If your wallet or passport has ever been misplaced or stolen, you know the immense hassle it can be to get your identification documents renewed. Replacing your passport and driver’s license can typically be settled in a matter of weeks, but sometimes, as Christians, we need to be reminded of our Kingdom identity and how it relates to transformation.
In the Gospels, we encounter the story of Jesus’ baptism and how he becomes a perpetual agent of transformation in the world. In Jesus’ time, and even now, healthy influence requires having a clear understanding of identity to provoke a worthwhile impact. That is why God let Jesus know from the beginning of His ministry who He was: “…You are my Son, whom I love; with you, I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:11 NIV) If the Father saw the need to publicly acknowledge the identity of Jesus, how much more must we be reminded and affirmed of who we are?
In preparing to write Change Your World with John Maxwell, I had the opportunity to read great works by people who studied change in the Church. In his book, To Change the World, James Davison Hunter showed some of the evangelical church’s fractures, primarily conducted by a major identity crisis of not knowing who they were.
Hunter suggested that to be world-changers, we should be faithfully present in our realities, opposed to being defensive, separated from, or assimilated into the world. This is similar to the biblical example of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who understood and respected the ways of the Babylonians but knew what to abstain from, and whom not to worship.
There will be times in life where we may find ourselves in challenging places, or where our identity will be challenged. Even through this, the Lord will guide and empower us to make a change, just as he did with Daniel and his friends. As we remain faithful, we have the opportunity to bring change to the world to affect future generations.