Monday, 24 October 2016

Your New Identity in Christ

Being a committed follower of Christ for well over four years now has been such an enriching lifetime experience! I have learned and still learning a lot about my identity. Identity- something that has been a struggle my entire life even in my new life with Christ. When I look back at my life not to feel pity for myself but to fathom the grace of God if I can; upon a wretched sinner; I realize that nothing in my past life could have been something to boast of as an element suitable to render a stable identity. My life matches with the reality of scripture from 1 Corinthians 1: 26-29, “Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things- and the things that are not- to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.

Paul continues to say, “It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God- that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption.” This verse introduces aspects of our identity in Christ. It continues to say that if we should boast, our boasting can only be in the Lord. This is seldom our reality as Christians however because we tend to boast in things other than Christ. While the world boasts on its class, its gender, its education, and its its skin color; thus promoting inhumanity such as racism, pride, and division; Christians tend to boast in the works of Christianity. Most sincere Christians find themselves falling constantly in the sin of sexual immorality and it could be the result of boasting in their sexual purity. We need to learn that although God has redeemed us from sexual sin we cannot boast in our purity because we can fall at any given time. So let him who boasts boast in the Lord.

Much confusion takes place in a Christian’s life when what gives him identity is not congruent with his hopes and aspirations. Let me give a personal example. In my new life with Christ many good things took place. I began excelling in my academics, living in chastity, eating right and giving my body the exercise it needs. I also began forming relationships with other members in the Body of Christ who gave me love and acceptance. Time and time again I find my identity resting upon the above rather than in God. If my path of chastisement is hindered by unexpected sexual sin then my foundation gets shaky. If I discover that I've put on weight, my foundation gets shaky. If I feel unloved or misunderstood by others in Church, then my foundation gets shaky. Be sure that when  Jesus is not a sure foundation of your identity you are standing on shaky ground. Listen to what these words say from Jeremiah 9:23 “This is what the Lord says: Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who exercises kindness, justice, and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight.”

Our identity cannot come from our past- there is nothing to boast of; it cannot come from our dreams- they are fleeting. It cannot come from people’s validation- we are imperfect. When you take time to read and study the word of God you will get a glimpse of what your identity is. Many people go to church on Sundays but there is a difference between those who know their identity in Christ and those who don't. Many are sincere in their love for Christ but they wonder why they are not progressing in their spiritual walk or why they find themselves unable to resist the Devil. The answer is in God's Word. The devil doesn't mind you being involved in much activity just as long as you don't open your Bible. He wants to deceive you and lead you in a life that is not full of victory; yet in Christ we are victorious. There is so much mind-blowing truth in the word of God which I have discovered and come to believe in these four years with Christ.

We should no longer accept the lies of the Devil. Many times I find myself living as a victim accepting the voices of negativity that still echo from the past. The lies that I will never amount to anything, I was born to struggle, I'm stupid, I was not meant to get married, I have a strong demon, the lies that I am Jezebel looking for men when I hop from one church to another, the lie that I'm passive. The lies that I was born to be obese, that I'm ugly, that I was picked from a train. The memories of my body being used as public property still linger on my mind, that I am of no worth, that it's okay to allow myself to be used by people because I don't want to hurt them. I still feel the humiliation, the neglect, the shame. I feel afraid sometimes yet God's Word reminds me that I should not fear because He is with me. The precious Word of God is the word of comfort and hope, the word of light and truth, and the word that refreshes the soul. It is the Word that is pure and perfect, that is trustworthy, right, and radiant. This word is firm, it is more precious than gold, more sweeter than honey from the honey-comb! Believing in this word gives a great reward! When I study my bible and  listen to my pastor preach I sense a new light of hope, I begin learning and accepting who I truly am: 

God’s child.
Christ’s friend.
United with the Lord and in one spirit with him.
Bought with a price, I belong to God,
A member of Christ’s body.
Redeemed and forgiven of all my sins.
Complete in Christ.
Free from condemnation.
Assured that all things work together for my good.
Not separated from the love of God.
Confident that the good work God has begun in me will be perfected.
God’s co-worker.
A temple of God.
A citizen of heaven.
Established, anointed, and sealed by God.
Hidden with Christ.

We can get rid of anxiety, fear, and worries when we begin to study the Bible which reveals our identity. Our identity is not found in our church attendance or the Church we go to. It is not found in our physical appearance, our accomplishments, our mistakes, or even the love we receive from others. My identity is not in my academics or my weight loss. It is not in people's acceptance or understanding of me. My identity is not in my writing or the many times people view my blog. My identity comes from my new life in Christ and I am thankful to the Lord for revealing this truth to me. 

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