How do you define yourself? Who are you? If you were a Hebrew marching through the wilderness, you were easily identified by your relationship to your tribe. A portrait of thousands, yet clearly divided in groups spread east, west, north and south, with God’s holy tabernacle and His priestly tribe dwelling in the center, learning obedience through His marching orders. Not only did they know who they were based on what tribe they were born into, they knew who they were based on where their tribe was placed in relation to the tabernacle.
I’m heading south today to visit my tribe and celebrate the matriarch’s birthday. (Ha, Mom would love this description of her importance!) I am keenly aware of my position in this family; though a middle child, I’m the oldest sibling who will attend the party. That usually means that I will be described by my ever increasing number of wrinkles and ailments. I have also been dubbed the leader in the family (does, Bossy, the Cow, sound like the head honcho?!), so there is an expectation that I can be depended on to get things done, advise, and organize, and collaborate with outside resources, if need be. Regardless of the years that have passed, my identity has remained the same in this, my family of origin.
There is, however, another identity that Christ has given me which is separate from my family and based solely on my relationship to His presence dwelling in the center of my being. The change in my soul when I accepted Christ as my Savior was dramatic and immediate. I now walk alongside new brothers and sisters in this spiritual family on earth. As joyful as this can be, I look forward with anticipation to the resurrection when I will receive a new identity. Revelation 2:17 says that Christ will even give me a new name, indicating a new relationship with Him in the resurrection. This concept is fascinating to me. To be like the angels in heaven; to see Jesus face to face; to truly know how I am known by Him (I love how He changed the names of the apostles.) My earthly identity is changing slowly, like that of the Hebrews in their 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. But in the twinkling of an eye, I will hear that familiar Voice calling me by my new name. Wow!