When I was in school, I was not the greatest student. Looking back now I realize that I had some beliefs about myself that held me back from being a good student. Somewhere growing up I came to believe I was irresponsible, undisciplined, and inevitably forgetful. It’s tempting to try to uncover what the things were that taught me to think like that so I have something to point a finger at and blame. That doesn’t really help, though. What helps is finding the lie and resolving it with truth.
I have been learning that it’s identity that determines what we do. Whatever we believe about ourselves is how we will act. If someone believes that they are ugly and worthless, they potentially could avoid any kind of social interaction because, who really cares about them? If someone believes that they don’t share in the inheritance of truly being a son/daughter of God they might fall into incredible bouts of stress believing they have to do life all on their own strength. These past few months, God has been stripping down the beliefs that I have about myself. And these past few weeks have been surprisingly hard because taking all of who I thought I was away leaves me with… nothing. But, isn’t that where God wants me anyway?
When we are born again in Christ our old self is meant to die, and with it goes it’s identity. That doesn’t mean every part of who we are must disappear because, there are still remnants of who God originally created us to be before we come to Christ. God wants to make us whole. And so, when that old identity goes, it dislodges the block that kept our true identity from pouring forth.
Instead of listening to the lies of the enemy, which I’ve talked about before, I’m listening to the truth that God speaks over me. I have been blindsided by the amazing revelation that whatever God speaks over me is the ultimate truth and is completely good. Think about that for a moment. When God created the world, He looked at it and said it was good. He said the same thing about you and me, and he did it by speaking who we are.
I am creative. I am loving. I am kind. I am a prince. I am a son of God. I am courageous. I am loved. I am valued. I am a man. I am strong. I am hope-bringer. I am beauty-seer.
We are beautifully made, you and I. God created us with perfection in mind. He didn’t paste us together with Elmer’s glue and say, “Well, I hope this one makes it to the end…” When I am making cookies, or practicing my calligraphy, or when I’m creating something for Extreme sometimes things don’t quite come out how I want them to and then I’ll think, “It’s good enough… I suppose.” I’m challenged by the realization that God doesn’t do that with us! How perfect are we, His creation!
Under this revelation, I’ve come to understand that embracing my true identity in Christ, and living it out isn’t just a ticket to happiness or freedom, but it’s also a path of worship. By actively living our true identities, we are literally worshipping God. We are telling God that His creation is beautiful, unique, perfect, wonderful, etc. Humiliating ourselves and acting like we are worms doesn’t imply that we have a perfect God worthy of praise.
So, go look at yourself in the mirror. I literally have done this several times now. Ask yourself, what is the handiwork of God that you are staring at? Who is this person that God has made? What are the words that God has spoken over you? What is your true identity? What are the lies that you need to break about yourself? Listen to the answers. Notice what comes to the surface. What we know is God doesn’t speak malevolent words over us, so the nasty things that come to mind are the things that need washed with a good shower of truth.
If nothing good comes to mind, ask God to speak words over you. Listen to His voice attentively. Ask Him to help you remember what good things people have said about who you are in the past. Ask Him to reveal who He has truly created you to be.
This might be a terrifying process to go through, because it means looking under the hood. But, freedom from a false identity is at stake. Why not take the risk of temporary pain to be free from shackles for a lifetime? This is not just about understanding who you are so you can be free. This is about understanding who you in are Christ, so you can be used more freely in His Kingdom.
Lord, I pray that you help us see the things that we do not see. Remove our blinders about our identities. Allow us to see who you have created us to be. Begin to unknot and dislodge the words that imprison us. Your blood speaks a better word, and that word is NEWNESS. You have made us new again. You have made us good.