God-dentity Part 1

Hey Darling!

Who are you?

It is a loaded question that stumps many. The dictionary defines identity as the fact of being who or what a person or thing is. Each of us has a self-defined identity whether you acknowledge it or not.

So what is your identity?

I asked several people this question and after a long pause, many launched into lengthy descriptions of a role, a position, demographic characteristics, status or even their achievements. The responses consisted of am an employee of a certain organization, a mother of three, a wife, part of a certain social group, I live in this certain area of town, I am part of this socioeconomic group, I am part of this ethnicity or even drive this type of car. I also heard responses based in skill, talent or achievements pertaining to intelligence, hard work, wit, extraordinary talent or even financial acumen.

Most of the responses were quite impressive but all flawed. All flawed because they are completely and utterly fickle and can fail us at a moment’s notice.

What happens if you lose your job? Or you get sick and are unable to maintain your appearance? What if you have a financial crisis and can no longer maintain the lifestyle you have built?

I am not spouting doom and gloom, this is just the course of life, we live in seasons and the only thing constant in life is change.

What happens when you have built your identity on something so shaky and it fails?

It is just like the parable, Jesus taught in Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus says, anyone who listens to the word of God is wise and builds his home on solid rock even with the violent storms and flood, the house will stand because it is built on stable and sound foundation. However, those who do not obey the word of God, build their house on sand and when the same storms and floods come, the house will collapse with a mighty crash.

Yowch!

These two homes represent two disparate ways of life. I imagine the homes could be identical, Jesus does not say but imagine the same aesthetics, same square footage, same room placement, furniture, down to the hard wood floors.

However the foundation makes all the difference, under pressure, one will endure and thrive, the other will be destroyed.

What is your foundation based on? The unstable and sinking sand of the world or the powerful bedrock of God’s unchanging word?

Spend a few moments thinking about your own identity, is it sandy or rocky?

If you are still baffled, think about this, how do you introduce yourself to others? Where do you spend your time? How do you spend your money? These are often telltale signs of where our sense of identity and self-worth lies.

I can honestly say my foundation was based in sand for a long time and in the storm, my house collapsed so I know this to be true. I based my identity on my possessions, other people’s opinions and affirmation of me, my social standing etc. It did not sustain me, people disappointed me, the stuff did not fulfill me and most hurtful of all, I failed myself. But by the grace of God, my house was rebuilt, this time on the rock with clear dependence on Jesus and placing my identity in Him and only Him, Before launching into a discussion about how to form our identity in Jesus, let’s start at the beginning with how God formed our identity.

Let’s take it back to Genesis, yes, the beginning of it all.

In the beginning, God created the foundation of our world horizontally, light and dark, sun, moon and stars, water and land. Then God began building vertically, first the trees and the plants that are formed in the water and land, then the animals that feed and depend on the trees and plants and then God created the pinnacle of His creation, man to rule over all of his creation. Genesis 1:26 says, Then God said, let us make human beings in our image to be like us.

You look like God, let that sink in.

YOU LOOK HOW GOD LOOKS.

If you really meditate on that, it will change your life. It is impossible to feel negatively about the way you look or anything about you, if you live in that fact.

The perfect and all powerful God looks like me. The flip side is you definitely cannot think negatively about the looks of any other person because he or she also looks like God. This truth will change your perspective about the appearance and characteristics of yourself and others.

You were made perfectly and intentionally, Psalm 139:13-14 says, “For you formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

At a former job, one of my co-workers is a knitting fanatic and invited our whole office to attend a knitting class right outside of Washington DC, in Alexandria, Virginia. I have always thought I was decently coordinated but knitting made me feel like I had six thumbs and one elbow. In short, I was bad, knitting is not my gift. But i did pick up on some key truths regarding the art of knitting that helped me to understand this verse better.

Trust me, knitting is truly an art.

Real talk, knitting is complex but also delicate work, much more so than sewing or crocheting. Before you can even get into the exciting part, you have to “cast on” which is the foundational process of knitting. If you make a mistake especially in the casting on process, you have to start all the way over.

Also, knitting is not quick work, it requires patience and persistence. My knitting co-worker needed several days to knit a scarf and several weeks to knit a sweater! Knitting is painstaking work without immediate gratification, it takes time to create a masterpiece worth presenting to your loved one. Hopefully, you are catching the parallels to the handiwork of God in your mother’s womb, He made you complex and He took His time, He was patient, He worked with precision yet delicately in love. When you came from your mother’s womb, you were His masterpiece, sculpted with His perfect hand.

