“. . . Oh Lord, it is You . . .” Acts 4:24
Identify with Jesus. The challenge of our discipleship is that we are attached to nothing and no one except Jesus. In every stage of life we will be up against the temptation to divide our focus to identify with Jesus.
The early days of faith are accompanied with zeal, fire and a willingness to take great risk for God. Our awareness of His power and presence is so strong our heart is infused with boldness. In the beginning, our faith was full of simplicity, strength, and sincerity.
But then the qualities begin to fade, and the edge is gone. Instead of strength, there is shallow sentimentality. As time passes and life presses, we trade courage for the common. We exchange power for the pragmatic. Life demands we work hard, seek success, value position, and fame. And also save for a rainy day. These are not bad things, success does serve a purpose. But there is a danger.
It is that we become absorbed in material concerns so much that we begin to evaluate people, places, and possessions by personal benefit. Concerns of the world are hostile to the Spirit. We stop identifying with Jesus in all things.
Peter and John had been made prisoners by the religious officials. They had stood before the rulers and elders. The pressure might have silenced the two disciples, but it didn’t. They might have been tempted to soft pedal their faith, but they did not. They might have become more concerned about impressing the religious leaders, but they were not. It made their conviction in Jesus stronger, it made them more bold in their cause than ever before.
When threatened with every sort of darkness, fate, and faith-melting fear, when pressured to surrender their passion, they resolutely identified with Jesus, and proved to be stronger than the forces of the world.
Faithfulness to Jesus is the result, not of our natural effort, but the supernatural work of redemption worked in us by the Holy Spirit. The duty of every disciple is to concentrate continually, and completely identify with Jesus. The people God uses in great ways are ordinary people who are controlled by their insistence to identify with Jesus in all things.
Where do you need to identify with Jesus?