Identity issues determine so much about how we live and what we do with our time. You can't enjoy life if you have a poor image of yourself. Yet, even the gospel isn't here to tell you how great you are---for it was Jesus who said, "Without me, you can do nothing." Therefore, you can only rightly define yourself in Christ and not in prideful self-esteem. |
Discovering who we really are means our sense of self-worth will be purely based upon the solid rock of Jesus' love for us. That's it! Nothing is better than the astounding fact that you are His beloved.
Identity and the Lost Image
What could be more valuable to us than discovering who we really are? Not truly knowing who God is, made us not know who we are either. We all suffer from this debilitating identity loss, which is made worse by our failure to realize it and face up to it.
Our identity crisis resulted from the fall from grace. When Adam fell he died spiritually and lost the capacity to rightly behold God. Both God's and man's image fell from his sight and left Adam unable to see who God was or who he truly was himself.
Jesus came to restore our lost vision of God and our true identity. We have a new identity as New Creations now that faith in Christ has come to us. This is the new birth's miracle that raises us from sin and separation from God into eternal life united with Him.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a New Creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17
What Does It Mean to Be a New Creation?
Despite being a New Creation, we may still experience our old nature in how we feel, think and live. But in truth, new things have been added that radically change all things. Upon becoming New Creations, some things already passed away such as:
1.Our former self who didn't know Jesus ceases to exist. Christ's revelation transforms us into someone who can now choose to live for Him. Before conversion our only option was living for ourselves. How well did that work out?
2. We stop being one with our sins. Receiving Jesus separates us from our sins through forgiveness and justification. Continuing in sin becomes difficult because of the guilt we feel and our loss of Christ's presence. Eventually, this leads us to hate sin.
3. We stop being outsiders and belong to the family of God. Since we are now part of His Body here on earth, we are no longer strangers to the covenant. And we are never alone for He is always with us.
It Keeps Getting Better
Those three things get taken away, but new things---wonderful things---get added in:
* We no longer measure anything without reference to Christ, now that we know who He is as Creator of all and Lord over all.
* We are given a new heart, a new spirit, the Holy Spirit (!), Jesus's name (for power and petition) and God's righteousness (to cover us).
* We live in a new covenant of great mercy!
* We stop being our past, our sin, our negative emotions and become children of God with a wide-open future and a new nature to cultivate.
As New Creations, however, we are still a mystery even to ourselves. Our true identity is only revealed by Jesus when we trust Him enough to follow Him. We, therefore, should die to self (the false god) and learn to live through trusting Christ.
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3
BONUS: Go now to receive a totally free download, "The Missing Peace"---our eBook on gaining inner peace and freedom at our website for emotional, spiritual and physical healing: healingstreamsusa.org.
We Are New, But the Old Is in Us
Here's how this works. Our true self is reborn through conversion. We now have a fresh start (as often as we need it) with a new center in Christ from which to live. Even so, the New Creation is a redeeming of the old, not an elimination of it.
Since the New Creation comes to life when we fully trust in Jesus, continued trust in God and walking in the light lays our old self to rest. However, if we cease to rely on God, our old nature comes back to life. Therefore, ask yourself: will you live by a resuscitation of the old "dead" version of you, or by a resurrection of the new?
I have been crucified with Christ... it is no longer I who live, but Christ... lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Galatians 2:20
Breaking with False Ideas of Self
False ideas from the world shaped our old nature. Some of us carry false characteristics in our personality that we mistakenly think of as ourselves. Those characteristics might be in us, but they are not us. For example:
anxiousness, perfectionism, addictions, self-salvation, anger, excessive sensitivity, timidity, deep grief, persistent loneliness, panic, impatience, stubbornness and excessive being-in-control
These elements may describe our previous personality as we knew it, but they aren't our true God-given personas. They spring from false ideas that block the power of the New Creation from emerging. They certainly don't reflect what God originally made us to be before the enemy interfered.
Note this about our these false "personalities":
1.We didn't have any of these negative traits in the womb. As children we didn't have any "baggage." We loved and trusted freely.
2. When we die and go to heaven these traits will be stripped from us. They weren't God's original intention for us. They certainly aren't who we now are deep down.
Refuse any false belief about yourself---don't be deceived by the enemy. Instead, embrace the new identity that God is speaking to you about. Get your image right by seeing His. Anything in you that is not like Jesus is not you---not the "real" you that is now united to Him.
The Great Exchange
Without Christ we are weak, sinful, foolish and ignorant, but in Him we are secure, complete and sustained. Archbishop Fran ois F nelon wrote, "Expect nothing of yourself, but all things of God. Knowledge of one's own hopeless, incorrigible weakness combined with absolute confidence in God's power are the two foundations of the spiritual life."
God isn't asking for perfection, or for us to change ourselves, but to learn to see life from His perspective. Heaven's perspective on our life is liberating. Look through to heaven with eyes of faith and seek to see who you are in your eternal being for that's the real you, the eternal you. Let the power of that vision be released into your heart now.
The Way of Restoration
We become joyful when we realize who we really are in Christ through faith. However, always remember that the greater joy is who Jesus is to us.
To get restoration, learn to detect false images in you, take responsibility by repenting and renouncing them, and thank God for making you a New Creation. Then, as you trust Him, the new you will come to life, like a child awakening to the morning's light!
Father, as a New Creation I cannot define myself by anything less than who I am now in Christ without damaging my self-image, security, sense of worth and purpose. I will, therefore, accept no lesser definitions of who I am. Help me break all agreement with my former ways of seeing myself and trust completely in Your heavenly perspective!KEEP GROWING: See other liberating and healing articles in our 24-part, absolutely free eCourse for Healing at healingstreamsusa.org.
Related Articles -
Christian, Jesus, Identity, Self-image, Self-esteem,