Have you ever found yourself saying or doing something (a sin) that completely surprised you? If someone had asked you a few days beforehand, “would you ever…?” you are fairly certain your answer would have been , “never.” And yet there you were just the other day talking and acting in a manner that was completely inconsistent with your identity as a Christian.
We make decisions and take action every day based on who we believe we are. Said a little differently, our identity drives our choices. In order to dissect this thought for its truthfulness you can come at it two ways. The first is to state who you believe you are (i.e. a child of God) and then examine your choices and actions and see whether they match up. The second is to look at your decisions and course of life and conclude from this your identity.
I would suggest that such an exercise has great benefit. If you look with honesty at yourself in both these directions you will find a gap between your self perception and how you live. That is, we all ought to see that we do not consistently live out of our identity as a child of God. That gap between what we do and who we believe we are is proof of our need for growth in Christ.
Growth in Christ can come from absorbing the narratives of Scripture. We read these histories and we come to understand who God is and who we are. The stories provide wisdom and perspective and hope. Hope and I began the story of Samson with our children on Monday. God comes down and announces his birth in a special manner to a barren mother and godly father. This story is very powerful when seen in the long line of promised sons in the history of Israel. From Seth to Isaac, Samson to Samuel the Bible is full of promised sons and visitations from God to announce their coming. From this narrative we learn that God is not remote. He enters history and helps his people. We also learn that we are in need of the most precious son that all the promised sons of scripture foreshadowed. Jesus steps into history at just the right time and does for us just what we need.
Project Hope in God is about learning to see yourself through the lens of Scripture. The narratives of Holy Scripture are history, and it is our history. May we never forget, and by our remembrance have the grace to be faithful in an ever increasing manner.