From: David Kabanje
Date: February 15
Subject: GMU: Meeting a legitimate needs illegitimately

Legitimate vs. Illegitimately  

I am keenly aware that our society suffers from an identity crisis. Our society has an appetite for meeting legitimate means illegitimately. For example, we are desperately searching for a love that is permanent, responsive, and fulfilling; however, instead of looking for this love in legitimate ways, we settle for a lesser love. That lesser love can be (fill in the blank). When we settle for less, that directly influences how we view our identity. So how do we begin to meet our needs in legitimate ways that foster a healthy identity? Psychology and theology agree that we need new thoughts, affections, and behaviors.

We can't just "change" our actions; we have to plant a new tree (new thoughts and feelings) and feed the roots so the "new tree" will grow and produce different fruit. Behavior always is preceded by thoughts (beliefs) and feelings. It's easy to deal with the fruit and forget to feed the roots. The roots are underground, but that's where we need to start—with the unseen.

Yesterday, we discussed the components of faith and how faith allows us to be more than conquerors because it trusts in the integrity of Christ's character. Our faith in Christ transforms the inner world through a supernatural experience. It's like the wind. We don't know where the wind comes from, but we can see its effects. The same thing is true about the Holy Spirit and His work in us. "For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do" (Eph. 2:10). God works in us radically transform the roots of our character and creates a new tree, a tree that is good and produces good work. If this is what the Bible says about our new nature, there is only one thing left to do—believe, receive, and live it out. The world has illegitimate ways of telling us who we are, but God has the only legitimate way of establishing a new identity that is true and pure.