Have you ever considered the fact that Jesus might have an identity for you that’s different from the one you see yourself?
What could your life could look like if you really believed those things to be true?
Something many of us believe about ourselves as believers is that we don’t have much to offer. We may not acknowledge that belief or even know we hold it to be true, but we do. Our behavior says we do. The way we shrink back from being a leader in the faith says we do. The fact that we divert to others to be the spiritual powerhouses, the “good Christians,” and we stay to the side says we do.
That’s our own opinion of ourselves—“I’m not that good of a Christian”—that keeps us on the sidelines. Well, we’re going to find out today that God has a different idea of who we are, and it requires us to be in the middle of the action.
1. God says we are prophets.
In Numbers 11:29 Moses says, “I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets,” and in Acts 2:16-21, Peter declares that in the church this prophecy is now fulfilled. We know that every believer is led by the Holy Spirit to discern the truth and that each believer is directed to admonish with the word of Christ, as well as to instruct and encourage other believers.
Behind all of these declarations and exhortations is the assumption that the word of God is richly dwelling in every Christian. It means that every Christian is a prophet of the word of God and has the power within them to preach, teach, and strengthen the church.
Next time you find yourself discounting yourself from being a warrior for the faith, remember this: You have the word of God dwelling richly within you; you are a prophet. If this isn’t a change of identity for most of us, I don’t know what is.
2. God says we are priests.
Even if you’ve always been told you’re a better follower than a leader, even if you’ve always allowed other people to be spiritual powerhouses as you faded into the background, that’s not how God sees you.
The Bible calls every believer a priest. Every believer has access to the name of Christ, who’s the great High Priest, and access to the presence of God. The very core of the Gospel is that we no longer need priests to pave the way between us and God, Jesus did that, giving us access and membership to the priesthood.
So what does this mean for us? First of all, it means we were wrong in how we might have seen ourselves. If we’ve been fading into the background letting other people be leaders of the faith, it’s time for us to take our rightful place as a member of the priesthood.
But it also means we have a job to do. It is our job as priests to offer ourselves as living sacrifices to God every single day. It’s our job to be participants in public worship and to do good and to share with others as Hebrews 13:16 says.
We are now a part of the team, and God has called us to live lives of goodness and service so that outsiders will be able to glorify God also. We are no longer passive observers; we are a part of God’s great plan to bring the whole world back to Him.
3. God says we are kings.
God calls us prophets and priests, and He also calls us kings. We are not just a priesthood, but a royal priesthood.
The power of governing the church rests in the people. Though pastors and teachers are uniquely called to build up the body into spiritual maturity, every Christian is called to help build up the body into maturity by “speaking the truth in love” to one another. The kingship of every believer also means that every believer has the authority to fight and defeat the world, the flesh, and the devil.
What does this mean for us?
It means that the identity we’ve been walking around with all our lives might be (and probably is) much smaller than the shoes God has set out for us. God doesn’t call some believers to be “good Christians,” and others to be mediocre ones. He calls us all into a life of priesthood, of servanthood, and of courage. We were not created to be sideline Christians. We were made to be in the center of the action.
It’s time we took our place.