Have you ever asked yourself that question? I mean, really?
While our daughter was home for the Thanksgiving holidays, we decided to go see the movie, “Hacksaw Ridge”. Now, I am not condoning or saying that I approve of this movie in its entirety, as there were elements that certainly were not necessary to the overall storyline. But for me, this movie touched me in a deep, deep place.
The movie is based on a true story of a man named Desmond Doss, who was a medic for World War II. By the end of this movie, I was overcome with tears. So much so, that everyone else left the theatre while I was still trying to get myself together. I was undone. Here’s why:
He cleaved to his Heavenly Father when his earthly one was too consumed with his own issues.
He stood up for what he believed in, even in the face of ridicule and abuse.
He straightened back up when others knocked him down, and never lost his dignity.
He put himself aside for the sake of others, even when his own life was in danger.
Because he did the things above, many lives were saved and changed forever.
I sat at the end of this movie and wept. I wept because I want to be that kind of person. I want to give my life for the sake of others until I take my last breath. I never want to stop until I help those who cannot help themselves. I want to walk in love, stand fast in what I believe in, even if it is not popular, and live a life of selflessness. I want to make eternal impact on the lives that intersect mine.
Jesus had an answer for the question of who He wanted and would be: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18-19 And He became exactly what He set out to become. He did exactly what He came to do.
Some people may read this and say, “I know the kind of person I want to be! I want to be like Jesus!” And for the Christ follower, that is Who we are all to want to be like. The disconnect is that we often never become what we say we want to become.
For example, I can say I want to have a healthy body, but continue to eat junk food and not exercise. I can say that I want to think good, pure and loving thoughts, but continue to watch things that send my thought life in a totally opposite direction. I can say that I no longer want my feelings to drive me and yet I continue to recklessly respond to every circumstance by my heightened emotions.
If we don’t like who we are, we must do something about it.
It’s time to do the hard work. If we’ve asked this sobering question, and know the answer, it behooves us to act upon it. James said it like this, “Be a doer of the Word and not a hearer only, deceiving yourself.” James 1:22. In other words, we are walking in total deception if we think knowing we want to be like Jesus, and hearing about what He was like, is enough. We must put the word to work!
So, how do we do it? Well, we first answer the question, “What kind of person do we want to be?” Then, we study the life of Jesus, the One who we want to emulate. Then, we ask the Holy Spirit to empower us to put it into practice. We begin looking at the circumstances in our lives so as to discern what the Holy Spirit wants to work on first. Then, we join Him, by choosing His Will and His ways over our own. Once that begins to develop, He will surface the next area He wants to work on.
We often get so consumed working on our sin problems that we never develop into Christlikeness. Here’s a truth you need to get in the depth of your soul: GOD IS NOT WORKING ON YOUR SIN. HE ALREADY DEALT WITH SIN ON THE CROSS. HE DEPOSITED HIS SPIRIT IN YOU TO HELP YOU BECOME LIKE JESUS! GOD IS WORKING ON YOUR BECOMING LIKE JESUS! If you want to partner with the Holy Spirit, stop trying to overcome your sin! Declare the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus over your sin, and receive His forgiveness, cleansing, and making you a totally new creation! Then, join Him in what He is working on: developing His fruit in you, making you like Jesus.
The Christian life isn’t about managing what you can’t do, but walking in who you are!
When you start walking in who you are, your desires will change and previous temptations will be a non-issue! And when questioned or tempted, you will simply say, “That’s just not who I am.”
So, what kind of person do you want to be? Surrender your will and allow the Holy Spirit to begin His work in you.
You are loved,