Freedom is something we fight for everyday. I’m not speaking of eternal freedom. I’m not speaking of salvific freedom. For those who are in Christ, we belong to the family of God and will never be plucked out. We are eternally free!
But even though we are saved and our eternal hope is secure, we still fight to put sin to death, love God and love others. We still fight for freedom from insecurity, anxiety, lust, depression, anger, passivity, or gossip.
Resting in our gospel-centered identity in Christ is foundational to gaining freedom in any area of life.
Bob Goff and another friend of mine helped me see how knowing who we are in Christ sets us free to live secretly incredible lives for God’s glory.
In Acts 1, we have the scene of the disciples choosing a man to replace Judas after he betrayed Christ and hanged himself. There were two qualified men for the position. The disciples put forward Joseph and Matthias as their two candidates. They prayed, cast lots, and the lot fell on Matthias to be numbered among the eleven.
And for the rest of recorded Scripture, we never hear about Joseph again. The book of Acts never mentions him again, nor does any other New Testament letter. Joseph was not chosen, and he simply disappeared.
The Scriptures do not specifically tell us what happened to Joseph, so please do not interpret my following statements as being God’s Word. But I like to think Joseph’s story of living a life for God’s glory didn’t end there. I like to think Joseph didn’t go back home with his head hung down, feeling shame and self-condemnation because he wasn’t chosen to be apart of the group. I like to think that was just the beginning of Joseph living a “secretly” incredible life for God’s glory.
Many of us know what it’s like to not be chosen to be on the team with all the cool kids. Many of us know what it’s like to not get the partner position in our company we really wanted. Many of us know what it’s like to be a writer/blogger and not have a large following. Many of us know what it’s like to have the desire to impact the masses for God’s glory, yet it seems like we only impact a small handful of people around us.
I think we all experience disappointment. I think we all experience unmet dreams and hopes.
So, the question before us then becomes, am I secure in my identity in Christ so that these disappointments don’t derail me from chasing the ultimate dream: God’s glory and the saving of many lives!
Joseph could have walked away from not being chosen and said, “Well, I guess I’m not called to ministry. I guess I’m not supposed to be apart of God saving people. I guess I’m not gifted after all.”
Or, Joseph could have responded by saying, “It’s all good. This does not define me. God still has plans to use me to be apart of His story and His purposes. I know who I am in Christ. I’m going to keep moving forward, just in a different direction.”
I guess we will never know which path Joseph chose until we get to heaven. However, you and I have to make this choice every time we are faced with disappointment, letdown, not being chosen, or being removed from the cool kids table.
The Word of God tells us to strive after eternal blessings, things that will last forever. Jesus tells us that if we pursue holiness and good works for man’s applause, then that’s all the reward we get. We are to lay up treasures in heaven for ourselves that will not rust or be destroyed.
Do you know who you are in Christ? Because if you do, then you’re free!
- Not be recognized.
- Not have a massive following.
- Live in the bush in Africa where hardly anyone knows you exist.
- Love people when they don’t love you back
- Have a “small” impact.
And when we are faithful and rest in the love of God, we realize God is just as glorified by us as He is those who have large followings or are apart of the cool kids table.
If Joseph went out and loved God and others well, then God was pleased with Joseph just like He was with others.
In short, for those who are in Christ, you are free to live a secretly incredible life!