Remember the six qualities of grace that allow us to match steps with the Lord? Here they are again: 1. Unity, 2. Liberty, 3. Authority, 4. Authenticity, 5. Fidelity, and 6. Integrity/Humility. I want to share these in reverse order from the chapter excerpt of my new soon-to-be-released book, The Pathway of Grace: Learning to Walk with God. We’re counting down to #1 and today we focus on #4 Authenticity. You read and I will look forward to your comments.
The next thing God wants us to have is authenticity. God wants us to be tenacious in demonstrating our relationship to him. “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” (II Timothy 2: 15) God wants us to be educated and filled with his word and Spirit, so he can draw out what’s in us to match what is in his heart.
I am reminded of the lovely children’s book, Are You My Mother? By P. D. Eastman. While his mother is off looking for food, a baby bird hatches from his egg. He then seeks to find out to whom he really belongs. The cow, the dog, the chicken, the plane; none of these is his mother. The steam shovel can lift him up from where he has fallen but the steam shovel is not his mother. In the end, the happy end, the baby bird is reunited with his Mama bird in as Amazon.com’s review says, “a glorious moment of recognition.”
God wants us to experience a glorious moment and lifetime of recognition. God wants to imprint his image upon us. The Meriam Webster Dictionary defines imprinting as “a rapid learning process that takes place early in the life of a social animal and establishes a behavior pattern (as recognition of and attraction to its own kind.”
The apostle Paul says we have become like the little bird, misidentifying ourselves with sin. But, if we begin in repentance, believing in the Lord Jesus we need to recognize how God has imprinted his nature and restored its fullness in us by the power of the Holy Spirit. Reads Romans 8: 1 – 16. Recognize how you can live in authenticity to the gospel. Give God thanks and praise. Read these verses and then we will continue reverse engineering God’s way of grace together.
Yes, God wants the Holy Spirit to witness with our Spirit that we are his legitimate, blood-bought, authentic children. God is pouring himself out to us, giving us the resources of the kingdom. Take advantage of his generosity. “But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.” (Jude 1: 20 -21)
Demonstrate authenticity. “Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear – hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.” (Jude 1: 22 – 23)
Commit yourself to be an authentic Christian. Jesus is able to maintain what we have committed to him. “He is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy.” (Jude 1: 24)
Jesus can indeed keep us from marring the recreated image of God. There is an interchange of commitments between us that moves us from glory to glory and from faith to faith. This is God’s gift so that we can be a person of authenticity.