Who Do You Believe You Are?
Let’s take a short journey which I believe will help you connect with a deeper sense of who you are in Christ Jesus, so what you believe about you can be better aligned with what God has declared for you to walk in everyday victory.
This is the first of a 3 part series on Priceless Principles Every Smart Kingdom Citizen Ought To Know About Your Identity In Christ.
I want to start our discussion with a simple principle.
That principle says that…
“who you believe you are deep down inside, will eventually drive what you do. And whatever identity you embrace most, will essentially shape the course of your life”.Conrad L. Jones
The world today is filled with people who are frustrated and on the wrong paths because they simply have no sense of who they are; they have not connected with an identity that helps define who they are born to become, what they are created to achieve, and what they can have and receive in both this life and the life to come.
My assignment today is simply to help you better understand your identity in Christ, so you can live the abundant and blessed life that Jesus said he came to bring us in John 10:10.
Let’s get started with the question “Who do you think you are?”
The Ugly Duckling, a fairy tale written by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen, is perhaps one of my most favourite simple stories about someone being mistaken and confused about their true identity.
When the story begins, on a snug retreat sat a mother duck on her nest, watching for her young brood of eggs to hatch.
One by one, all the eggs hatch, and beautiful fluffy golden ducklings emerge. All the eggs hatch except one. The last egg is quite peculiar and is rather larger than the other, but the mother duck thinks nothing of it.
Finally, the last egg hatch, and out comes something that is a bird but does not look quite like the other beautiful ducklings.
The story goes that this little unusual bird is perceived by the other birds and animals on the farm as a homely little creature and suffers much verbal and physical abuse from them.
He wanders sadly from the barnyard and lives with wild ducks and geese until hunters slaughter the flocks. He finds a home with an old woman but her cat and hen tease him mercilessly and again he sets off on his own.
He sees a flock of migrating wild swans; he is delighted and excited but he cannot join them for he is too young and cannot fly.
A farmer finds and carries the freezing little bird home, but the foundling is frightened by the farmer’s noisy children and flees the house. He spends a miserable winter alone in the outdoors, mostly hiding in a cave on the lake that partly freezes over.
When spring arrives a flock of swans descends on the now thawing lake. The ugly duckling, now having fully grown and matured, unable to endure a life of solitude and hardship anymore and decides to throw himself at the flock of swans deciding that it is better to be killed by such beautiful birds than to live a life of ugliness and misery.
He is shocked when the swans welcome and accept him, only to realize by looking at his reflection in the water that he has grown into one of them. The flock takes to the air and the ugly duckling spreads his beautiful large wings and takes flight with the rest of his new family.
This story makes me think about something interesting that I want you to note.
Just like the ugly duckling, or confused swan rather, we too were born in an imperfect environment.
David said in Psalms 51:5
“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin, my mother conceived me.”King David
This experience of being born in an imperfect environment has left many believing that they too are worthless, no good, useless and that God will never truly accept them.
But the reality is that God has always known that He never created you as an ugly duckling, but rather, your true nature is that of a beautiful swan, all He wants you to do is accept and embrace your new identity in Christ, and your life will be totally transformed – because your perspective has changed.
Here is an important question…
WHO ARE YOU?
Seriously, take a minute and answer that question. I promise it will be the most important one you are asked today.
Now, if you are like most people, you’ve probably used your job title, your academic achievements, or some other designation that describes what you do, to create an identity for yourself right!
And that’s ok, but here is why this question is so critical?
Your identity determines your activity. Teachers teach, Preachers preach, Singers sing, Dancers dance, etc.
So a simple principle rings true: Who you believe you are, will drive what you do. And whatever identity you embrace most, will essentially shape the course of your life.
What you believe most about yourself, will shape what you do, how you live, and what you receive in your life.
So I ask you again: Who are you?
When you introduce yourself to people, what do you say about yourself? What topics do you most naturally talk about when the conversation is focused on you? What do you tell them that you’re into?
The dictionary defines “Identity” as: the condition of being oneself and not another; the condition or character as to who a person is; the exact likeness in nature or qualities.
When I read that last definition which said, “The exact likeness in nature or qualities”, I got excited because I realize that identity is never manufactured from thin air, it doesn’t just appear out of nowhere – rather – identity is passed down or inherited.
In order to have an exact likeness to something means that an original must exist so that the copy can be compared to something right?
Here’s an example.
If I say that a son bears the exact likeness of his father, or he shares the nature or qualities of his father, it implies that the son has inherited his identity from his father right?
If I say that this statue is an exact replica or likeness of another statue, which implies that the statue is created in the exact image of the original right?
So the son inherits his identity from his father, and the statue gets its exact likeness from the original.
Here is what that means for you and me.
When we go back to the origins of our faith, the Bible’s book of beginnings, we find something significant in connection with our identity.
Genesis 1:26-27 says,
“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. So God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female.”God The Father
That is powerful and profound because that implies that you and me, we derive our identity from God Himself. That means that we have inherited the very nature and qualities of God; everything that God is such as love, joy, wisdom, light, etc. exists within us as regenerated beings – born in Christ Jesus.
Now this brings up another important question that you probably have which is, Since the life of Jesus Christ is in me, I should live and act like Christ – but yet I struggle daily with my faults, issues, and shortcomings, so how can the nature and qualities of God be in me and I don’t look and act just like Christ?
This has been a challenge for many believers for quite a long time – and the problem exists because of their perspective.
You see, many focus on what they are not doing, or what they should not be doing as the benchmark for determining if they are walking after Christ, but God focuses on something quite different. God isn’t focused on what you do; He is more focused on who you are becoming.
The Apostle Paul made a simple statement which speaks to this point in 1 Corinthians 13:11 when he said “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put aside childish things.”
A child will do childish things but as he learns, grows, and matures into manhood, he replaces his childish actions with adult behaviors. As his nature changes and he becomes more disciplined as an individual, so too do his actions.
This is why God is more concerned about who you are becoming, rather than what you are currently doing, or not doing.
God knows that as you mature, just like the ugly duckling, one day you will find that the grace, beauty, and splendor of God within you, will be visible to all – you were always a swan, but now everyone will be able to see.