Who am I? What am I to do with my life? What do others think of me? What activities should I pursue? These are all questions that everyone has faced at one time or another in their lives. People, it seems, are always on a quest to “find themselves” The current trend is to have something to fight for or against; to be most noticed and to stand loud, strong, and proud. It’s all about being “noticed” either in a relationship, career, or public policy. What is most interesting is the enormous amounts of time, energy, and monies all to seek answers to questions that are, at their heart, very simple.
As Christians, our identity should be singular. It’s not a hard answer because our being, worth, and purpose should be surrounded by those marks of discipleship and servanthood that Christ laid out for us. It is a quiet and simple answer. Not one that will sell millions of books, get rave reviews, raise you to the top of the corporate ladder, or gain you a ton of friends and political posh. It’s not some gregarious act that leads to the masses following you. Really, outside of a few, rare, high profile people, the masses are just common, ordinary, unsung heroes operating in the quiet, obedient steps of Jesus.
One of the biggest problems Christians, and non Christians alike, face is that comparison often leads to compromise. We want to be just like so and so, but that isn’t the life God has for us. However, we fight, claw, kick, and scream to keep reaching for a brass ring that doesn’t fit and doesn’t belong to a Christ One. The world wants us to be just like them and fight for identity in sex, gender, status, wealth, etc.. Christ says “My Grace is Sufficient for You.”
How do we know that statement to be true? Well, let’s look to the life of a very quiet, unsung hero of Faith named Andrew. He was never a big front runner in the group of Jesus’ followers. He didn’t make big public speaches before the masses, like Peter or Paul. He just quietly, and simply, was about the work of Jesus and reaching others with the saving message of Jesus. You might just say Andrew was a “nobody”. However, when you look deeper you will see this “nobody” was behind the “somebodies” coming to faith. Because Andrew was in relationship with God’s word, He knew Jesus. Andrew was in relationship, one on one face time, with others, he could share Jesus with those he knew and loved. Andrew was a trend setting, trailblazer of his time. As often happens with trailblazers they don’t get the glory but you do see the fruits of their efforts. We can see all of this in John 1:29-42:
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.” Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.” The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?” They said, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him. It was about the tenth hour. Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus. NIV
We can learn much from Andrew and his quiet way of evangelism and witness. Andrew knew who he was and why he was here. He was a child of God called to bear witness to the Son, Jesus Christ. He had a desire to share God. To reach someone who doesn’t know Jesus Christ as the only Savior of the World, we have to know Jesus and be in relationship with Him. We have to have a heart that is real, sincere, and filled with desire to see the lost come to faith. We need to really know people. That means inter personal relationship time. It’s not a text message, email, facebook, twitter, or instagram thing. If we aren’t genuine in our care and approach, we can’t reach anyone.
Another part of knowing Jesus and others is to be in prayer and communication. On our own, we will never reach a lost soul but in prayer we ask for God’s guidance and wisdom and then in our relationship we communicate our story. What story? The simply story, when the moment is right, of what Jesus has done, is doing, and will continue to do for you in this life. Where your life used to be and where it is now. How God’s word helps you through the trials and tribulations of this life. These are easy stories to tell because you know them because they are you.
Andrew, this quiet fisherman of fish turned to a fisher of man, who reached out and shared Jesus so his brother Peter could be saved. Peter went on to reach thousands but because his brother knew the right answer – Jesus- and shared, Peter became a Christ Follower. The world might see Andrew as a “nobody” but he was a valuable soul to reach more souls. Andrew knew who he was and why he was here. He was a child of God called to bear witness to the Son, Jesus Christ. He had a desire to share God. You might feel like a “nobody” but Jesus says you are “somebody!” The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, says “I died for you!” There is no greater identity or purpose than to be a quiet, humble, servant of Jesus Christ to reach others so that they too can know their sins are forgiven in Jesus’ name. Go out into the world as an Andrew and rejoice in the only identity that matters – a Child of Christ!