Identity is the composite of perceptions that we think, see, hear,
and speak. These senses reflect what we believe and who we claim to be. When Christ redeems them, we find out who we truly are.
Who am I? I am in Christ! I am beloved by Him.
One question that arises is why God needs to hear our voice. The scriptures say He knows our needs before we ask; and that the Holy Spirit is already interceding on our behalf. If this is the case, why must we use our voice to call or cry out to receive help? Is God mean-spirited? Does He like playing a cat-and-mouse game? Is He withholding help insensitively?
I want to first give a direct answer and then explain it. God often waits for us to cry out to Him with our voice as an act of grace to bless us. He knows that crying out will crush unbelief in our hearts and activate confident faith in His help. This increases our hope. Thus, it is an act of grace for us!
Jack is a 20-year old young man that I help regularly. After noting that he has slept through pain his entire life and now sleeps to escape overwhelming depression, he said: “I feel like God is laughing at me. I am stupid. I know it. Others know it. And God just laughs!”
Is this God? I don’t think so. I continue to help Jack discern which voices he is hearing, but he needs more: he needs to hear what God actually thinks about him. So I read him scripture reminding him how precious he is in God’s sight. My friend, God is not against you.
Listen to this mini-parable: Brokenness, rooted in sin or wounds, is a wet heavy blanket that covers us. As it covers our lower body, we stop running to escape. As it covers our upper limbs, we stop defending against threats. As the blanket covers our heart, we lose sensitivity and emotionally shut down. As it covers our face, life becomes dark. Our eyes no longer see; our ears no longer hear; our mind gives up; and our mouth no longer cries for help. We settle into a miserable this is as good as it gets. The blanket is really spiritual bondage that has utterly mastered us.
Now let me speak more clearly: when
sins (or wounds) rob us of our spiritual identity in Jesus, we are at risk to
internalizing the misery of
failure (or hurt). This can crater our hopes and shift our beliefs. Soon, we think, see, hear and speak condemning words that denigrate our value. Shards
of brokenness reflect our misery, elevate it as truth, and this
confines us to weakness and failure. Our faith fades and becomes ineffectual. Satan wins when we blindly fall into this debilitating spiritual bondage. Fears, temptations, anxiety and failure rule us. We give up and begin to seek refuge in false identity(ies). We are now nothing more than our sin – or our wounds.
When we are snared by addiction or longstanding wounds, we often find it hard to speak. Dark, powerful forces invisibly constrain our voices to mere silence. As we try to speak, we feel our throat tighten; our voice grows sore; or a sudden wave of lethargy overtakes us. Sleepy-time!
The path to freedom
requires a desperate commitment to cry out to God. Doing so appropriates our faith, activates our truest senses (thinking, seeing, hearing, speaking), and restores our identity: we are reminded that we are in Christ. We will believe this when we proclaim God’s Word out loud.
Possibility becomes promise for us when we proclaim God’s faithfulness. Use your voice to cry out to God today. “My times are in Your Hands; deliver me. Let Your Face shine upon me; save me in Your unfailing love. Let me not be put to shame, Lord, for I have cried out to You” (Psalm 31:9-17).
“Blessed and fortunate and favored are all
those who earnestly wait on Him, who expect and look and long for Him. He will
surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. When He hears it, He will
answer you” (Isaiah 30:18). Right now, yank the wet heavy blanket off and cry out to God! He is our Rescuer; we are His beloved. You can ask for His help; and He will answer. Amen!
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