Define Your Identity
If you are asked who are you? How would you answer this question? Where does your identity come from?
"And God said, Let us make man in our image, and after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them" (Genesis 1:26-27 KJV).
- The collective aspect of the set of characteristics by which a thing is definitively recognizable or known. (Our collective biblically inspired value system is how we are recognized or known).
The set of behavioral or personal characteristics by which an individual is recognizable as a member of a group. (Our behavior and conduct is inspired by the Word of God, through the power of the Holy Spirit).
The quality or condition of being the same as something else (In Christ we live, move and have our being).
Who someone is : the name of a person (an identifier); the qualities, beliefs, etc., that make a particular person or group different from others. Christianity distinguishes us from the world and other groups and is indicative of being different from others.
a : sameness of essential or generic character in different instances
b : sameness in all that constitutes the objective reality of a something
c : the distinguishing character or personality of an individual : individuality
d : the relation established by psychological identification
e : the condition of being the same with something described or asserted
f : an equation that is satisfied for all values of the symbols
Man and woman was and always will be God the Creator's idea and creative rights belong solely to Him. We receive our identity from God. And God said in verse 26, which is a sovereign pronouncement of God by which He has established a relationship of responsibility for and with man. Of course, this image was marred through disobedience and sin, but the words of God didn't change, man did.
The love of God for man has been restored though Jesus Christ and He has re-created us and we are born again of the spirit and we are conforming into the image and likeness of God. Our character and nature is being re-directed towards God by the precepts and principles of His words. We must be mindful to agree with His pronouncements and not be influenced by what is said otherwise. We were created in the image and likeness of God, the Imago Dei and because of His grace we are re-created through our born again lives and are conforming into the image of Jesus Christ. We receive our new born again identities through Jesus Christ.
The world system has progressively grasped that identity is very necessary and unique. It mandates that uniqueness through the fingerprinting process which reveals that there aren't two set of fingerprints which are exactly alike.
There is other information given to identify us as well such as, a social security number which is another way society has gleaned the importance of only one person having that unique number which they have been assigned. No two people are allowed to have the same social security number. The world system acknowledges the uniqueness of human nature.
The value of identity is essential in the Kingdom of God as well. God valued identity and He has not fashioned two people the same. Our true identity which He initially purposed through Adam was forfeited through the fall, therefore identity fell too. Identity is your own unique expression of your self, who you are, our identities are hidden in Christ and only in Christ can we define who we really are.
The identity of other believers impact our lives tremendously, there is nothing more beautiful than beholding Christ in each other. Just as the fingerprints and the social security numbers that distinguish us from each other, we have personalities that differ. You would not want or try to get someone else's fingerprint or social security number would you? Why would you want any one else's unique identity over your own in Christ Jesus. We should always desire to identify with the character of Christ and find ourselves and identities in and through Him; and we should not try to deviate from this solid foundation. There is not a person who was, is or ever shall be that I will ever want to be like more than Jesus Christ, because my identity is hidden in Him and every effort I make should be towards making preparations in how to utilize my identity in Him by seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.
Today I pray for those who need to get a new picture of themselves. I pray that you will see yourself the way God sees you and that your self-image is a reflection of all that God has done in you! This was posted on my Facebook page by Victoria Osteen. Self esteem is who we are now, but our self-concept is who we perceive, understand and know that we should be and could be like, it is always awaiting and embracing change. Looking towards conforming into the image God designed for us individually, as well as collectively.
We belong to God and He belongs to us
Who we are only resonates in and through Jesus Christ. If someone were to ask me, who I am naturally speaking. I would probably be prone to provide my name, and additional information to clarify and qualify who I am. It would be clear by looking at me that I am a woman by physical attributes, but the spiritual response really doesn't have much to do with me or even what my name is nor what gender I am.
Only social interactions can provide information naturally and spiritually as to my identity, It would not be needful to provide who I am for the spiritual, because my stance is, who Christ is through and in me, that's who I am and who I am now identified with. Defining our identity consists of defining moments through the Word of God. The Scriptures are the key to identity. We all look in the mirror everyday to qualify what we look like, it is just as important to look in the Word of God to behold ourselves. Do we look like Jesus? Is our character lining up with what the Word of God is inculcating? Can we see the light of who God is and is what we behold good?
Who we are is a new creation in Christ Jesus. According to 1 Corinthians 5:17, if any man or woman be in Christ Jesus, he or she is a new creature and old things have passed away, and behold all things are new. New life, new spiritual identity, new value system, new mind, new paths, new way of walking and talking. We can always expect newness to spring forth at any time of everyday. We are born again and we have been given a new identity. The cross is where our identity crisis has been resolved. No cross no crown of identity.