I do not know about you but that fills me with so much confidence and joy to know the Creator of all things, heaven and earth, took His precious time to painstakingly form every part of my being.

And we are fearfully and wonderfully made, each one of us unique and different like the stamp of our thumb prints. Even identical twins, though they make look the same have different thumb prints, so amazing!

So I have to ask, where did we get so deluded?

We began to believe we need the external things of the world for validation of our identity. But God made us in His own image and not only that made us perfectly in our mother’s womb. The things of this world will convince you that you need more, need to do more, have more and just be more than what you are. However, God says, I made you enough from the beginning, no worldly additions are needed, you are enough. As you allow me to live in you and use you for your glory, you are free to be your best self, who I created you to be.

I hope this has encouraged you to know how loved and precious you are to God.

We are just scratching the surface, next week, we will dig into more discussion of how to form our identity in Jesus.

God-dentity Part 2

Hi Darling!

Imagine a beautiful baby princess who is stolen from birth and forced into slavery.

She grows up as a slave with no knowledge of her royal background and who she actually is. The king searches for years for his baby girl tirelessly but cannot find her and bring her home.

After thirty years, he finally locates and rescues his daughter. He is elated that he has found the one he loves most and is excited to be with her and restore her to the royal lineage.

Returned back to royal surroundings, she has a crown on her head, her clothes are beautiful with people now attending to her every need but, she still wakes up unconsciously preparing for a day of hard labor. Although she has all the benefits and surroundings of a queen, her mindset is still that of a slave. Often, this is the predicament of many Christian women even after we have accepted the Lord into our lives.

Although, we have been saved, our mindset is unchanged because we do not fully understand who we are and what has been given just for us.

When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, it erected a massive and untenable chasm between God and man. Even at that point of separation, God made a promise that he would reunite us to Him and He did that though Jesus.

When Jesus died on the cross, there was a Great Exchange, where He bore all of our sin, shame and wretchedness and in exchange, we received all of the beauty that is God, all the light, perfection, goodness, kindness and love.

Therefore all of our sin died with Him so we do not have to experience the shame and egret of the past or fear of the future.

However, many Christians have not truly received the full blessing of the Lord. We have not truly taken advantage of the grace that God has given us through the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

I do believe this pains our Heavenly Father.

How do you feel when you sacrifice all that you have for another and they treat your sacrifice carelessly or worse do not even acknowledge or use it?

Owch.

As women who love the Lord, we should see it as our obligation and duty to live the abundant life God gave us.

I am not speaking of prosperity, although that can certainly be a blessing from God, I am speaking of freedom from spiritual bondage and of living in the fruit of the Spirit with love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, self-control.

I remember there was a time when I felt guilty for being too happy and surely something bad would happen next.

No! Not God’s will

So because of Jesus, who are we?

HONORED

I am clean in God’s sight. I am honored and loved by Him. Isaiah 43:4

VALUABLE

The blood of Christ saved you. This blood is of great worth and no amount of money can buy it. Christ was given as a lamb without sin and without spot. 1 Peter 1:19

BEAUTIFUL

God thinks I am beautiful. He sees no flaw in me Song of Songs 4:7

BLESSED

I am blessed by God and He surrounds me with favor as with a shield. Psalm 139:13-14

PRECIOUS

How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them. Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand..Psalm 139:17-18

HOLY

For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world that we should be holy and blameless before Him. Ephesians 1:4

LOVED

No power in the sky above or in the earth below–indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:39

These are just a few characteristics of your identity through Jesus and there are countless others articulated in the Bible.

Sometimes, it can be hard to believe these things when everything indicates differently.

How do you overcome negativity with God’ss truths? With the Word of God.

I can honestly say when I first began reading the Bible, my thoughts did not change overnight. It happened gradually and it was those day by day tests of casting down negative thoughts, choosing to operate in faith, believing God’s words over my own negative thoughts.

I would prop certain Bible verses on the dash of my car and say them over and over to myself, my favorite was, “Without faith, it is impossible to please God, for those who come to Him must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6

I still have to renew my mind consistently to fully live the abundant life. Consistency has been so important for me to maintain close relationship with God and actualize who He created me to be.

Determine a routine for renewing your mind about who you are in the sight of God.

When you hear something negative cast it down by saying, “Nope! God said I am chosen, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, I belong to God that I may declare the praises of Him who called me out of darkness into His wonderful light!”

AMEN!