The Foundational Series
X. Purified Identity and the Promises of God
Purified identity is the explanation behind all the delays, disappointments, and disasters we experience in our attempts to find fulfilment in this life through faith. He has ordained to tie the process of our purity to our basic need to find fulfilment through our relationship to creation. But to understand this, you need to follow very very carefully what I'm about to explain:
If you're sharp, you've just picked up what sounds like a contradiction. At the beginning I said that our new identity finds all sense of meaning, fulfilment, and purpose only in Jesus Christ, without reference to anything He has made. If so, how is it I'm now talking about finding some kind of fulfilment through our relationship to creation?
If Jesus is our only source of fulfilment, and if our relationship to earth is thoroughly polluted by our earth-based identities, how can I now be talking about fulfilment of earthly needs and desires outside Jesus? Isn't the person of Jesus enough? Shouldn't we rather be shedding off all awareness of earthly need and desires outside Jesus as part of the process of purifying our identity in Him? Shouldn't we deny our entire relationship to creation as "worldly"? (This is what stoics, ascetics, buddhists, Christian mystics, and holiness teachers - including myself - have wrongly taught at one time or other.)
The answers to all the above questions is "no." No, there is no contradiction; and no, it is not for us to deny all awareness of creation even though our relation to it is polluted and Jesus is our only true source of meaning and fulfilment. But to understand this, we have to understand a certain mystery about creation. Come back with me to Eden a moment ...
- The Role of Creationary Fulfilment
God created man for fellowship, for relationship with Him. But God did not create man to worship or enjoy Him in a vacuum. He put him in context of a beautiful creation where He left a certain measure of man's fulfilment to be found through the creation.
So He created man with needs and desires with respect to creation. He left man a certain sense of purpose and destiny to be fulfilled through the creation. Specifically, He gave man creationary calling (a garden) and creationary companionship (a woman).
He gave man something to do and someone to do it with. Yet all this sense of fulfilment in creation was part of man's total sense of fulfilment in God alone. There was no distinction, no dichotomy, no dualism between finding meaning in creation and finding meaning in God alone. Fulfilment in creation was part of fulfilment in God.
If you can grasp: this, you can grasp what I will now say. God has not changed. In His purpose to restore us to Himself through purified identity, His will is to include restoring us to that same fulfilment concerning creation. It is part of the total restoration.
Therefore, in calling us to Himself, God still issues calling and vision and promises over the fulfilment of our sense of needs and desires in this life. He plants all this in us as part of our new identity.
And here is the mystery:
God believes he is able to call us to this "creationary fulfilment" in him without reinforcing our idolatrous ties to creation through earth-based identity, but rather as part of His strategic process of purifying our identity in Him!
But how can this be? How does it work? How is God able to call us to lose our earth based identities and to purify our identity in Christ alone by giving us all these other callings, involvements, dreams, and desires for creationary fulfilments?
The answer is simple, but follow it carefully:
God's creationary promises to us are only through the new man. God makes no promises to us on the basis of our old identities. So the only way we can obtain the fulfilments is to first obtain purified identity.
- Fulfilling Creationary Promise “Over My Dead Identity”
This happens as follows:
Every time we respond to God's promises, we respond out of a mixture of our new man and our old man. When we believe, our new man believes, but so does our old man. Our old man understands the promises a certain way. Our old man acts on his understanding of the promises. Our old man has his earth-based expectations.
But what happens? Our old man gets hurt! Our old man has his expectations destroyed!
Our old man suffers humiliation! God does not come through for our old man! Consequently, our old man dies. He dies through the travail of smashed dreams, desires, and expectations in hope of God's promises.
As our old man dies, what is left? What happens? As our old man life-force shrivels up, dies and surfaces out of our body, our new man rises from the depths of our soul to replace our lost personality. He rises up to manifest himself through our personality more perfectly. This is none other than the purifying of our identity in Christ!
When the new man has sufficiently surfaced through our personality to be able to receive the fulfilment only he can receive, that is when the promise comes to pass! --all in perfect enjoyment of Jesus Christ.
This is how heaven and earth are brought to meet in our lives. And this is how God uses His creationary promises to achieve our purified identity. The meeting of heaven and earth in our lives begins first with purified identity, then blossoms into creationary fulfilment - -as it was in Eden.
- The Endurance of Purified Identity
At the beginning, I said I wanted to especially direct this letter to those of you who are yet sensing lack of fulfilment of God's promises and vision to you, lack of fulfilment of your earthly needs and desires. We all have callings from God in hopes for this life.
What do we do when the longer we wait for God, the less we see from Him, the less evidence we have that He will do what He said? What do we do the longer that time goes by and everything we ever hoped for from God loses all its original desire and meaning, dissipating into oblivion?
Where do we turn without abandoning the promises when faith just doesn't translate out into sight for us -- when our faith just can't bring heaven and earth to connect? How do we stand up to the shame we incur for having acted on the promises only to be left holding the "prophetic bag"?
How do we overcome the taunts of "Job' s Friends" who, on the proof of visible evidences, cause us to question whether we heard from God --to question the legitimacy of our vision, our call, our desires? (In dealing with a God for whom nothing is impossible, visible evidences are proof of nothing.)
How do we resist the urge to deny our already costly faith and to "start over" with something that appears more promising?
The answer is purified identity:
- Purified identity is what is left when nothing else is.
- Purified identity gives us meaning when creation has lost all original meaning.
- Purified identity is our ever unchanging reference point for reality when our natural life has been poured out.
- Purified identity is our haven of rest under the altar when we have been martyred.
- Purified identity through the Presence of God gives us back lost assurance that God has not lied, only that we have died.
- Purity of identity provides us release without having quit.
- Purified identity is our personal proof and badge of witness to all men that we truly know God and have heard from Him when creation bears no witness -- until the confirmation of creation appears.
All those to whom the promises came received them through purified identity.
- Before Abraham could become a father, he had to become a Father of Many Nations.
- Before Hannah could become a mother, she had to obtain the identity of a prophetess---one who could release a son into his own identity as a prophet.
- Before Joseph and Moses could be elevated to receive their callings, their old identities had to pass away. They became new men through the demise of their original identity and through the knowledge of God acquired in that death.
Identity comes first! Then the creationary fulfilment under its dominion.
God is not interested in answering prayers only to reinforce our old identities. He's not willing to give us marriages, babies, families, healings, provisions, involvements and ministries just to reinforce our original identities of gender, family, and culture. We have been called out! And our creationary fulfilments are to be called-out fulfilments whose promises are a means to purified identity before they manifest.
If we can keep our perspective straight, then we will keep our root sanity when our first identity undergoes demolition, nothing is left to hope for, and creationary meaninglessness sets in. Acknowledge the supremacy of the purifying of your identity in Christ -- not the hope of your creationary fulfilment. And when you are destroyed, your identity will survive, and your creationary fulfilment will be revived, here and now -- in earth, as it always was in heaven.
[NOTE: For further in depth study of this topic, see the letter "God's Promises to the Hidden Man.”]
written from Pleasant Valley, Prince Edward Island, Canada
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
Page created June 19, 2015