“Find your identity in God.”
“Your identity should come from who you are in Christ.”
We always hear statements like this. But how exactly do we do this? What is identity anyway? The next several posts will address this very issue, so I hope you will keep reading.
Our identity is always going to come from someone or something. It is just the way we are wired as humans.
Those ‘identity shaping things’ can be complex in nature and challenging to unravel. You have your obvious things like the geographic location you’re from; ethnicity or race; male or female; religious or denominational affiliation; political affiliation.
But then we add in some of the more complex problems.
For instance, what if there was abuse in our family, religious manipulation, addiction, poverty, co-dependency, or mental illness. These are worldly/broken ‘systems,’ designed by the enemy (the result of the fall) to steal, kill, and destroy your identity.
Here is an example. I’m dyslexic. I like to say I was a left-handed dyslexic kid who grew up in Alaska in the 70’s. I had a few teachers say I was stupid and that I would never amount to anything. The result of this and other things filled me with a lot of shame.
Shame says: “it’s not my behavior that’s bad, it’s that I’m bad. No one could love me…I’m un-loveable.“
That is the lie of shame. Then mix in a history of addiction in the family and codependency and you don’t exactly have ideal circumstances to develop a healthy self- identity. So, I developed a lot of false beliefs about myself. I was stupid. My feelings didn’t matter. As a result, I stuffed my emotions. When we stuff our emotions, we stuff who we are. I stuffed who I was because I thought if people saw the real me, they would think I was stupid.
These are some ways we develop what’s called the false self. This happens to many of us early in life. The false self is the ‘outer’ person we become. It’s the one we think others (as in the world) will like better, and our real self gets lost. We may have ‘stuffed’ that person so long ago that as we get older we start to realize we don’t know who we are.
I was living from a false identity based on the broken systems of the world.
Remember who the ruler of the world is. Yes, humanity fell into sin when it was deceived. However, the deceiver (Satan) comes to “steal, kill, and destroy” your identity:
Here is a couple great commentaries on what this means from BibleTools:
Is Satan “the prince of the power of the air”? What does this mean? Ephesians 2:1-3.
Comment: By deceiving the minds of men, Satan has set “the course of this world” against God and His loving, giving way of life. As the prince of the power of the air, he broadcasts his evil, rebellious attitudes to all humanity, and except for a few whom God has called out of his deceptions, the whole world lives under his sway (I John 5:19; Revelation 12:9).
Comment: When Jesus Christ lived a perfect life and died for the sins of men, He qualified to dethrone Satan. The Adversary, who had the power of death, has been defeated! However, he remains active among us until the King of kings returns and sets up His government on earth.
This is why we cannot let our identity come from the world and it’s broken systems.
One of the ways (and I will share more in upcoming posts) we can begin to develop our identity in Christ is through the Holy Spirit. When Jesus tells His disciples (before He is to be crucified) that the “ruler of the world is coming,” He also promises the Holy Spirit:
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever – the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him or knows him. But you know him, for he lives in you and will be in you” (John 14: 16-17).
It is only by listening to the Spirit of truth that God can reveal our true identity in Him. Don’t let Satan steal your identity any more.
This means His voice needs to be louder than the voices of the world around us. And the world is loud so this requires us to pray, study Gods Word, and make time every day to listen for the ‘still small voice’ of the Lord…the voice of truth, NOT the lies of the world.
We will dive deeper into ways we can do this in the 5 week course I’m launching October 19th. This is an exciting identity exploration. We will explore identity and what it is. We will examine things that shape our identity that we may or may not be aware of; uncover complex identity shapers like family dynamics or childhood trauma; and explore the systems of the world that are keeping us stuck, and learn how we can get un-stuck. If you would like to join me on this exploration click this link to register.
It’s going to be an awesome journey.
Thanks for reading!