Sonshift Study – Chapter Six

This is the seventh week of our discussion on my book, Sonshift: Everything Changes in the Father’s Embrace. Today, we’ll be looking at chapter six titled, “Identity Shift.”

I invite you to respond to some or all of these questions. Also, please give additional comments on the chapter that my questions don’t address.  My only rules are that you’ve actually read the chapter and that your answers are brief.  Okay, here we go!

Chapter Six: Identity Shift

In this chapter the author uses the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale, “The Ugly Duckling” to show the transformation that takes place when we finally see our true selves in Christ’s reflection.

Powerless religion has robbed us of our identity and kept us in the dark about who we really are, making us think we’re dirty sinners and worthless, even after coming to Christ. It’s the false humility of self-abasement, which is really another form of pride. But the real danger is, we become unwitting “volunteers in Satan’s prison camp.” It’s the worst form of identity theft known to mankind!

But, now, we’re starting to see our true reflection!

“Like with the ugly duckling, as the Father’s adopted sons [and daughters], co-heirs with Christ, we are starting to see our true reflection in what God says about us. As we see ourselves in Christ, we are being changed into the same image from glory to glory! Beloved, you are not an ugly duck; you are a beautiful swan!” (p. 139, Kindle loc. 2294)

Discussion Questions:

  1. How do you relate to the ugly duckling story? Did you experience “ugly duck” Christianity? If so, how so?
  2. Why is seeing your true reflection important to your transformation in Christ?
  3. How do you relate to the section on identity theft? Why is identifying ourselves with Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection important to our identity in Christ?
  4. What are some of the ways we can unwitting become “volunteers in Satan’s prison camp?”
  5. How would you relate to the author’s description of being on the “wrong side of the Cross?” Why is this important to understanding our identity?
  6. Why is it important that we see our life as Christ’s own life, and that this is not simply positional but actual? What might seem to contradict this spiritual reality?

As before, if these questions didn’t address something you think is important, please add it in your comments. If you would like to make any comments offline, please email me at mwild@ceuturytel.net.  Thank you!

Now, it’s your turn!

 

About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 40 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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16 Responses to Sonshift Study – Chapter Six

  1. Arkenaten says:

    What are some of the ways we can unwitting become “volunteers in Satan’s prison camp?”

    Who or what is Satan and what on earth is his Prison camp?

    • Mel Wild says:

      It’s from a dream someone had that I recount in this chapter. It’s used as a metaphor in discussing what keeps us from knowing our identity in Christ.

      • Arkenaten says:

        So you recognise that there isn’t actually an entity called Satan, then?

        And what do you mean by ”identity in Christ.”

        • Mel Wild says:

          Yes, there is a real entity. But he isn’t some imp in red pajamas or have horns and a pitchfork! There is honest scholarly disagreement about what exactly this “adversary” is, but it is a real power or force in the spiritual realm.
          “Identity in Christ” is who God says we are “in Christ.” We have been placed in Him (spiritually speaking.) Our life is now His life (Gal.2:20). We align ourselves with His identity by the renewing of our mind (Rom.12:1-2).

        • Arkenaten says:

          1) How do you know? Evidence etc.
          2) How do you verify the veracity of the text you base this belief upon?

        • Mel Wild says:

          First, since you don’t believe in the spiritual realm, there’s little point in going on with this argument. But to answer your question, besides what Scripture says, my evidence is the 30-plus years of dealing with it in ministry, and from the thousands of testimonies from others around the world, many which cannot be simply explained away psychologically. The evidence is also in the results of praying against it and seeing people immediately set free. They did not need medication. They were simply freed from whatever it was that was torturing their soul.

          But what I’m talking about in this instance has more to do with having the wrong mindset. We put ourselves in bondage by the lies we believe about ourselves. This is why knowing our identity in Christ is critical. This does fall into the psychological realm, but it’s based in a biblical framework.

        • Arkenaten says:

          I did not realise this was an argument. What gave you that idea?

          So, what you are saying, in effect is that, one only has access to the spiritual realm – and visa versa of course – if one believes it.

          Regarding scripture: Again, how do you verify the veracity of the text?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Again, you don’t believe. No point in going on with this. Besides, this has absolutely nothing to do with my book study.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Be that as it may, it is enlightening all the same, and if nothing else it may reveal information or knowledge thus far not known.
          Plus it has got to do with your study as the term ‘Satan’s Prison” is included which I presume includes demon possession, yes?.

          So, are you saying that the spiritual realm … including the exorcism of demons, prayer etc is only perceivable to believers, and only works for believers?

          And when we say believers are you being specific and mean Christian?

          Do you have evidence of demon possession of atheists or those who are believers in other gods? Hindus, Muslims, etc?

  2. Mel, this chapter inspired me to write an entire post (scheduled for this Friday). I hope you like it!
    1. I didn’t specifically experience “ugly duck” Christianity – not raised Christian – but certain experienced “ugly duck” in my life before finding Jesus.
    2. In order to see our true value to God and not be blinded by a legalistic veil, and in order to walk in the true freedom provided by God’s unconditional love and grace.
    3. Our identity is so easily stolen by legalism, believing we are born into sin or eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. We have to continually remind ourselves to listen to the Spirit who tells us we are a new creation made in the image of Jesus, with no condemnation to drag us down.
    4. We forget in Whose image we are created: we forget all the gifts we have received because we are children of God and brothers and sisters of Christ.
    5. Jesus completed the Old Testament; those laws are no longer valid, Jesus explains this clearly in his Sermon on the Mount. If we ignore this, we remain stuck in legalism and never embrace our new standing as adopted sons and daughters, heirs of our Father. We’ll never understand God’s heart or His vision of us and others.
    6. It’s one of those conundrums of the already/not yet. Once Christ set foot on earth, he made this a reality. He is in us through the Spirit. He told us we would do things greater than he. And there is much to accomplish. Yet, there is more to come when he returns at the time our Father brings the New Jerusalem to earth and we have the opportunity to see Christ and to walk with Him face to face.

  3. dawnlizjones says:

    1. Not so much “worm theology” as “performance theology”, although it was masked, and much akin to my own personality bent. I related more to an Old Testament God than a New Testament Father. (To no fault of my dad’s, I am quick to mention.)
    2. One word that did not pop up in this chapter is the word “confidence”, although the concept is all throughout. Accurate information is necessary for confidence and will transform someone.
    3. Oh, how I love this. If there’s one thing Satan love to steal, kill, and destroy, here it is. Philosophers will tell us that “identity” is the core of our being (“I think, therefore I am” or some such thing…) so why not strike at the very core of who we are? To hone it further, Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection was done in my place, for me. Which means what He accomplished in that (since I am “in Him”) is for me as well.
    4. When I empower Satan’s lies by believing them, I’m wearing his volunteer badge, and becoming a tour guide for others. (Which means my decisions here are not just about me. Gag!)
    5. Legalism. You could ask me how I know. But you have asked for short answers…
    6. The word that initially comes to me is power. Which is a big thing as I read through this study; that is, allowing my shoulders to drop, taking a nice deep breath, and “learning to lean”. What that really means, feels like, looks like. And not worrying about trying to even define it or wrap my head around it too much. Just allowing Him to reveal it to me as He wants to, when and how He wants to.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thanks Dawn! Really good answers. 🙂
      I liked your distinction between “worm theology” and “performance theology.” Both are very subtle and deadly to understanding our identity.

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