Identity by Peggy

Who Am I?  What is my identity? Why am I here? An existential question I think mankind has always asked itself. A struggle we all face at various times, as our life situations change (going from high school to college or working world, becoming a parent, losing a close loved one, etc…) For some, the struggle is acute; tortuous, even.

There are many ways in our society by which we are identified: our names, of course, gender, Social Security number, our career/job, our station in life. Some identify themselves as a husband, wife, mother, or father. You get the idea.

Since technology has opened the entire world to us, we now even have to take precautions to protect ourselves against those who would steal our identities. It is a real fear for some, and a harsh reality to others. Who would have very thought such a thing? Geez, louise, It’s all so exhausting!

I have found that identity without God is such a burden! At its root, identity is really no more than others’ perception of a person—how do others see me? Always concerned that we won’t measure up, we try to conform to the opinions of others, rather than allow ourselves to develop and grow into the fullness of our potential. It’s an oppressive yoke.

As a Christian woman, I find that my identity lies squarely with who I am in Christ. I could list every Scripture in the Bible about who God says we are, and it will greatly bless you—the Word of God speaks to us deep in our spirit. But rather than that, let me share a personal experience.

I remember one time while praying, the Scripture verse Isa. 43:1 came to me: “…Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.” I thought how nice and comforting it is, to know I am His. Then I thought again, and just saw a picture of God sitting there looking at me, saying “and why would you settle for that?”   whoa. What?!?

It was one of those “aha” moments, realizing that Christianity means one is in a relationship. And relationships take effort. Yes, it is comforting and awesome to now that I am His, but what about Him? Why would I settle for half of a relationship, and why would I ever want God to settle for half of a relationship with me? Do also respond to that verse with “And You are mine”?

He has already invested all of Himself into a relationship with me, but do I always invest all of myself back into that relationship? I’m working on it! Oh, yes, there are many times that I just need to know that He is there and He’s got the day, and I don’t put much into it myself. Thankfully, He is there, He is listening (even when I’m acting like a brat), and He loves me unconditionally.

I have found that my identity in Christ is empowering. I don’t need to worry about how others’ see me, but I can ask God “How do You see me”, and grow into that. God sees me as His child, His joint heir, His beloved. How could I not want to develop that?? There is great freedom in this identity.

C.S. Lewis says: “God doesn’t want something from us. He simply wants us”. The key to our identity in Christ is developing our relationship with Him.

One of my favorite books in the Bible is the Song of Solomon. In chapter 2, it says “I am my beloved’s, and He is mine”. How simple is that?

Identity by Barbara

Identity

I’m aware I repeat myself in this blog but various statics show that we only retain around 10% of what we read therefore, I feel it is worth repeating.

Many people make the mistake of thinking identity is in what we do. Though it may create interesting conversation when we meet someone, our identity is not in what we do for a living but who we are. Our Identity is our individuality, uniqueness, character, personality, etc.

The key question is: Who does Christ say I am? To get a grasp on this read the book of Romans but there are many verses in the Bible that enlighten us regarding who we are in Christ, once we accept Him as Savior.

Let us look at what the Word has to say on the subject.
All Bible verses are taken from the Living Bible unless otherwise noted. Italics are mine.

For He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
2 Corinthians 5:21 King James
(Jesus became sin for us so we could be right with God)

Long ago, even before he made the world, God chose us to be his very own through what Christ would do for us; he decided then to make us holy in his eyes, without a single fault—we who stand before him covered with his love. Ephesians 1:4   (We are loved and blameless in His eyes.)

When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun!
2 Corinthians 5:17
(We become a new creature once we accept Him.)

Even in his own land and among his own people, the Jews, he was not accepted. Only a few would welcome and receive him. But to all who received him, he gave the right to become children of God. All they needed to do was to trust him to save them.
John 1:12
(We are His children)

I no longer call you slaves, for a master doesn’t confide in his slaves; now you are my friends, proved by the fact that I have told you everything the Father told me.
John 15:15
(We are His Friends)

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7 King James
(We no longer have to live in fear but live in power, love and free from anxiety)

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Philippians 4:13 King James
(God gives us the strength to do ALL things, He wants us to achieve)

Jesus sent them out with these instructions: “Don’t go to the Gentiles or the Samaritans, 6 but only to the people of Israel—God’s lost sheep. Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure the lepers, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!
Matthew 10: 5-8
(When this verse states, “Jesus sent them out” “them” also means us”)

WOW! The Lord sure has given us a astounding identity. Actually it is quite humbling. It amazes me even with all our imperfections the Lord loves us and sees us the way He does. I find it heartbreaking that there are so many people who don’t even have a clue who they are in Christ and what we can achieve through Him. Although we may never fully understand it, if we believe the Word of God, then we comprehend what He says is true. It is crucial to get into the Word so we don’t become prey to the identity thieves.

Identity thieves come in many shapes and forms. The main culprit is the enemy. The enemy has a way of tempting us and then justifying the action. As soon as we give into the temptation he beats us over the head with condemnation. He will make statements such as: “Oh, I can’t believe you just did that! You’re such a jerk! What an idiot you are! God is so disappointed in you, He will never answer your prayer now! God doesn’t love you anymore!” Etc., Etc. These are lies straight from the pit of hell. Yes, there may be consequences to our actions but it NEVER changes the way God feels about us. He loves us! NOTHING will and can change that. We still are who He says we are! Get into the Word and read who the Lord says you are.

Unfortunately, sometimes the thieves can come from the church. If you are in a church and all you hear preached is what a filthy rag you are and how you will never measure up, it is time to find another church. There are times when the Pastor will need to bring correction to his church, but if you leave that place mainly feeling bruised and beaten, your identity is being stolen from you. Ask the question, “who does Christ say I am?” Find another church that understands the new covenant and recognizes we are no longer under the law.

What if I hear someone is sick? I then feel led to go pray with them for healing. The thought comes to mind, “Right numbskull, after the argument you had with your husband this morning, the Lord is really going to use you. Ha! Come on, get real!” If I listen to that thought, I just became a target of identity theft. I need to rebuke that thought, remind myself who I am in Christ and know that the Lord wants me to pray for the sick and then just do it!

Sadly, many have grown up in dysfunctional homes. You may have been put down throughout your life and told you would never amount to anything. Even if you were blessed to grow up in the greatest of homes, sooner or later you’ll be attacked by these thieves. You can find them in the work place, neighborhood, school and anywhere there’s people. Try to remember that hurting people hurt people. Whatever terrible things were said about you, it is not who Christ says you are. Unless the Lord tells us otherwise, I see nothing wrong with parting ways with the identity thieves in our lives. Yes, we need to forgive and pray for them but that doesn’t mean we have to subject ourselves to their abuse.

I hope this gives a better understand on your identity and by no means let anyone steal it from you. I mentioned Andy Wommack before but I want to repeat, he is a wonderful teacher. If you listen to him on a daily basis and you don’t know who you are in Christ yet, you will after listening to him. You can even get his teachings for free. His program is called “The Gospel Truth.” This is not to take the place of your Bible reading or church. I do realize some cannot get to church or just haven’t found the right one yet. Bibles can be expensive BUT almost everyone has a computer or a digital reader such as an iPad, Kindle Fire, plus there are many more. Many Bible apps are free and you can read almost any version. You can also read two versions side by side which I especially like. My favorites are Bible Gateway and You Version so if you don’t have a Bible get on line or get one of the free apps and read all about your identity. You won’t be sorry.

Identity by andrea

My identity in Christ.
I told my husband before I began writing this… it’s so boring, the same old same old… yet it’s my truth, this is my identity in Christ. It courses through my being … its all about Jesus
     I am a Protestant. A Charismatic. A Molinist. An egalitarian. Non-denominational and a Conditionalist.
     None of that means anything…. over 30 years ago I asked Christ into my heart and I began a journey into eternity. What I believed about scripture along the way has little to do with who I am in Christ Jesus. My identity changed when I stopped trying to be correct and started trusting in Christ’s righteousness and not my own.
     As I read Christian blogs and see people arguing over “how to pray” or which translation of the Bible is the most correct. I just want to reach inside of every one of them and ask, “are you more saved then that one”? Does what you believe in theory change who you are in Christ? Am I more saved today then I was the first day? Does knowledge elevate our status in Christ? I know I walk in more joy and I am more effective through knowing Christ more intimately but I am not more saved. That work was finished on the cross at Calvary. 
      In 1983 I was an atheist. I really disliked religion and Christianity was the religion I saw around me. I thought, those Christians, always trying to shove their beliefs down everyone else’s throats yet look at them. That bunch of hypocrites! There are people starving and all they care about are their church buildings. Those stained glass windows could feed a few hungry people. The more public the Christian right became the more I hated Christianity. Then in a moment, it all changed and I became what I hated. Not only was I a Christian but I was a Christian who wanted to be right. I wanted the correct doctrine, the correct church and I wanted to be a ‘good’ Christian. UGH. 
     In the midst of my struggles, the Lord in His wonderful grace would give me a word or a vision. Like road signs through a desert, one day at a time, one struggle at a time, until I realized I was not able to do this Christian life and I admitted to myself and to God, that I would have to go to hell. I just couldn’t be a Christian. As I explained to the Lord, that I understood why. His word read, no drunkard, liar, thief… 1 Cor 6:9 Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men[a] 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. I knew somewhere in that list I belonged but I was going to be the only one there, in hell, who still loved Him…. I vividly remember that vision. I was standing in a dark pit and Christ looked at me and put His arms very gently out to me and said “but “I” won’t let you”. In one moment I realized, it didn’t matter if I was unworthy. As my vision expanded, I saw all around me, prostitutes and drug addicts, homeless people in dirty clothes and He was speaking to all of us, “I won’t let you”. I didn’t know how but I knew it wasn’t about my righteousness but it was all about Jesus. Today I ask people, “how big is the cross”? How much work was done on that cross? I think of Christ speaking and the universe was formed. How big would His dying be? I am a mere human, finite and mortal, with a mind ill equipped to fathom infinity. I cannot wrap my brain around God. He never asked me to understand Him, He only asked me to love Him and my neighbors. I still have work to do in that area. When I get the love God with all your heart, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself down pat, I’ll move on to bigger issues but until then; I am just trusting Jesus.
     I am a child of God, a citizen of heaven. I follow Christ because He first loved me and I am a part of His kingdom because of what He has done and not because of anything I have done. It is the righteousness of Christ that I trust. Because “Sweet Jesus” I know I am not righteous because of my own behavior. The Lord judges the heart and if you could read what goes on in mine, you would see a battle raging. I don’t have to tell you about my battles, we all have them. We walk in fear, while we try to love. We walk in hate because we fear. This carnal body, who is able to save me from sin and death… only Jesus. I read Romans 7 and 8 aloud this morning, its wonderful. Rom 7: 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
     For this reason only do I identify with Christ because He is my righteousness and I am eternally grateful. There are no words to express the gratitude I have within me for His great love for me, this most unworthy being. Jesus saved me while I was still a mess, an atheist who mocked and ridiculed His church, His followers, His word and His cross. Until the day, I learned He loved me anyway. Not because I was worthy but because I was NOT worthy, I was angry, needy and hurting. It seems the qualifications to be a Christian are very low. I am quite sure you meet them. The only people Jesus turned away were those that were so religious, they condemned others to hell while exalting themselves.
    God bless, andrea