“If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:29 NIV
“But, when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’ So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.” Galatians 4:4-7 NIV
Ask yourself, “Do I know who I am?” Some will respond with a resounding “Yes!” Many of you may understand that you are God’s children, but have you been living it, believing it? Or have you allowed the circumstances of your life to overpower the reality of who you truly are, labeling you with a false identity? And, others may sit and ponder, looking back on their lives and say, “I thought I did, but now I’m not so sure anymore.” If you’re inclined to answer with the latter, resist being envious of those who do say yes, because often, even they, may be mistaken depending on that which they are characterizing themselves. And if, you’re at the point where the appearance of a shortage in identity is sinking you into a place of despondency, read on towards the Source Who’s developed and will reveal the truth of your identity.
Let’s take a glance at what the Scriptures above are saying to us. Galatians 3:29 refers to a promise God made, hundreds of years before Jesus came, to a man named Abraham. God promised him that all people of the earth, that includes you, would be blessed through him by way of Jesus as Abraham’s descendant. So, thru Jesus, you are a child of God through adoption, noted in Galatians 4:4-7, and are heirs to the same promise.
Often, harsh experiences we have during life, can enslave us when we are not in or not fully owning our position in Christ. To be enslaved means to be one who miserably gives in to another person, emotion, or influence. In other words, we end up unhappy because we are so bent on gaining and retaining certain people or things in our lives that may not be good for us. These are often things others or we define ourselves by: other people’s opinions of us; our own attitudes and emotions that aren’t pleasing to God; or desires that overtake our abilities to maintain integrity, or a balanced life. But, like blow bubbles that float, whether large or small, frailly through the air, these things are temporary. So what happens when the illusion disappears? You’re left in the aftermath of the smoke wondering; “Who am I? Where did I go? How do I get back to me?” Therefore, as a child of the Most High God, define yourself by what is Eternally internal, and not by the temporal external.
Hope rests in the presence of honesty & truth, removing false identity, revealing the authentic God-created nature of who you are. Be honest with yourself in admitting the bad attitudes and emotions, such as being selfish, judgmental, angry, deceitful, haughty, or others of that nature. One or more of these attitudinal/emotional areas is where I struggled for a long time, and sometimes still do to a lesser extent thanks be to God for His help and guidance. I will never forget when God first revealed to me that I had anger issues. Kicking in denial during prayer for days, until I realized that I would not win the wrestling match against God. Now, I’m glad I stopped fighting, but never let go of His hand. I learned there’s no shame or condemnation in Christ. We all fall short of the glory of God in one way or another, but we are given His glorious gift of mercy and grace! So, I resolved to remove the mask of perfection; dissolve the caked make-up of claiming that was who I am & had the right to be, because those behaviors are not what God made me to exhibit. I daily remind myself to consciously accept whatever it is that the Holy Spirit reveals to me and, though it may take some time, I work with Him to change it. So, give it a try. As you do this, that which God originally intended for you to be will come forth; loving, kind, humble, truthful, etc.
Another area where honesty is required is understanding where your gifts and talents run deep and where they fall short. Often the green-eyed monster will rear its head, or we run ourselves into the ground working so hard to keep up with those who were gifted to do what they do so easily. Why? Because we are attempting to live up to the labels that others; our parents, spouses, or friends place on us; labels that we sometimes place on ourselves. This was an area of personal struggle for me too. Although I wasn’t competitive or jealous, after experiencing repeated rejection throughout my life, I was trying to obtain external praise by being good at something that really was not my gift. Sadly, I wasn’t even aware of it. I ended up burnt out and miserable, eventually nearing a nervous breakdown. God showed me that there is nothing wrong with wanting to be successful for the right motives, but I had to put the “trophies” of material gain, titles, and the external praises thereof, aside. He taught me that what I worked so feverishly for, was more easily lost than gained.
Lastly, replace the label lies placed upon you, by yourself or others, with God’s Truths. Here are a few starters, but there are many, many more in His Word. Truth will always be stronger than the label lie.
Label Lie is: “No one likes or wants you.”
Truth is: “I am a loved child of God, co-heir with Christ, forgiven and complete.”
Label Lie is: “This struggle feels like it’ll never end.”
Truth is: “I am an heir of the blessings of God! This will turn around for the good!”
Label Lie is: “I can’t stand my lips/legs/thighs/hair/…!”
Truth is: “I am God’s workmanship, fearfully and marvelously made!”
Label Lie is: “You’re not cut out to do this.”
Truth is: “I am able to do all things through Christ who strengthens me!”
Label Lie is: “If I don’t do or get this or that, what will people think of me?!”
Truth is: “I am God’s temple, an anointed vessel, gifted & usable by God!”
Notice that the words “I am” are bolded. Keep in mind that one of God’s names is “I AM”, meaning He “is” whatever He needs “to be” and whatever we need Him “to be” for us. As children, God made us allowing us to have the free will to do what we choose, but you’ll find freedom and genuine joy in being who God created you to be. He created you for specific reasons; enabling you to complete tasks, assignments, and to live a life that only YOU are able to complete and live in your own unique way!
Christ freed us from more than eternal death. He freed us to live a life abundant in contentment and joy. He freed us from the tiresome tasks of trying to make ourselves acceptable. So, be encouraged & pray to your Creator, who knows what He’s placed in you, to seek the strengths, talents, and True Identity He’s given you!
May Blessings and Favor overtake you, in the Name of Jesus! Amen!