Have you given any thought to who you are, I don’t mean in the sense of just a cursory statement of “I’m a man with a family and a regular job” or a passing explanation of what you normally do to pass each day away, but a tangible, in-depth insight to who you really are. Are you willing to see yourself not just as the mirror portrays you, not as how you believe your family and closest friends perceive you to be, but as God sees you.
“The Lord sees not as man sees…” (1st Sam. 16:7) Man looks on the outward appearance, not to the very depth of our souls as only the Lord can. When we look at ourselves, the person that we truly are, and for many, the one who is only occasionally thought about late at night, lying in bed in the dark alone, even though our spouse may be right beside us, the person that we know we are but for many us are afraid to face, uneasy to admit the truth about us to ourselves, when we stop looking at the outside, and begin to look to the inside of ourselves, what do we see.
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Prov. 14:12)
In the garden of Eden our Lord told Adam that the day that he ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he would die. Re-read the account that begins in Gen. 2:9, and you will see that Adams flesh did not die, for he lived many hundreds of years after this great sin, but, in a way that we can never truly understand, for no one but Adam and Eve were ever in a pre-sin state, fellowship with God was broken, and it was many, many years before the path to the way to God’s forgiveness was made perfectly clear on the cross by the only sinless one ever born, our Lord Jesus Christ.
But even because of their blatant disobedience, God did not completely forsake them, He did not end their mortal lives and start over with another, for His mercy endures forever. Did not our Lord perform the first sacrifice, and give them clothing to wear, (Gen 3:21) even though He thrust them out of the garden, didn’t they still need to eat the next day, who do you think taught them to grow food, to make or find shelter, do you see in the character of God one who abandons His children, of course not and you never will, does not His mercy endure forever. Yet think on our first parent’s path, a path of turmoil and strife, working everyday just to eat and exist.
Think on Adam as he lays awake at night, realizing what he has done, what the choice he has made will cost him and all that will follow after him, even to you my friend. Watch him in your mind’s eye as he climbs to the top of the hill for the ten thousandths time, sits down on the well-worn spot, and weeps bitterly as he looks over to the garden of Eden, to a place he can never enter again, and feel deep sorrow for this man. At these times Adam knew who he was, and I believe that over time he knew that God had forgiven him, for He loves us, so perhaps over time, Adam did not base who he was on what he had done in the past, but as God saw him, precious and loved.
When God said to Solomon to ask of Him what he would, Solomon asked for a heart to be able to discern between good and evil, (1st Kings 3:9) a wise choice indeed, for what Adam took out of the desire of his own lust, Solomon asked for to lead a life that would be pleasing to God, and for a people that he desired would do the same, for these were, and are, God’s people. Solomon had been made a king over the nation of Israel but knew himself well enough to know that he could not lead them on his own, and only by obedience and reliance on the Lord could this task be completed well.
There may be a difficulty with the way I began this short study, for many of you when you read the first few words began to think of all the negative incidences in your lives, the events that did not include God, much less glorify Him, and perhaps you belittled yourself because of these memories, something each and everyone of us have done. In the believer’s heart of hearts we all desire to please our Lord, to live lives that honor and glorify Him in all that we say and do, yet because of a sin nature, we fail. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1st John 1:9) We serve a merciful and loving God and “He remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:14)
If you want to know who you are, I will give you the answer. You are beloved beyond all measure and worth the price that our dear Savior paid for you, his life. You are a child, an obedient servant of the Most High God, an ambassador of our Lord, heir to the Kingdom of Heaven, and if you behave yourself accordingly, submitting daily to the will of the Holy Spirit, you will come to know that this is who you truly are. You will be able to forgive yourself when these memories of past failures and rebellions against our Lord come into your mind, just as He has forgiven you. When temptations come, as you grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord, you will by His power withstand them, showing yourself obedient, for you will not give occasion for His wonderful name to be blasphemed because of you. “He who spared not His own Son…” (Rom. 8:32) will lead you on paths that, because of the blessings of humility, you know you have no right to tread on, yet because He bids you, you will walk them, and in His confidence you will walk them uprightly in righteousness.
The path leads to the very court of the King of Kings, and all those who walk it in complete submission and reverential obedience to His will, will hear “Well done, thou good and faithful servant”, for that, my friends, is who you are.