Every morning, I read a devotional with my kids during breakfast. We have a large collection of devotional books in a drawer of the kitchen curio cabinet, including some of my own.
One morning we read a devotional that I had written years ago about Elisha and the poisoned pot of soup (2 Kings 4:38-41.) One of the prophets had picked poisonous gourds, cut them up and mixed them into the soup. When Elisha discovered the soup was poisoned, he threw a handful of flour into the pot, and the toxic stew became a pleasing meal for the prophets.
After we read the story, I compared Jesus to being the Bread of Life. Jesus is like the flour being mixed into our lives—neutralizing the poison of sin, so we can be pleasing to God.
“God is pleased with us because He sees His Son, Jesus, in us,” I explained. “Jesus took all of our sins on the cross, and now we are perfect before a Holy God.”
My analytical 12-year old son thought for a moment. “If God sees Jesus in me, is there room for God to see me too?” he asked.
I’ve thought of this question many times. If God is pleased with us because He sees His Son in us, how does our unique personality fit into the mix? I’ve struggled to explain that Jesus infuses our own personality, soul and design with His presence, making us perfect and whole. But it has always been a difficult truth to explain without a concrete image to go with it.
Suddenly, I saw the image of the soup in my mind.
The soup was a unique mixture of ingredients used to feed the hungry prophets during a regional famine that year. The broth had its own flavor and texture that would never be replicated exactly the same again. And when the flour was mixed in, the soup didn’t become something totally different. It simply stayed itself but better—healthier, richer and toxin free.
Finally, I had an image to give my son.
I explained that we are each a unique soup that God has prepared during this time for a special purpose. When Jesus saves us, we still have the same ingredients in us that we were born with, but now we are healthier, richer (in mind, body and spirit) and sin free. And God can use us to bless the people and world around us.
Jesus literally infuses every single cell of our body, mind and spirit, purging all the sin that makes us poisonous. God is able to have a relationship with us through the Finished Work of Jesus on the Cross, and we are redeemed from poison the the enemy has tried to cook into our lives. No matter what we have done or what has been done to us, we can be used for the great purposes God has for us.
Jesus doesn’t stifle our individuality. He enhances and perfects it.
Questions: What are the ingredients in your personality? How has Jesus enhanced your individuality? What purpose do you feel God has designed you for ?
“Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God” (Ephesians 3.17-19 NLT).