How My Father Sees Me – My Identity in Christ

9 minutes

We’ve often heard it said that if we don’t work on our goals, someone will hire us to work on theirs. It’s a poignant statement, one that’s jarring for those amongst us that feel called to be more. An equally poignant statement is -if we don’t define ourselves, who we are, our values, and what we stand for, others will seek to define us in ways that suit their purposes in that moment in time. Yet at the very core of our existence, the identity we assume -who we believe we are- shapes our thinking and informs our action. Knowing the weight of an identity and it’s long-reaching implications to us and others, we cannot let this task fall into the hands of the scrupulous or the undiscerning. Who best to turn to than our maker to tell us who we are? If anyone will know it well, it will be Him who created us for He knows the purpose for which He made us as we are, why He gave us the dispositions we have, the propensities, the quarks…

Because we live in a fallen world, people can be cruel. In our pain and hurt, we can go around inflicting the same pain and cruelty we ourselves have experienced on other hapless beings. Imagine being given labels such as abuser, a cheat, verbal abuser, a liar, physical abuser, a thief, violent person, a horrible human being, loser, a cheater, bitch, cunt, psycho, narcissist… Imagine being called a cheat and an abuser over and over again on a regular basis in an intensified period of time. Imagine hurtful song lyrics carefully selected to play pointedly in your presence as an insult to you in an attempt to diminish your value for yourself as a person, then those lyrics being sent to you just incase you missed the point. Imagine being called a bitch and a cunt intermittently at will over the years. Brokenness…

Imagine being fed the notion over an extended period of time, years even, that you are not good for much, that there are no redeeming qualities to be found in you, that not only are you unlovable, but that you’re also undeserving of love, unworthy of being loved, that anyone loving you is to their detriment, that anyone loving you is a favor to you because you’re completely deserving to be alone -brokenness… Words used as weapons, calculated and aimed to slice deep into the soul like a knife slicing through the dark. Cutting words… Slicing words… Breaking words lending more brokenness to an already broken existence from early days…

It’s no wonder that God in His infinite wisdom -and foreseeing the enemy’s strategy- instructs us to draw the shield of faith to extinguish the fiery flaming arrows of the enemy (Ephesians 6:16), for if we believe the lies the enemies tells about us, then we really are Dead-on-Arrival (DoA), and this life might as well be game-over for us, throw in the towel, done and dusted, stick a fork in it. The devil can really do a number on us when we are not paying attention. Left to his vices, the enemy will use people to try and alter our perception of ourselves, working overtime to have us identify with less than what God has in store for us. Why? Because the battle is fought, won and lost in the mind (1 Peter 1:13); if he can get us there in the realm of the mind, the whole battle is lost and he’s got all of us, our whole existence. Our very lives are putty in his hands if he can get us to believe his agents’ or captives’ lies about us. Hence the urgent imperative that we know who we are and find our identity in our Father.

That is why I love my Father’s word; it finds me when I’m lost (Luke 19:10), rescues me when I’m drowning (Psalm 18:16), beatifies me when I’m marred (Psalm 149:4), giving me beauty for ashes (Isaiah 61:3), cleanses me when I’m filthy (Psalm 51:2), restores me when I’m broken (Psalm 147:3), strengthens me when I’m floundering (Phil 4:13), fortifies me when I’m weak (2 Cor. 12:11), steadies me when I stumble (Psalm 119:173), quietens me when doubts assail (Psalm 46:10), singing over me with His love (Zephaniah 3:17) emboldens me when fear surrounds me (Psalm 18:29), sets me free when the enemy tries to tighten his grip on me (Psalm 59:1), affirming me through and through (2 Cor. 1:21).

Who does God say I am? I am a child of God, John 1:12 tells me. God’s spirit bears witness with my spirit that I am a child of God (Romans 8:16). I am valuable because my Father says I am. He created me in His image (Gen. 2:7). He fashioned me in the darkness, knitting me in the secret place of my mother’s womb (Ps. 139:13), and when He was done, He concluded that I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps. 139:14), declaring that I am the apple of His eye (Zechariah 2:8), that He knows the number of hairs on my head (Luke 12:7), and that He has called me by name (Isaiah 43:1) and written that name in the palm of His hand (Isaiah 49:16), the very same hand He assured me no one will ever be able to snatch me away from (John 10:29).

How we identify ourselves is paramount to how we view ourselves, and by extension, what we think and how we act. It’s important that we establish our identity in Christ and be ready to stand after all is said and done (Ephesians 6:13). Firstly, failure to do so will leave us believing thus assuming any other identity placed upon us. And like I’ve often said, people will seek to define us in ways that suit their purposes for that moment in time. Secondly, without a steadfast identity we will end up relying on how we feel, which is a very unstable way as our feelings change so very frequently in the course of a day. We’d be utter basket-cases if our actions were to match how we feel; no one would know if they were coming or going! And Third, our actions emit from who we believe we are.