Who we are and why we are
We are the decision and design of Creator God. It is He who thought us into existence. Do you realize that His thoughts are holy and that we were originally conceived with and in holiness, because of the fall we now have to learn and be taught how to live in the holiness we were created in, but we originated in the heart of the Holy Creator God.
Our purpose is to please God. We are the decision of the Almighty God, we exist because He decided that we should and are His design and that is who we are, His workmanship in Christ Jesus unto good works which He has before ordained that we should walk in them. We are God's idea.
Our identity is our self-concept. It is who we think we should and could be. Self concept reasons I should be more Christ like and God, because I can and have the ability to be. There are several aspects of our soul engaged is determining that we should be and can be more like Christ.
Our conscience is the judicial aspect of our souls, it will tell us when we are right or wrong. What we choose as a result will either excuse or accuse us. When we act out of character and fall behind in meeting the Christ like mandate, our conscience judges us. I can see why Jesus gave the directive about judging our selves, because our soul would have to be involved in this process daily and it is the work of the soul to do this for our completion so that our identity in and with Christ is a success. Self judgment is a full time job.
Jesus said, why behold the mote that is in someone else's eye and we have a beam in our own. Which suggests that we should be dealing with the beam first, so that we can see clearly. It takes self judgment and it takes light to sensitize us to realize when we need more light to see the beam. If as we work towards the beam in our own eyes, we can help someone with a mote, while we deal with it, that is good. However, we must resist the urge to help them with their mote and ignore the beam breaking up into little pieces for us to get rid of. We also need our reasoning and rationale, and we need our will (to make a determination), we need our intellect (we must use our minds to think it through), all these aspects of our soul do we need alongside our conscience to link up with the truth about identifying with Christ as a living reality.
Let this mind be also in you which was in Christ Jesus. This means we are qualifying our identity, do we have the mind of Christ regarding this or that situation? We can answer this by having respect for and realizing our need for the help of the Holy Spirit who is cleaning us up for a holy purpose.
I was thinking about the times when a piece of dust or an eyelash went into my eye. It is the most uncomfortable thing to experience and you generally will have to move towards the mirror and towards more light to remove the particle of dust out of your eye. It has to be done expeditiously to rid the eye of this deterrent or it will obstruct your view and vision.
Spiritually speaking we can have beams in our eyes and we are admonished to clear that up before we judge others and tell them about their motes. To remove beams will entail the mirror (The Word of God) and more light (Jesus is the light). He goes on to tell us that if we would address our beams, we will indeed see clearly and then we can assist others effectively, and we will avoid hypocrisy.
We all believe we can be like Christ or we wouldn't identify ourselves as Christians and we should be making every effort to be like Him and that is not dependent upon our self-esteem, or who we may think or believe we are right now or at this very moment or we will not embrace change as we ought. We are in a present tense change mode, we change and should know when we are changing and our minds are definitely experiencing renewal. Self esteem is our own estimation of our self. Self is defined as your consciousness of your own identity. Self esteem and self concept are not excuses for selfishness. We need to know ourselves better than everyone else except for God and to our own selves be true; and tell the truth about ourselves to ourselves. We need to know and realize when we are not measuring up to the Word and be willing to make the necessary changes to navigate us towards our true identities.
We have a collective new identity within the Body of Christ, we are members in particular. Each member possessing the spiritual DNA of God. We need the principles of the Word of God which shape, form and fashion us towards building a healthy self esteem that is God centered, and not self centered. Nevertheless, we need a healthy and healed self concept. We can only measure ourselves by the standards the Word of God counsels, because this an attribute of our new identity. We compare our selves to what the Word is saying, and we should because we are identifying with God's revealed truth about Himself and who we are in relation to Him. We are establishing relational order that directs a healthy identity.
We are now God's children and He is our Father. We didn't have this identity before Christ, we have or had a biological father, but our Heavenly Father far surpasses that inheritance. Jesus has shared His Father with us, now our new identity is that we are children of the Most High God, the God of the Universe is our Holy Father. I can now say, I am a daughter of God, what an inheritance and privilege!
- Reflection Of Glory (Poem)
The Word of God is how we see our true reflection of glory. Looking intently into the precepts and principles which shape our faith, so that we are moving from glory to glory.
