Are you Camouflaged?
I was standing completely still, afraid to even blink as a calf elk slowly approached me. Her cautious steps were silent and she repeatedly sniffed the air trying to detect any danger. I stood motionless, watching her as she passed a small tree only 4 feet away. My camouflage was working perfectly and the sounds I made with my elk call several minutes before fooled her ears. She was looking for another elk and came so close I honestly thought she would step on me. Her next step put her close enough to stretch out her neck and sniff my bow as I held it in my hand! I literally could have touched her face. Startled by the smell of the bow she bolted and ran 20 yards away, stopped and looked back in my direction, confused about what she was looking at and had smelled. She was deceived by my camouflage, both in sound and appearance. It took me 15 minutes to get my heart back under control, but I will never forget that day and how close I was to an elk in the wild.
We live in a world of relational and identity camouflage. Today our identity seems to be under attack everywhere we turn. I felt lead to blog the next few weeks about our identity in Christ. As Christians our identity is set and we should be able to stand firm in not only who we are, but also in whose we are. We should be identified from the results of being in close relationship with Jesus. The world should see the spiritual fruit and recognize us as different. Different because we emulate the one we follow. There is a vitality and peace within a disciple of Jesus that the world can see. It disturbs me that the Christian community tends to blend in with the world. Christians often look no different, camouflaged in a broken world.
As a pastor, I speak with people all the time whose identity seems to be lost, or at best confused. Sometimes it’s another pastor and sometimes it’s a Christian father who just joined my small group. We tend to identify ourselves by a role in the church or by our giftings. We celebrate our contribution to the church and identify ourselves by that, rather than identifying ourselves from a place of humility that points people to Jesus.
As followers of Jesus, we should be confidant of who we are in Christ. We struggle to know our identity because we do not know, or have forgotten, what it truly means to be “in Christ.” Colossians 3:3 says,
“For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
The verse tells us our old life is gone and we are now hidden in Christ. We are “in Him.”
To capture our identity and be a light in this world we must grasp what Paul means when he uses the concept “in Christ.” In Christ means that we are following Him so closely that spiritual fruit is being produced distinguishing us from those who are not in Christ.
I love this quote from Pastor and Author John Stott,
“All around us are men and women who are unfulfilled and alienated, who are asking what it means to be a human being…We are always in danger of trivializing what it means to be converted, or to be a follower of Jesus. To be ‘in Christ’ is to be radically transformed, to the roots of our very being.”
–The Meaning and Implications of In Christ by John Stott
Did you catch that? We are radically transformed while the world around us seems confused or lost. My hope is that you will be challenged to examine your own life as a Christ follower and ask if you are living in this world camouflaged? Are you blending in? Would you dare to press so closely into Jesus that He defines your identity and the world around you can not help but acknowledge WHO and WHOSE you are?