Why is it important for me to know my identity? Because the enemy is never finished with us. The Bible warns that he prowls around like a lion, seeking whom he might devour (1 Peter 5:8). We also know that the devil comes to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10). Just because he kills our dream doesn’t mean he’s done. Just because he’s stolen that which we valued doesn’t mean he’s done. He’s now crouched, poised to pounce for the grand finalé of destroying and devouring the targeted person. He never stops until it’s all gone; the killing, the stealing, and then he pounces for the total annihilation through lies, slander, character assassination, financial ruin, sickness, spiritual death, and even to actual physical death. But the devil is a liar (John 8:44) and I will not die before I fulfill God’s calling over my life. For who does God say I am?

I am a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that I may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called me out of darkness and into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9). I am a new creation in Him; the old has passed away and the new has come (2 Cor. 5:17). His words tells me I am forgiven and perfected for His works (James 2:22). He says that He gave His son for me, therefore there is no condemnation (Romans 8:1) and all my shortfalls have been forgiven (1 John 1:9), I am credited as righteous for believing in Christ’s salvation. I am hidden in His holiness (Colossians 3:3) and I am now the righteousness of God, He calls me His righteousness, justified by faith (Romans 5:1) and saved by grace (Eph. 2:8). He has redeemed me and called me by name, saying I am His (Isaiah 43:1). I belong to none other than the creator of everything, the maker of the universe. He calls me His bride, His Son my groom. He says he’s my maker and my husband, the Lord almighty is His name, the Holy One of Israel is my redeemer (Isaiah 54:5).

It is possible to know everything God says we are yet still not embrace His identity for us or dwell in its truth. But it’s in listening to my father’s calling and stepping forward in childlike faith that His Holy Spirit will help us assume this identity and embody it fully as we simply ask in prayer. Yet to this I hold fast: that My Father is with me wherever I go (Joshua 1:9), He will not abandon me in my troubles, every difficulty I experience is but for a season. He promises us that where he is, there we will be also. “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2-3).

My Father knows my name and He calls me His friend (John 15:15). He tells me I am the apple of His eye (Psalm 17:8). He says I represent Him (Isaiah 43:10-12) and He has crowned me with His glory (Isaiah 62:3). I have His spirit in me (Romans 8:9). He sends me forth as an ambassador for Christ (2 Cor. 5:20), giving me a spirit, not of fear, but one of power, love and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7). He assures me that in Christ I am more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37) and that He leads me in triumphal procession spreading the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere (2 Cor. 2:14). He calls me His special treasure (Exodus 19:5) and his prized possession (Deut. 26:18). He’s a God of restoration and He promises to restore all the years the locust have stolen (Joel 2:25). My Father sees me as strong, for it is in my weakness that He is made strong, hence I am strong even when I am weak (2 Cor. 12:11).

I am a recipient of God’s grace (Romans 5:17) and He has good plans for me (Jeremiah 29:11). His steadfast love for me never ceases and He renews His mercies for me every morning (Lamentations 3:23). In His presence, He graces me with times of refreshing (Acts 3:20), He restores my soul (Psalm 23:3), He renew my mind (Romans 12:2), assuring me that Christ will complete the transformative work He has begun in me (Philippians 1:6) as He predestined me to be conformed to the image of His Son. He promises me that everything is working together for my good for I am called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). Even in His grandeur, He has chosen that I be His home; I am God’s temple, His spirit dwells in me (1 Cor. 3:16). “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Rev 21:3-4). I am His workmanship, created for good works prepared for me beforehand by God himself that I should walk in them (Eph. 2:10).

If the great God almighty lives in me, if His spirit dwells in me, if he calls me His temple -and He does, surely what can man do to me? As others seek to define me in a way that suits their purposes, I hold fast to who God says I am, and He says I am His child, created in His image, made to look like Him. I am a child of God, and my Father thinks good thoughts of me. “For I know the thoughts I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). My father has pursued me for eternity (John 3:16). Even before I was formed, His eyes saw my substance. And in His Book, He has written all the days fashioned for me even before I’ve lived them, when as yet there were none of them (Psalm 139:16-18). How precious also are His thoughts to me, how great is the sum of them! (Psalm 139:16-17). My Father accepts me just as I am, flaws and all. He says to come just as I am. He loves me just as I am. He says I am enough for Him just as I am. I am wanted by Him, loved by Him, deeply cared for by Him. I know who I am in Christ and the immense power and privilege that comes with that position. I am everything my Father says I am, unearned, unmerited. I am a recipient of God’s grace, and that is all I need to be, for it’s enough for Him. So there but for the grace of God go I…

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