Who we are presently is always subject to be changed moment by moment, hour by hour and day by day into the image and likeness of Christ. Our identity is the compass we need to be conformed into the Imago Dei. The image and likeness of God in Christ Jesus.
Our true identity is hidden in God through Christ. We need the Word and Spirit of God to give us the unction to function is the newness. Identity can be new every day as our examination of ourselves and discovery of who we are and whose we are continues to unfold. At any moment we can experience being changed into a deeper depth and higher height. This change denotes who we could and should be. Self-esteem only measures who we think we are up to this moment. Self-concept involves more of what we believe, and see that we can and shall be. We believe when Christ returns we shall be like Him, this idea relays longevity and who we will ultimately be eternally. This identity is solely dependent upon Jesus Christ. In Him we live, move and have our being, our identity is in Christ.
Being a woman, this truth is driven home by the character I need to possess and need to possess me. What type of fruit am I bearing? Men and women are very different, apples and peaches are fruits but they are different kinds of fruit. A man is a man, diverse and different than a woman. Christ came to earth in the form of a man, and not a woman. What feeds the woman to be conformed into the image and likeness of God? It is character that transcends gender and promotes identity. Women need a value system that is contingent upon the Word of God just as man does. Women need a moral and ethical compass to guide them just as a man does. We need the mantle of God's sinlessness, holiness and righteousness upon and over us just as man does. We need the same counsels, admonitions and exhortations that man does. It is amazing to be a woman and find identity that depicts and describes womanhood as well.
As we come to understand that God made man in His image and after His likeness. The identity we received biologically and exhibited in the world is that of a sinner. Sinners are men, and women. But Jesus resolved the sinner identity for us. Nothing we could ever do apart from choosing Him as our personal Savior and Lord could have given us an identity other than a sinner. There may be residue of sin we must subdue, but we are now sinners saved by grace which we didn't deserve and could not merit it. God in His mercy gave us this precious gift and encourages us through His Word, that His grace is sufficient and His strength is made perfect in our weakness. Grace is a gift not a reward. We must treat it like a gift and not a reward we may deserve.
Behold, it is time to study and examine this new you because it is your new identity, and either you are going to live by the old identity or you are going to live by your new identity. In the new identity we loose all the hindrances, slave mentalities, prison walls and doors which kept us locked in the sinner mode. When we come to Christ and get our new identity, we begin to identity with Christ. We begin to speak differently based on the principles in the Word of God and how it counsels us. We start to speak the language of the Kingdom. We commence to tell ourselves that we are overcomers in this life through our faith, why? Because Jesus instructed us that He has overcome the world and He is our example of the overcomer we are identifying with. He didn't tell us that we would not have trials or tribulations, in fact, He said, in the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, why? because He has overcome the world and we are following Him into victory. (John 16:33).
Through our faith which is the victory that overcomes the world we march on following our Savior. We are more than conquerors through this new identification through Christ Jesus. This new identification takes precedence over my biological, ethnic, cultural, social, geographic and any other identity we had, goo, bad, ugly, oppressive or not. This new identity raises us to a place where we are now identified with God Himself and we are focusing on the image of God as His sons and daughters, We begin to live out of our spirit heritage which is far greater than our natural heritage. It is wonderful to know your natural heritage but we can't allow it to dictate to us who we are and what we can do. The Bible teaches us what our new identity can do, we can do all things through Christ which strengthens us. So we are liberated and freed from the old self and we are given a new sense of self and a new self image and way of seeing ourselves in Christ Jesus. We can sabotage ourselves and warp our self image by allowing pride and arrogance to surface and exist. This is when we don't think soberly, seriously and healthily and exhibit an exaggerated sense of self worth which elevates you and makes you think that you are superior to everyone else. This is where the notion of racism comes in, because those who are guilty of it are experiencing an exaggerated sense of self.
We receive a new sense of meaning and purpose. Even as a Christian it is easy to loose sight of this. You have got to come back and be reminded of who you are in Christ. Luke 15, tells us a story about the prodigal son. While he was at home with his father he had an inheritance which came from being identified with his father. He was his father's son. The prodigal son had an identity with his father that he left. When the prodigal son came to himself. What self are we talking about here? It can't be the self that decided to leave his father's house and end up in the pigsty. There had to be another self that was so powerful and strong and so stamped on him that even in this downward degenerative condition he still could recall that identity. When we forget, we have the ability to reflect and examine ourselves, our words, our actions, our thoughts, intents, motives and desires and judge them because this is how our new identities operate, it is called reproof. If we judge ourselves we should not be judged, and if we are judged God is correcting us to improve us and promote a more prosperous identity as we are transformed by renewing our minds and continuously conforming into the image of Christ.
