It is such a tragedy when people live below their abilities and gifts. But there is something more tragic than that. Many of those that find living below abilities and gifts to be a tragedy, are actually doing the same thing.
This is something that the Lord spoke to me about a couple of months ago when a suicide rocked a church in the community I live in. I did not personally know the young person that committed suicide, but it still grieved my spirit heavily and at first I was not sure why. Finally the Lord told me the following:
There are some within the Kingdom of God who are suffering because they do not know who they are .
Although I took notes on this quite some time ago, I decided to bring it over to a post. This past Sunday a pastor (who shall remain nameless) stated the same thing and it jolted my spirit as well as my memory.
Now, who exactly am I referring to? I’m sure as you read this you are listing people in your mind that you feel fall under this category. You’re probably thinking about the child who lives in a stressed home environment and seemingly acts up in school as a result. Or maybe a girl you know who is promiscuous, maybe due to a personal situation(s) that occurred when she was younger. The person you know that has submitted his/her life to drugs, alcohol, clubbing, etc. Or someone you have defined as materialistic…
These types of situations are ones that enter into our minds first when we think of those who do not know who they are; but the truth of the matter is that the topic expands beyond situations such as those.
If you are not reading, meditating on, studying, and operating out of the Word of God, than it is likely that you fall into the category as well. As Believers, we must get to the point, and get there fast, where the Word of God and only the Word of God is what we operate out of.
With that said…who are you? Think about that for a second before you continue to read. Can you even answer that question? Many people can’t. If you can is your definition in line with God?
As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man. (1 Corinthians 15:48,49)
“We shall also bear” in verse 49 is translated from the Greek word phoresomen which is a conjugated form of the verb phoreo, meaning to carry, wear, or bear. Phoresomen is in the 1st aorist active subjunctive tense. I know you’re giving me *confused look* at this point.
The aorist tense is similar to the English past tense; however it includes the element of “punctiliar action”, or a punctuation in time. As an example (drawn from the above link), Christ’s crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension were all punctuation marks in time.
The term subjunctive indicates mood, more specifically, it is dependent on a person’s free will to make the action occur. It is an indication of possibility. Therefore a more appropriate translation would be we might bear rather than we shall bear.
Stay with me this is significant.
The phrase “we have borne” is translated from the Greek word ephorasomen, which is the 1st aorist active indicative tense of the verb phoreo. The indicative tense indicates a statement of fact: the event definitely occurred.
How does this relate to knowing who you are?
Originally we were made in God’s image:
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26 NKJV)
The word image comes from the Hebrew word tselem which means phantom, vision, resemblance, representative figure, shadow of a thing that represents the original.
Let’s tie this into 1 Corinthians 15:49. Here it is again:
And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man. (1 Corinthians 15:49 NKJV)
The beginning part of verse 49 should be regarded in the following way: In the garden, Adam sinned by eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Thus, all of those after Adam and Eve were born in his image, natural, corrupted by sin, ruled by flesh, etc. This is a statement of fact, we bore the reflection of Adam.
Through the crucifixion, death, resurrection, ascension of Christ we now have the possibility to put back on the image or likeness of God. Not that we are not God, but we resemble Him. However, this can only occur by a conscious, free will decision to accept Jesus Christ. What Adam did in the garden is definite, it is a statement of fact (indicative), what Christ did is definite, a statement of fact (indicative). The fact that we can once again be a reflection of God on earth, as He originally intended, is only a possibility (subjunctive), dependent on what we choose to do.
This verse is pivotal to understanding who you are. If you have defined yourself by traditional, cultural, societal norms, etc., when you go through a stage in your life that contradicts those values you are unable to handle it. Where would Joseph be if he did not define himself through what God said? He was sold into slavery by his own brothers, lived in prison…but He knew that it wasn’t those situations that defined him.
Remember that you are a child of the Most High, the called according to His purpose, an heir of God and joint heir with Christ. You are a representative of God on earth.