As I was praying this morning I began to be burdened with this prayer: “Father, strengthen Your children to understand their identity.” I always ask for the Lord to pray through me and to put His words in my mouth, but this morning was more intense. I started naming off many whom I know in person or online and saying, “Father remind so and so of their identity today” and I just kept going. It came to my attention that this, the knowledge of your identity in Christ is the MOST critical thing the Father wants you to know. But why? Because all things stem from what we believe (or think). And therefore, what we believe about ourselves will impact how we think and behave in all things. Get it? Your identity is central. If you and I honestly believed what the Father says about us, we would live differently (at least most of us). We would certainly live freer, freer from fears about health, the economy, or about our jobs, about the future; and we wouldn’t be so insecure about relationships, or our appearance; we wouldn’t continue to fall into the same traps, into the patterns of sin, continually repenting and “trying so hard” to be perfect. We would think and live differently (most of us). Also, if we live according to our identity we will think like Christ and we will respond like Christ, more often. We will be driven by what drove Him. When we see the lost, we will show them the Path. When we see the broken, we will show them the Physician. And when we see one another, we will say “you are loved.” Also, we will not be moved when the mountains quake or when the waters roar. We will stand firm with courage at the threat of the enemy, with truth buckled around our waist, in faith, in power, confident, alert, with shield and sword!
Now then, be reminded of who you are:
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love,” (Col. 3:12-14, emphasis mine throughout).
“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” (Eph. 4:22-24).
“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts [collectively] through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints (this happens together, not alone) what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you [collectively] may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3:14-19) Here are references regarding how this cannot happen alone: “Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one … The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me” (Jn 17:11, 22-23).
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 (Cor. 5:17).
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers (and sisters), by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom. 12:1-2).
These scriptures speak volumes about our identity. And when we KNOW we are individually loved, seen, heard, known, and chosen in Christ, we will walk in joy, hope, comfort, peace, and power. We will also “correctly” see one another, and we will strive for oneness as brothers and sisters, as a family.
Finally, when we grasp that we are children of God, in Christ, by the Holy Spirit, and therefore are “in the Father’s House” and are the very “Temple” of the Living God, the very dwelling place of Jesus Christ by the Spirit, Vessels waiting to be filled to the fullness of Christ, by the Spirit, to walk in accordance with the power of the resurrected Christ, by the Spirit, more than conquerors through Him who loved us, and now are overcomers, victors, walking in the finished work of Christ and are “presently” in the resurrection life, by the Spirit, on earth. Understanding that we are Saints, Holy, beloved, His, Salt, Light, and are being changed, or transformed, by the Spirit from one degree of glory to another as we look to Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith, seeing Him as we commune with Him in Spirit and in Word … we will live like Jesus