Yesterday, for the first time in 19 months, I was not the lead pastor of our church. I did not preach. I did not counsel. I did not serve anyone. Instead, I visited a few other friends’ churches, sat under their teaching, and received the proclamation of the gospel from a seat in the congregations.
It was a difficult morning, but as I drove to one church, I was blessed to be reminded that my identity is not – and never has been – in my position of authority or influence. My identity does not – and never has – come from the church that I serve, or office that I hold.
My identity is in Christ and Him alone. (Romans 8:17)
He alone is my defense. (Psalm 27:1)
He alone is my justification. (Romans 8:20)
He alone is my encouragement. (Philippians 2:1)
He alone is my prize. (Philippians 3:14)
He alone is my strength. (Philippians 4:13)
He alone is my pleasure. (Philippians 1:21)
He alone is my peace. (Philippians 4:7)
He alone is my treasure. (Matthew 6:21)
He alone is my foundation. (1 Corinthians 3:11)
He alone is my comfort. (Philippians 2:1)
He alone is my glory. (Romans 15:17)
He alone is my hope. (Philippians 1:20)
I do not – and can not – seek any other source.
And you must not either.
Any other source for identity, defense, justification, or anything else will inevitably let you down.
Christ called you to this ministry.
Christ equipped you for this ministry.
Christ will sustain your for this ministry.
Christ will provide for you and this ministry.
Christ will – almost positively – call you at some point to move on from this ministry, and when that happens, your identity can only be in him.