Journeying through the word of God has shown me some things about who I am in Christ.
I am a SINNER.
1 John 1:8-10 “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
I am a sinner and being a Christian and chosen by God doesn’t change this, but it should make me sensitive to this. I will never be perfect and without sin so, I must wage war against my sin. Being a sinner is the precise reason I need Christ. It is the reason I need prayer. It is the reason I must cling to Christ and Christ alone. If I ignore this truth I can’t repent and acknowledge my daily lifelong need to be transformed and adorned in His grace. This may not be a favorite part of my identity or one I want to dwell on but it is indeed one of many things that Christ is showing me about myself. Embracing the fullness of the sin in my life past, present, and future allows me to further embrace all the ways Christ has made Himself manifest and evident in my life.
I am HUMAN.
Ephesians 4:20-24 “But that is not the way you learned Christ! - assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
I often wonder why Christ doesn’t just do it for me. I mean he has the power to make me super holy and without flaws instantly. This isn’t the plan. Humanity is a part of who He designed me to be. It’s not my emotions, desires, thoughts, ambitions, or life experiences that are the problem. It is the sin that has tainted the human characteristics Christ intended for His glory. Instead of trying to separate myself from the very things he placed in me I must submit them to Him. I must learn what it looks like to have feelings, dreams, and goals and handle them in accordance to scripture. I must appreciate the diverse intricacies He has woven into me and the ones He has woven into those around me. Christ himself walked the earth as human and used every ounce of His life to serve the father and I must do the same.
I am CHOSEN.
Ephesians 1:4-5 “even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will”
Most days I don’t believe I am chosen. Being chosen seems like too much. Being chosen seems like a mistake. How could God want me? How could God choose me? My own friends, family, and loved ones don’t always choose me. I see my life in Christ and focus on the negative, the loss, the rejection, the church hurt, and place human flaw above Godly perfection. God isn’t me. He isn’t the people who have hurt me in error due to the frailty of their own battles with identity. He is the God who chose me despite me with no input from me just because He loves me. Understanding His choosing is realizing that He chose based on Himself and He keeps His promises. God made a commitment to choose me and I must fix my heart and my eyes on this.
I am FORGIVEN.
Ephesians 1:7 “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace”
God’s forgiveness is mind boggling. He forgave me for all my sins. That’s bananas to me. On my best day I’m with it and I am supremely immersed in His presence because he allows me to be. There are days though in my foolishness where I have tested God. I’ve sinned against God because I was sure I could make Him stop forgiving me. I wanted to be disqualified. That felt easier. I’ve felt unforgivable by people in many avenues so trusting that God was yet again different in this as well is HARD. I mean REALLY hard. My faith has suffered in this greatly. I have withheld confession, ran from prayer, and refused to read the word because in no manner could I deserve to talk to Him after whatever the latest offense was. I am wrong though. He has forgiven me. Not for some of my sins but literally for all. The very conviction that he lavishes upon my heart is Him calling me to come to Him and bask in the forgiveness He has lavished upon me for eternity.
I am a CHILD of GOD.
2 Corinthians 6:18 “and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”
Being a child of God was so easy for me to connect to considering my upbringing. I was pretty spoiled and my parents were a rare brand of awesome. Being God’s child seemed like an extension of them. While all this is true as an adult I struggle with the concept of being His child because I want to be grown. Grown people make their own decisions, rely upon themselves, provide for themselves, and do what they want to do. That’s the picture the world paints for me. All I hear is people saying, “so and so is too grown for that, you’re too old for this, adults don’t”. The comments are endless. This isn’t the best framework for being a Child of God. In Christ I will always be able to lean upon Him as a dependent needy child. I will never get too old for guidance. I will never have to provide all I need for myself. He is there. I will always need that guidance, care, nurturing, and affirmation that children so long for from parents and HE will ALWAYS be giving this to me. HE is the father who will never abandon His children. He didn’t say HE might be a father to me. HE said HE will be and HE has been.
I am an IMAGE BEARER.
Genesis 1:26-27 “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
Growing up all I heard was “Girl you look just like Johnnie Mae”. The only thing I heard just as much was “Girl you know you act like John T”. UGH. I hated it. I hear it to this day and I still can’t stand it. I just wanted to be me. JENEAN. I didn’t want to always be seen through my mother’s face and my dad’s personality. I should have been honored that people saw my parents in me. I couldn’t because I wanted to be an individual and I still want to be an individual. I wanted my own image not to be a pale imitation of someone else’s. As frowned upon as it may be I find myself feeling the same way about God. I don’t want to look like the church, I don’t want to look like Christ. I want to be a person. I want to be recognized for who I am and not simply lumped with everyone else. The fact is though it isn’t about me. I was created in God’s image and that’s beautiful. I should want to be known by God’s presence in my life. I should want to stand out for HIM and be associated with HIM. God is loving, merciful, gracious, kind, truthful, and so much more. Bearing His image is more than a notion is it a call. Pray that this gets to my heart.
I AM A SOLDIER.
2 Timothy 2:3-5 “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted Him.”
I am on mission. I will be on mission until I leave this earth. The mission is not optional. My life is not about me. My life is about Him. He has called me to do things that will glorify Him. I’m selfish. This is EASILY the part of my identity I ignore. I’m out here living life and enjoying it and I often times act like a civilian. I act like only church and bible reading and fellowship count. I often forget it ALL counts. Every move I make is a part of the mission. I don’t get to hop in and out of the army of the Lord. Either I’m making moves that benefit the battle or I might be the reason someone gets killed in the line of duty. My lack of spiritual training and diligence could be the very reason I don’t have anything to give in battle and why my life often looks a mess. Lord teach me to my mission minded all the minutes, hours, and days of my life.
I am LOVED.
Lamentations 3:22-23 “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness”
I am loved by God beyond my wildest imagination. His love will never end. He is love. Every other aspect of my identity is rooted in His love. Love was and always will be the guiding force of God’s interaction with me. His love will never fail me. His love will never leave me. His love is enough. He is enough. His love enables me to be connected to Him and to work for Him. I am forever grateful to be loved by a Heavenly father I fail to love properly in word, deed, and thought. Thank Goodness your love for me has nothing to do with me.
Most of these truths are easy to hear but are hard to consistently live and count as TRUTH when I examine myself and especially when I hit trials. I pray that as you read, this encourages you that who you are in Him is worth getting to know.
Grace, peace, and love