This week will be a week of decisions.
Who will I be for Halloween? What will I wear? Who will I identify with on this night of pretend?
It will be a night of "putting on." One night out of the year, lots of kids and a few adults will put on a costume, cover their face with a mask and go out for a treat, playing the guessing game of, "Who am I?"
You can be anyone you want to be.
Parents delight in dressing up their kiddos and watching them get so excited. It's lots of fun having children coming to your door showing off their costumes and hollering the ever-so-old chant, "Trick or Treat."
Some are so young they can't even pronounce the word and don't know the meaning, but know if they hold out their bag they will get a treat.
Nov. 1, it will all be over. The only remains are rumpled costumes, bits of candy, lots of wrappers and maybe even a few cavities surfacing. All in fun all for pretend.
But what about the other 364 days of the year and even this day?
Who are we? Are we really who we claim to be, or do we go about our days pretending?
Are we hiding behind some mask, hoping no one recognizes us for who we really are? Are we going around holding out a bag, always expecting to be treated?
Do we get angry with God because he didn't treat us in the way we thought he should?
Do we go around with a chip on our shoulder because someone didn't treat us right?
It seems it is time for God's people to quit "putting on" or pretending and start putting on what God's word has instructed us to put on.
Romans 13:12 tells to put on the armor of light. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Our pastor has been talking about finding our identity in Christ. Webster gives us an awesome definition for this worn identity: "The condition of being a certain person or thing and recognizable as such; the condition of being the same as some thing else; sameness."
When we put on Christ, we begin to identify with him or become as he is.
People recognize us as being Christians or Christ-like. We no longer go around with a sad, feel-sorry-for-me face because this mask just doesn't fit a child of God.
Unhappiness just does not fit the description God has for his people. He has promised happiness and joy in spite of circumstances. He has left us his peace as our inheritance.
Ephesians 4:24 tells us to put on the new man, which after God, is created in righteousness and true holiness.
In Isaiah 51, we are told to, "Wake up, Wake Up! Put on your strength, put on your beautiful garment."
This garment is very becoming to those who call themselves by God's name.
Colossians 3:10 again tells us to put on the new man. Then we will put on mercy, kindness, humbleness, meekness, long suffering and greatest of all, charity. When we try to have all these attributes on our own, it becomes a struggle and we find ourselves frustrated.
Then we put on Christ put on the new man. All the struggles cease because we are now identified with Christ.
Finally, we are given the entire description of our armor the armor we are to put on as our final defense in Ephesians 6:10-18.
"We have identified with Christ and we become strong in him, in the power of his might. We are now able to withstand, resist, endure successfully the wiles of the devil. Then we stand. We stand wearing a girdle of truth about our loins, righteousness as our breastplate. Our feet are shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace. We have a shield of faith which will quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. We put on a helmet of salvation. For our sword we have the word of God. We stand, praying always in the Spirit, watching."
Yes, now we have found our true identity in Christ. We no longer "put on an act," but we put on a man, this man Jesus Christ.
Pat Knowles attends the Birch Ridge Community Church where Cameron Dockery is pastor. The church meets at the Soldotna Senior Citizens Center on Sunday at 9:45 and 11 a.m. The future home for the church will be on the Sterling Highway at the corner of Mackey Lake Road.
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