Of Intertwined Identity and Calling – Realities Part 2

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Continuing from the first part of this piece, here is the second part.

In Mark 8 : 27–33, There was an incident between Jesus and His disciples. He asked them certain questions and their responses provoked an irrational reaction from Christ . . .

Now Jesus and His disciples went out to the towns of Caesarea Philippi; and on the road He asked His disciples, saying to them, “Who do men say that I am?”

So they answered, “John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.”

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ.”

Then He strictly warned them that they should tell no one about Him.

And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He spoke this word openly. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

Peter understood Christ’s identity, for flesh and blood did not reveal it to him; yet, he missed out on what the calling of Christ was. His position was clear: “Jesus, I know what was revealed to me; you are the Messiah! How can the one called to bring us deliverance be preparing for death? How can you publicly discourage the public from the possibilities that are already visible in you? For God’s sake, you healed the sick, raised the dead, fed the hungry and restored hope to many! How can you just dash people’s hope in the promise of who you are?” He was clearly frustrated when confronted with the contradictions that were in the same person of Christ; and to think that Christ would rebuke him, as satan, just because he was mindful of the things of men, not the things of God was too harsh for him to contemplate.

The truth is, every identity is entwined with the calling. The Savior had come to save the lost, not by killing, but by dying in place of the lost, once and for all. Sacrifice turned out to be the best salvation when strength and power failed. If you are who the Scriptures say you are in God, then your calling is entwined with your identity. You cannot cherry-pick what is acceptable to you and leave out the rest. While your walk with God would last, you would have to deal with challenges you cannot solve and circumstances that will turn out the other way, even when you have done all that there is to prevent negative outcomes. You can pray and fast all you want, it will not make the world love you; it did not love Jesus, it will not love you either, if you are truly a follower of Christ.

It is worthy of note that accomplishments, to many people, may actually turn out to be grand failures with GOD. The Scripture is full of such examples, one of which is Saul losing his place in Israel because of people’s perception of him. That there is a victory in certain regards may not necessarily mean that the will of God is done. There would be valley experiences as much as there would be mountain-top experiences; there would be seeming failures, as much as there are successes; there would be delays as much as there are expedited signs and wonders. The calling has both sides of the divide inscribed in it. The idea that your walk with God will only bring you sweet experiences is false and misleading. Your calling would test your identity, you may even, at some point, begin to lose confidence in who God says you are . . .. But, in the crucible of this mix of experiences, your destiny would be revealed and fulfilled, if you persevere.

Stay with GOD!

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