Who am I?
Why am I here?
What is the point?
It is also one of the biggest areas in which the devil likes to attack us, as Christians.
I have felt it, I have seen my husband struggle with it, and I have heard from one too many dear brother or sister the cries of their heart echoing the cry of my own...
God wants to settle this issue once and for all. We can no longer give the devil any voice in our hearts. We have to stand on the truth God has spoken. It's right here for us to find.
It's in His Word. It's the whisper of truth in our hearts. It's the hope we feel when we enter into true worship.
Our identity is found only in him. It is this crazy paradox: you can't find yourself until you lose yourself in Him.
Maybe we have screwed up many times. Maybe we feel like a failure. Do we live by what we see? Do we live by what we feel? Or do we live by our faith in the Word of God?
I use the NIV here because I love the wording so much. He has lavished his love on us!
The dictionary definition for lavish is
1) bestow something in generous or extravagant quantities upon
2) cover something thickly or liberally with.
That must be why I love it in this context. It is something extravagant, and is liberally showered on us! But I also love that next sentence "And that is what we are!" It's declaratory, and honestly seems thrilled! And why wouldn't the writer be? It is a thrilling thing, we have been given such a great gift. The gift of identity, and truly valuable identity at that.
In some ways the children of God are like Anastasia in that cartoon from the 90s. Walking around in raggedy clothes, stealing food because you have no idea who you really are. She was a princess! She had rights to so much. All she needed to do was take it. But she didn't know. So, for most of her life she wandered around like a street rat, and was mistreated in an orphanage. We are royalty to God -his blessed children, not that we should walk around in a cocky, self-righteous way, but that we should walk in the confidence of who we are because of who He is and what He did for us.
This lesson must be really important, a version of it shows up in three of the four gospels.
Matthew 20:25-28, Mark 10:42-45, Luke 22:25-27
But the best way, aside from pride, that the enemy can eliminate us as a threat to his kingdom is to beat us down.
Have you ever felt like you were worthless? That you had no value or real purpose? That you were a failure? Or a burden to your loved ones?
These are all lies the enemy will use to keep us down. We have to fight back!
One of the best ways I have discovered is to counter every lie from the devil with a truth from God.
I heard a preacher once say, "Every time the devil speaks to me I know it is a lie, so I declare the opposite truth. If he says, "You are worthless!" Then I say, "Thank you, God, that I'm so worth it!""
Note that he's not even giving the devil his attention, like he isn't even worth a glance, but keeps his eyes on the Lord, declaring the truth over himself. This is a great practice! Because another thing the devil tries to do to us is to get our eyes off Jesus and onto anything else. Our circumstances, ourselves, even him! If you turn away from Jesus to rebuke the devil, you just made yourself vulnerable. Keep your eyes fixed on the King of Kings, and let His Spirit fight for you!
Here are some truths from the Word of God.
You are a child of God. - 1 John 3:1, Romans 8:14-17
He will not abandon you. - John 14:18, Hebrews 13:5
He is with you (You are not alone) - Matthew 28:20
You are loved by Him. - Jeremiah 31:3
You were bought with a price. - 1 Corinthians 6:20
You are valuable to Him! - John 3:16
You are an overcomer! - 1 John 5:4
You are fearfully and wonderfully made. - Psalm 139:14
You are a new creation. - 2 Corinthians 5:17
God does not remember your sin. - Psalm 103:12, Micah 7:19
But I would encourage you, anytime you are feeling attacked, first of all, do not ignore it! Do not excuse it! 'Oh, I've just been under a lot of stress lately.' or 'It's because so and so said such and such to me.' Do not blame people, the devil can use people in our lives to attack us. Remember our fight is not against flesh and blood! Don't make excuses, get ready to fight! Acknowledge that you are under attack and ask God to help you. I like to sit down with my journal and my Bible. I will write in one column all the things the devil is saying to me. We know if he is saying it, it is a lie because Jesus said he is a liar and the father of lies.
So, I write what I am feeling down, and write next to it (in another column) the opposite truth, God's truth. You can even cross out the lie if you want. Many times the Holy Spirit will give me verses to back up those truths! You can use the ones I have given you here, but I encourage you to sit at His feet, because He will speak truth over you personally and that is much more powerful than taking my word for it. Let the Holy Spirit counter those lies with truths. It will shift your perspective. An example from my own journal is:
I am not a a failure - You have given me victory!
I am not hopeless - Jesus is my eternal hope!
The question I have come to face is who am I going to agree with? The devil? Myself? What people say about me? Or what the God of the universe who created me and bought me with a terrible price says about me?
A friend once spoke to me about labels. In the sales industry there are rules about labeling, the only person who has the right to put a label on something is the creator, or the owner (the one who purchased the item). So, even I do not have a right to label myself! Only God, my creator, and my purchaser, has the right to label me. And he calls me lovely, glorious, wonderful, child... Consider this in your own life.
In closing, here is a song that is so powerful, it really speaks to me anytime I am struggling with my identity. I hope it speaks to you, and I hope this entry helps you fight back and accept who you are, a wonderful and valued child of God.
*All verses quoted are in the English Standard Version unless otherwise noted.