In a brief departure from the I Am series, I wanted to write about something I read today. A woman on Skip Moen’s site said that those who abide in the shadow of the Almighty (Psalm 91) can run at Goliath because the Almighty God follows immediately behind his shadow. What a great image for us! We who shelter under His shadow have the comfort of knowing that He who casts that shadow is immediately behind it and us! It’s not some random stray shadow that got away and we’re hanging out under it, like under a cloud. It’s like my shadow. Where I go, it goes because it’s attached. As long as I stay in His shadow He is right behind me or right in front of me! Now, that’s an awesome image!
I am His faithful follower. Revelation 17:14b He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful. Ephesians 5:1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; The Greek word for imitators in the Ephesians verse also means follower, which is why it’s a reference for this identity. It’s interesting, too, because it indicates that those who follow should also imitate. It goes along with the whole being doers of the Word, not just hearers. It’s like the Hebrew word for “to hear” (sh’ma). It also means “to obey” which indicates that if you hear you obey. If you don’t obey then you never heard. So perhaps, if we follow God we will imitate Him. If we don’t imitate Him, then we aren’t followers of Him. Definitely food for thought.
I am born of God and the evil one does not touch me. 1 John 5:18 We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him. I think it’s pretty clear that we all sin. Not intentionally perhaps, but our original birth was human. Yeshua, on the other hand, is literally born of God. He had no earthly father. And He is the one who keeps those of us who are born again (born fresh and renewed). I think the last part is interesting. The evil one does not touch him. Even Ha-satan had to ask God to remove His hand of protection from Job. He even had to ask God to afflict Job. It wasn’t Ha-satan who did anything other than suggest what to do to test Job. For sure, Ha-satan’s forces harass believers today. I’ve seen evidence of this in my home. Yet, I think he must harm and harass us by using other people who are still part of his kingdom. And we also know that nothing can happen unless it first goes through the hand of God. Evil happens because we are in a world full of imperfect people, but we are protected by God. So, suit up and fight. Defend yourself and your family, but remember that He that is in you and me is stronger than he who is in the world! Yay!
I am in the world as He is in heaven. 1 John 4:17 By this love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, because just as Jesus is, so also are we in this world. I’m not at all sure what the significance of this is. Maybe it’s saying that just as Yeshua has authority in heaven, so we have it in this world (spiritually, not literally). Or maybe it’s that we have righteousness and holiness like Yeshua does. Hmmmm.
I am built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone. Ephesians 2:20 because you have been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. Our faith is built upon the teaching and insight of the apostles and prophets. Prophets are the mouthpieces for God. They don’t necessarily tell the future – they speak what God tells them to speak. This provides a solid foundation that won’t bend or crack and isn’t weak. With Yeshua as the cornerstone, that means the most important stone is eternal and infallible. We can be sure that what He says, teaches, and stands for it true and reliable and strong. Build upon the Word of God and the house that is built will be strong in the storm. That’s why it’s important to learn and study about God’s commands in Torah and about Yeshua’s teachings. Their words are Truth, and what better place to start than the truth.
I am a fellow citizen with the saints and the household of God. Ephesians 2:19-20 So then you are no longer foreigners and noncitizens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of God’s household, 2:20 because you have been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. A citizen is a person that is a legally recognized as a member of a state, with associated rights and obligations. So, as a citizen of God’s kingdom, I am legally recognized by Him and I have associated rights and obligations that accompany that citizenship. Being legally recognized means that no one else can claim me nor do they have rights over me. My rights are those promises and blessings given in the Bible. My obligations are the guidelines of Torah. Just like I accept and obey the laws of my country, I should do the same for God’s kingdom, of which I am a citizen. I can’t expect to benefit from my citizenship without also fulfilling the obligations.
I am circumcised with the circumcision made without hands. Colossians 2:11 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; This is a bit of an odd one. Clearly this is a spiritual circumcision. And, by definition, circumcision is the removal or cutting off of something (it means cutting off around), and here it says it’s the removal of the flesh. I wonder though if it really says “flesh” in the verse or if that’s really just a translation issue. The word is “sarkos” and means body, but necessarily in a negative way. I think that this means that my sins are cut off, my selfishness and rebellion… in other words, I no longer serve myself when I accept the authority of Christ. In God’s eyes, I am unblemished and pure before Him… all the junk has been cut away. That is something worth celebrating!