Our search for identity and significance is as old as Creation itself. Adam was created for a purpose: to take dominion over the earth, to tend it and rule over the animals and birds of the sky. He was given a helpmate for this monumental task. Even when God Himself defined Adam and Eve’s identity, the rebellion against that was strong and Eve sought to find and define herself apart from God. So she took counsel from the great enemy of God with tragic and eternal consequences.
Millennia later, we are still seeking to understand our identity, who we are, who God has created us to be. Most of us don’t have the advantage that Adam had of being told directly by God. Most of us bungle along trying to search our heart’s desires, our talents, our skills. Sometimes we look to God and ask for His direction and guidance.
[Tweet “Any search for our identity must start at the source of who we are: Jesus!”]
Let’s take a short look at what God says about who we are (those who belong to Him):
- You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
- You are created in the very image of God!
- You have been given the mind of Christ!
- Nothing can separate you from the Love of Christ!
- You are given gifts and talents for the building up of the body of Christ.
- Your name is written in the Book of Life.
- Your life is hidden in Christ!
- He has given you a new name that no one knows except for Him.
- You are a redeemed new creation, bought by the blood of the Lord.
- You will judge angels!
Do we see ourselves as God sees us?
Generally not. We see our big nose or our dull hair. Our huge thighs loom large in our eyes, or we can’t get past that scar on our cheek. We see the lack of talents in our lives, a voice that will never be good enough to be a singer or a passion for art that doesn’t produce excellent work.
We see who we are NOT, but we seldom look to see who we really are.
We have each been given talents and gifts and passions. As we grow up, we may be plagued by nay-sayers, people who tell us what we can’t do. These people listen to our dreams and throw cold water on them! Granted, their intentions may be good; perhaps they want to save us from deep disappointment, but they seldom point us back to God for our identity.
I’ve come to realize that our dreams and passions, whether realistic or not, are often centered in truth somewhere along the way. We just need to go to the One who knit us uniquely in our mother’s womb, the One who calls us by name, the One who designed us with the tender love of a Father! And we shouldn’t be afraid to explore our passions.
When I was a young believer still in college, the church I was in undertook a project (what I realized later was incredibly unique and dramatic). Our pastor told us that he and the elders and deacons were going to be watching us for six months to help us find our spiritual gifts. Well, I barely knew what a spiritual gift was at the time, but I was excited to know God had given me a gift! We were told to jump into any and every ministry and to serve with gusto! The church leaders would observe and see where the anointing of the Spirit poured out in our ministries. It was really quite fun and exciting, actually. I did all sorts of things:
- nursery work
- children’s ministry
- widow visitation
- bus ministry
- funeral dinners
- teaching small group lessons
After four weeks, five of the church leaders told me that no matter what ministry I was involved in, God’s wisdom was revealed through things I said. They each said my gift was word of wisdom. For the next almost 37 years, that spiritual gift has helped to define who God was calling me to be.
[Tweet “To find ourselves, we must lose ourselves in Jesus.”]
The world has us focus more and more on ourselves to find our identity. But the scriptures show us a different path.
He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.
Are you pouring your life out for the Lord? Are you reaching out to the lost? Are you pouring your life into helping others grow in Christ? Are you making the Kingdom of God the heartbeat of your life?
The more we seek to honor, glorify and surrender to the Lord, the more in tune we are to the Spirit’s voice to let Him define us. It sounds like it doesn’t help at all, but in fact, it is the only counsel that really helps. Lose yourself in Jesus and let His passion and vision pour out into your heart. Let Him define you. After all, He knows you better than you’ll ever know yourself!
Where have you been searching for your identity?
Could now be the perfect time to learn about your identity from a Biblical perspective using Journey to Freedom?