this post.