Identity is dependent upon assessment. We must assess our environments and surroundings, assess the qualities which emanate and influence our behaviors and conduct which can delay our true identity from manifesting.
God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself. It doesn't just mean to the self of God, it means to the original self and identity that He purposed and intended for man when He created Adam. Not only was God in Christ reconciling the world to Himself personally but He was also reconciling fallen humanity back to the original intent that He initially meant to be experienced by Adam. Adam fell and God brings a new model Jesus Christ who becomes the second and the last Adam.
Reconciliation does more than just bring me back into a relationship with God, it begins a journey to bring us back to our true self. What we feel about ourselves is not as important as the emergence of who we could and should be. That's the self concept and identity we want to rule and reign which links us to the Imago Dei, which means the image and likeness of God. This is our identity.
The self that is not fearful because perfect love casts out all fear. The self that doesn't have feelings of inferiority but has confidence in God. The self that doesn't run from God or challenges but runs toward Him for all the answers. The self that feels comfortable with God because the comforter has come. The self that He intended to rule the earth under his dominion mandate. What did God do? In Christ He introduced a new self and anyone that is in Christ becomes a partaker of this divine nature out of which is born the new self/identity.
God had to constantly remind Israel of who they were or they would just go into captivity and bondage, and start living like they didn't know Him. We are no different than Israel in that way, we constantly must remind our selves who we are or we too can start living like we don't know Him. We have received every precious gift from salvation, mercy, grace, love and the promise of eternal life. To live like we don't know Him is reflected by not showing the fruits of all we have received. King David found the answer for himself, he told his soul, Bless the Lord, O my soul and do not forget all of His benefits.
"Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus saying, we adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leapt on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded" (Acts 19:13-16).
This story concerning the seven sons of Sceva borders on identity theft. This incident is so deep in the spirit because they were watching and listening to the apostles exercising spiritual power and authority. They called themselves going to cast out demons. They said, we adjure you by Jesus who Paul preaches, come out. We as believers who are already identified with Jesus Christ and we command demons in the name of Jesus because we have our identities centered in Christ and have been given authority over all the works of darkness and we believe that His name is above every name and at that name all must bow, sin must bow, every demon and cohorts of the devil must bow.
The sons of Sceva believed indirectly and through no Christ identity of their own. The sons of Sceva were trying to function in an identification that they didn't really have. These demons talked back and said, we know Jesus and Paul, but who are you? In others words Identity yourself, who exactly are you? The demons were saying, If Jesus or Paul was charging us we know them and their relationship to God, so if they were speaking we would have to respond differently, but you're trying to identify with someone who is not identified with you. Who are you to talk to us and command us to do anything as though you had a certain identity.
Now if the realm of the spirit in rebellion against God knows who you are or are not, you sure had better know who you are and start walking worthy of your calling. Our true Identity is critical! It is what grants us the strength and courage to take on challenges, circumstances, situations, and oppositions. We all are responsible for resolving our own identity crisis. People who have not and are not making the necessary attempts to resolve their identity crisis tend to be insecure and they will act immature. Insecurity leads to immaturity. Securing your identity with Christ will lead you to maturity.
The sons of Sceva story is similar to the man that came to ask Jesus a question and in doing so addressed Him as good master, Jesus then replied, why do you call me good, there is none good but God. He didn't personally believe that Jesus was God, so how could he believe in His goodness. He was not identifying with the God Jesus, how would he know the good?
Who are you?
Your image, identity and self-concept is crucial to your holistic self. We are spirit, soul and body, we are biological, psychological, social, emotional, and spiritual beings. We have qualified our biological identity to a large degree; we have a name and other intricacies that go along with that aspect, we can't change our biological makeup, but we can change the other aspects of our beings to identify with Christ. Our soul or psyche is changing by the renewal of our minds through the Word and Spirit of God and we are being conformed into the image of God through Christ Jesus. Any image and high thing that exalts itself against this imagination must be cast down and brought into submission to the obedience of Christ. Our identity is centered around Christ, the old identity which sin controlled is gone.
We must believe that we are directly identified with Christ. Galatians 2:20, the Apostle Paul makes his declaration and said, I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ who lives in me, and the life that I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me. The Apostle took this identification with Christ personally. He not only identified with the sufferings and crucifixion, his identity was lodged in Christ as he lived his life of faith, keeping close to heart that Jesus loved him and gave His life for him to experientially live his new identity. Identify yourself!