Despite getting older, I still find myself searching for a sense of identity.
Who am I?
Why did God create me?
What’s my purpose here on earth?
I had a mind blowing moment when my community group talked about Jesus’s baptism and the words God the Father spoke over Him:
And suddenly a voice came down from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17)
Before You Do, You Are
If you’re anything like me, you get tangled up in the lie that who you are is dependent on what you do. In an economy where Millenials can have 10 jobs in their lifetime, basing your identity from your job can be a tricky thing. If I’m doing well financially…If I’m living an Instagram worthy life…If I am in control of what’s happening to me…than I feel good about who I am.
What this says is that we believe identity is transient. We believ,e and therefore act, like it is not permanent or enduring. We may believe that we’ll always have a job but what happens if we get laid off? Or what if God calls you away from the ministry you’ve been thriving in? And that Instagram worthy life? Well, it’s not our true life but the one we want it to be. Our identities become based on lies instead of God’s truth.
When God spoke this over Jesus, it was before He stepped into His ministry. Before the healings, teachings, casting out of demons, God the Father affirmed who His Son was rather than what He could do. He called Him “Beloved”.
Setting Up A Solid FoundationBefore we can be used by God, we need to know we are loved by God. Click To Tweet
We don’t realize what we’ve based our identities on until it can no longer sustain us. Jesus gave a powerful illustration of this in Matthew 7:24-27:
Therefore whoever hears these words of Mine, and does them, I will liken them to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.
If there’s one thing I wished churches would teach new believers, it’s their identity in Christ. Why? Because this is laying a firm foundation for who they are in Him. Many of us come with baggage from our past that if we don’t deal with has a way of rearing it’s ugly head in the future.
The only way our identity can stand firm is if it’s built on Jesus. If not, our fear of abandonment, guilt over our sexual past (or present), worry and anxiety, will continue to define us. The good news is that God is in the business of giving us new names.
His parents named him Solomon but God gave him a new name. He was the second child born to David and Bathsheba and we all know the scandalous story there. God did not define Solomon by his parents past or the punishment for their sin. Knowing Solomon’s future, He did not brand him a sinner at his birth.
Instead, this is what it says in 2 Samuel 12:24-25,
…So she (Bathsheba) bore a son, and he (David) named him Solomon. Now the Lord loved him, and He sent word by the hand of Nathan the prophet: So he called his name Jedidiah (Beloved of the Lord), because of the Lord.
When you were created in the womb, knit and fashioned in the secret place, you were already named Beloved. Before you made your first mistakes, before you wondered if you could ever be loved, God named you as one whom He loves.
Names in the Bible had special meaning. They exemplified a person’s characteristics. Jacob was named so because he was a usurper. Hosea’s children, the seeds from his marriage to unfaithful Gomer, were named to reflect Israel’s waywardness and the state of their relationship with God.
Beloved In Christ
For those in the Bible, identity came from their names and it was only God who could change them. Since we are now in Christ, we have a new nature,
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old has passed away; behold, new things have come. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Let your heart rest in knowing that what God promises to do, He will complete it above what we could ever imagine.
Knowing who you are in Christ is not about being prideful or keeping this good news to yourself. When we don’t know who we are in Christ, we get wrapped up in ourselves – our failings, our worries, our lack. Peter is a great example of this. After he denied Jesus three times, Peter went back to his old life of fishing. But when he saw Jesus walking on the shore, he jumped in and swam. It was then that Jesus explained why his name was changed to Cephas. He was going to build the church through him – not on the perfect Peter or even-tempered Peter. You see, God speaks to who we are and who we are becoming and who we will always be.
Knowing Abba Father is the greatest privilege we will ever have. It is in Him, we live and move and have our being. As daughters of God, you are beloved. You are known. You are accepted. God has created you with purpose and a calling on your life. Whether you’ve failed five years ago or today, God is constantly working in you because He wants to work through you. You are the hands and feet He will use to help this broken world know Him.
I’d love to know – Have you founded your identity in God or in the things of this world?