If you were asked to describe your identity, what would you say? This was a topic that infused two days of Godly fellowship with some very good friends. After all, your identity is what makes you uniquely you; the characteristics that determine who you are. On a deeper, more spiritual level, your identity defines how you see yourself from your own perspective, as well as God's -- and those two viewpoints can be drastically different.
But if you are going to call yourself a Believer, shouldn't they be as similar as possible? I mean, the Bible tells us that if we are "in Christ", we are a new creation. Our old identity has passed away and a new one has come. There is another definition of identity that pertains to this Biblical truth: identity is “the quality or condition of being the same as something else.” So, in the case of our identity in Christ, our lives should indicate that we are the same as Christ, both in how we see ourselves, and in our actions and deeds.
But how many people who call themselves Christians still see themselves as those old identities? They are dragging around old impressions of who they used to be in the events of their lives, before Christ came to live in their hearts. This is really sad, since Romans 6:6 makes it very clear: We know that our old self [our human nature without the Holy Spirit] was nailed to the cross with Him, in order that our body of sin might be made powerless, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. Did you get that? That past life has no power over you now! If you have confessed your sins, asked for (and received) forgiveness, and accepted Jesus as your Redeemer and Savior, then you are welcomed as a member of God's beloved family, with a new identity and a new spirit.
Somehow the Enemy convinces us that we can never be like Christ; can never have the same relationship with our Father that Christ has. Sure, the Bible tells us that we are God's children; He has adopted us; and we are co-heirs with Jesus. The Bible even tells us that Jesus calls us a friend (John 15:15). But we're unable to accept that because we look in the mirror and choose to see who the devil tells us we are.
As a Body of Believers, we need to begin ministering to each other; seeing ourselves as members of a new family that is stronger and more powerful than the Enemy. We need to recognize that we are part of a new family image that has dual citizenship: on earth and in heaven. In the past we were committed to our earthly lives, but as a new creation, our values have changed and we have died to the things that used to run our lives -- so all those lies that Satan tells us to keep us attached to that old image of ourselves are false, non-binding, and groundless. But far too many Christians cannot shed those old memories and do not know how to rebuke the lies and bind the voice of the Enemy.
We need to encourage each other to see ourselves as Jesus sees us. Our Deliverance Ministry is the most successful when a Believer can let Jesus into the memories of his or her life, and plainly see that the lies Satan has been whispering no longer identify who he is. When you can see that the devil's goal is to rob you of your new position before God as a member of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a temple of the Holy Spirit, God's special possession, His beloved child, and a friend of Jesus... then those fraudulent labels that are associated with your old self no longer apply!
I believe we are called to become soldiers and ambassadors of our Lord's Kingdom. In order to be effective in continuing Jesus's work, it is necessary that we identify with Him and cast off any lingering semblance of our old selves. Jesus sees none of that when He looks upon us. He is bringing us to a fullness in Him, designed to bear much fruit. And He desires to give us the riches of the Kingdom as we grow into His very likeness. It is imperative that we know Whose we are, and Who we are!
In this new identity, there is no benefit to looking back, or to listening to the Father of Lies who would have us miss our purpose and squander God's love. So, trust God's voice when He says who you are, and stand guard against the Enemy's lies. Let us commit to each other that we will give support, confidence, and hope to our fellow Christians who struggle to claim their spirit-filled identities. And I pray that in these new identities we can love all mankind as Jesus loves us, and show the world what it looks like to abandon the darkness and come into the Light of Truth and Life. You are a Child of God! How does that identity suit you?
Ephesians 4:24 "and put on the new self [the regenerated and renewed nature], created in God’s image, [godlike] in the righteousness and holiness of the truth [living in a way that expresses to God your gratitude for your salvation]".