The longing to belong is one of the most basic human emotions! I know there are those we call hermits who cut themselve off from all human contact. They achieve this by building a stone wall around that desire to belong to keep it under control. But this does not negate that most basic desire: the longing to belong! So, let me ask you this morning, “Where do YOU belong?” The answer lies in our true identity. And this is where all the chaos and problems begin.
Some think their identity is found in who they want to have sex with. No, this Preacherman isn’t afraid to talk about sex. Others think their identity is found in those who think just like them. Still others think their identity is found with those who have the same fashion taste as they do. Still others think their identity is found with those who societal norms have declared they are the “in” group. Still others think their identity is found with those who have the same political views. Still others think their identity is found with those who like to do the things they like to do. Still others think. . .get my point?
But what if I told you that the longing to belong isn’t in any of these types of things? It’s the truth, whether you believe me or not. Remember that the longing to belong is the one of, if not the most basic human need. Where does it come from? Glad you asked! It comes from The One who created us–God! God the Father! God the Son! God the Holy Spirit! Why do I say this? Because of all that God created only one thing bears His Image–and that’s us Human Beings! Not the trees, not the skies, not the stars, not the fish or any other critter. It’s Us Human Beings!
And why is this truth so important? (And it is very IMPORTANT!) God created us for intimate friendship and fellowship with Him and all the other Image Bearers! But with the introduction of sin (thanks, Adam and Eve!), that friendship and fellowship was broken. But don’t despair! God did something about that sin. He didn’t change His mind about sin! Au contraire, my friend. In fact, He showed us how damaging and destructive Sin is when His Son, Jesus, died on that Roman Cross. And through our faith in His act of grace filled love, the disease of sin is taken out of us!
And we BELONG to God, Our Creator, Father, Savior, and Sustainer! Now some want to say that it’s love–love is what makes us holy! Whoa! Wait a second buckeroo! It isn’t love that makes us holy. It’s Holiness that makes us Love! And holiness is clearly defined by the Bible, not the so-called experts on the Bible. Holiness is more that what we do and don’t do. Holiness is the life long transformation back into our original image. And don’t think for a nano-second that means you have to give up your individuality. God doesn’t use a cookie cutter–that’s what Churchians and Tenured Pew Sitters do.
No, God made you uniquely YOU! Within this human form there’s no way any one of us can fully express God’s Glorious Image! So God gives His Image Bearers (at conception, I might add!) each a uniquely personal way to reveal His Glory. But if we let other things tell us where we belong–well–we just end up angy, bitter, and hateful. More than this, we end up empty. So don’t worry if others tell you that you don’t belong! After all, they didn’t create you. You belong to God who is working to bring HIS glory out in you!
Love God with all your heart. Love others the way Jesus loves you. And make sure all the glory goes to Him!
And I leave you with this song: