People, things, statuses, or even character and personality traits should not be the point of reference from which we find our “identity.”
Think about that for a moment here….
If we judge “who we are” based upon people, the world, the things in the world, our feelings, our situation, our circumstances – even our minds, (myers briggs tests) hearts, disposition and attitudes, we will never really know the fullness of who we really are.
Our identity is intended to come through who we are in Jesus Christ. That’s how God planned it. Without it, there is always a hole inside that just sits there – not being quite filled (although we try and try) – we know it’s there – we can sense it.
Fact is, only God can fill that hole – and He does so, through His one and only son, Jesus Christ.
So it’s because of Him, and what He has done for us that we can be whole. We can be something far more than any words we have in our human language can truly describe.
So, for just a moment, let’s look at this awesome contrast so as to fully absorb it.
- World View
I am a mother of three children who is married to my childhood sweetheart.
I have a heart for people and meeting them where they are at.
I like to run and workout, serve others, and work hard at whatever I do.
I am a spiritual person
I am a heterosexual….
I am a mother….
I am a strong woman….
I am a feeling person…
I am outgoing
I am organized
I go to church
I have brown hair
I like coffee
I am hormonal and menopausal, so sometimes I feel crazy
- Jesus View
I am truly free and truly worthy because of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for me!
I am flawed but forgiven
I have power that none of the things I listed in the world view can give me
I am loved by the Lord, spots and all, because of Jesus (not myself or my “good” actions)
I am so valuable that Jesus laid down His life for me and lives in me now
I am filled with grace and joy and peace – sometimes it’s buried, but it’s always there
Christ lives inside of me and shines outward through the gifts and blessings He fills me with
I receive nudgings and messages that are not of this world
I am filled with love, showered with blessings (even in my trials) and justified by faith.
I have been brought into peace with God because of Jesus!
I am a new creation in Christ!
All of these other things in life that make up who I am are really things that have been “added unto me.” Yes, that includes not only material possessions, jobs, my home, but also my family, friends, and my gifts and talents.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33
They are blessings….they are gifts. Sometimes, they are trials, sufferings, and challenges.
They describe my life here on earth. But they are not fully “who I am.”
How freeing it is to know that who we are in Jesus does not change with our circumstances! How awesome to be out of bondage to fit into the world’s mold when it comes to our identity. He grows us and strips us. He tears down the junk and rebuilds us to allow His power to be made manifest in greater and greater ways through every trial or success we face. That is, if we yield to Him.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have my identity wrapped up in Jesus Christ than even the best that this world has to offer. I’ve been there, done that, friends. And “having it all” in this world is nothing compared to even a little bit of what Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit can do within me.
Thing is, it’s about making the choice to accept Him as our Savior, and then, allowing HIM to live His life through us. It’s about allowing Him to fill us with the Holy Spirit. It’s about moving aside and letting Him flow through us. It starts to become fairly easy to determine when “self” is trying to take over – then it hurts to pull out the self and move aside – but it’s sooo worth it!
On the one hand, if we look at this through a worldview, thinking about the fact that we are “just vessels” can seem pretty lame, right? But it’s SO NOT!
We don’t need credit for being awesome and excellent on our own to be thankful and proud of who we are. We need to be blown away by the fact that GOD would actually love us so much, that because of Jesus and all He did for us, He actually wants to live in and through us. If that’s all we can ever claim – that we are children of God – that’s pretty phenomenal if you ask me. Especially because it’s not of our own doing! All we do is make that choice to accept Him and embrace Him.
ALL the glory and honor goes to HIM. HE is awesome and excellent, and WE get to be a part of that. What an honor! What a privilege! What a divine and beautiful gift. Grace and Mercy, friends. Grace and Mercy.
I am thankful – words just aren’t even sufficient, friends – so very grateful, that who I am is far better – just being “Annie, child of Jesus, follower after Him” – than anything I could ever “add unto myself” here in this life.
Ephesians 4:24, “And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
If I had to sum it up, I would say this: It’s really not about who I am – not at all. It’s about who HE is. And it’s about remembering – no matter what we face – that HE lives in us if we accept Him for “who” He is and all that He has offered to us.
It’s difficult – hard to celebrate who we are in Christ and keep self out of the way. This is an area I have struggled in and am in constant prayer over. Because, I still find myself relying on my own strength (or at least part of it) to do it. I still find myself “holding back” sometimes because I fear self taking over. If you haven’t guessed, I am not very good at just “letting it flow” and “being.” This is something that He is working on with me in a pretty heavy duty way lately. Every situation I have been placed in over the last six months has been screaming “stop holding back!!!!”
What I have realized, is that I have been allowing fear of self trying to take back over to get in the way of unleashing God’s power through me. So, in reality, I was still in bondage to self – see what I mean? I had realized that self isn’t where it’s at, but in trying to remain humble and take my proper place in all of this (removing self – more of HIm, less of me), I still held back – out of FEAR.
No more. God is bigger than that and I have to allow Him to shine and do His awesome thing without fear. I have to trust in Him that part of who He is is a God who promises me that if I seek Him, He will not forsake me. He will reveal to me if I am letting self get in the way as I stop holding back. And He will correct me – in whatever way He sees fit. I have to trust that. And I feel free!
Yes, it’s about being His vessel. It’s about letting Him be our identity…letting Him live His life through us. He fills that hole and then fills it and fills it until it overflows. We need to stop being afraid of the explosion.
Jesus is a lot of things, but above all, He is “The Christ.” The anointed one, the Mighty King, our Savior, the Messiah. He wants to live in us, through us, and with us. To make us more of what God always intended us to be.
He. Is. God.
Won’t you claim Christ as your Savior and Lord today if you haven’t done so already? Start living life the way He always intended for you. And experience the fullness of who you are in HIM!
Celebrate who you are in Jesus today, friends. Celebrate the gifts and blessings that He has “added unto you” and your life as you walk with Him through it. As you allow the beauty of “who you are” to shine forth throughout the land, and unto the people with whom you interact, feel good about it. And remember, it is far better to know it is coming from Him – through US – than just from ourselves alone.
That is lasting. That is real. And that is glorious.