My father when he was president of Piedmont International University (the Piedmont Bible College) said the same thing to the student body whenever a semester ended, or we went on spring break. His last words were almost always “remember whose you are.”
His saying that reminded us that being students of Piedmont had a significant impact on our actions. No longer did our decisions just affect us, it also affected the testimony of our college.
Of course, in a deeper sense he was referring to the fact that as God’s children, our actions reflected back on the way people view God as well. The Christian who lives in a lazy and undisciplined way makes people believe God doesn’t desire the best from your life. While the Christian who serves with the whole-heart shows a God who deserves our greatest worship.
“Remembering who we are” isn’t just a form of motivation for Christian growth. It’s also a great comfort because as Gods children, we can rest in His loving care.
As Nehemiah closes his prayer, he reminds God the Jews are His children, that He personally protects. God obviously hasn’t forgotten who the children of Israel are. Instead this along with the verbal reminder of God’s promises (1:8-9) are Nehemiah’s way of reminding himself of God’s relationship with the Jewish people.
As we saw earlier in 1:5, Satan loves to distract us from the truth about God while in suffering. He wants us to focus on the pain instead of God’s character, believing that He has abandoned us. In the same way, Satan loves to distract us from our identity in Christ as God’s children.
When a child is with their parent they should always feel safe, because they know there’s nothing that parent wouldn’t do to protect them.
As a child I used to only have one rule when it came to rides at the amusement park….it couldn’t go upside down. Hills or being fast didn’t bother me at all, but going upside down was out of the question. One year at the fair my dad and I got into a ride that looked like lots of fun. And it was, until the ride began lifting us into the air.
I suddenly realized we were in moments we would be going upside down.
My father knowing that was a big deal for me, tightened his arms around my waist (he was behind me) and said “I am so sorry.”
I was pretty nervous as the ride slowly lifted us up, but then an interesting thing happened
I wasn’t scared.
In fact, by the time it ended I wanted to go again!
In that moment I was no longer afraid because I knew my father was there with me.
In the same way Nehemiah is refocusing on his mind on his identity as God’s precious child who He promised to care for. This brought peace and calmness in a situation that was anything but calm
The crisis experiences of life tend to make us forget who we are in the eyes of God:
- We are His children
- We (the Church) are the Bride Of Christ
- Through Christ’s blood are covered in His righteousness
- We are Joint-heirs with Christ
- We are representatives of God
And there is NOTHING that can change that relationship
There will come dark seasons of life when it won’t seem as if God cares about us. But in those seasons if we listen closely, we can feel His strong arms around us, and a voice promising that we are loved.