Thursday, January 5, 2017

Undercover Christianity

I remember the day when, as a 27 year-old undercover cop, I wanted to return to being a street cop with short hair, a visible uniform and a marked patrol unit. Something went down with a crooked cop that forced my hand.  My partner and I exposed a criminal enterprise and now our lives were in jeopardy. I not only wanted out of the undercover world, but I needed a change of scenery. It was then that Jan and I decided to move north from the San Francisco bay area to a new life as a cop in small town Oregon. It was in Oregon where I discovered my destiny in God’s Kingdom and that destiny has brought me to the place where I stand today.

For a couple of years before I made that decision, I had been working in the seamy world of drugs, vice and organized crime. I carried a California driver’s license issued in another name. I drove an untraceable Dodge pickup. My hair was long. The beard I wore made me look like an outlaw biker. Television dramatizes these assignments, but they expose a person to the darkest fringes of our world. I saw things I could never share publicly because of their graphic nature. Only through the work of the Spirit and the detergent of love have those images been finally washed from my memory.

Some of you reading these words are living like I did when I worked as an undercover cop. You are living under an assumed name. It is not the real you. I am not saying you are living in sin or that you are a fake. What I am saying is this – you need to rediscover your true identity. You have forgotten the real you.

You were spiritually birthed under the power of the Spirit, but something took place and somewhere along the way you started living under an assumed name. You have come to realize, like I did as an undercover cop, that it is time to reconnect with the real you.

As a spouse you may have discovered that you walked away from the real you driven by your need to be loved by another person. The person to whom you are married has never met the real you. Some of you are involved in a ministry and the ministry, not the Spirit, has reformed you into an assumed person. Others have wanted so badly to belong to a group that you took up the group identity in order to belong. You now live lost in the crowd.

2017 can become a year filled with the same failed resolutions and familiar promises or it can be a year where something truly different takes place. Real change must first start by discovering or rediscovering your true identity in Christ. Everything of value flows from that single understanding. If you are willing to make this journey of discovery you will experience what I felt the day when I returned to being a street cop. I felt washed and free. It was like I was being reborn. Your identity has that kind of resurrection power. It was given to you as a map to help you find your way back home again.

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