Living in our True Identity
The grace and compassion necessary to fulfill our assignment (purpose) is in our alignment (practicing the truth of our God given identity). Simply put - alignment before assignment. It sounds simple enough, but in reality, during a season in my life, I lived more focused on assignment than alignment. It was at that time when Jesus revealed to me more deeply, the truths that would awaken my heart and soul to experience the awesome love of God. My soul came out of the barren spaces and began to experience the depths of pleasure and delight in meditating upon God. It was being quenched with the waters of unspeakable joy and the refreshing well of being secure in the love of God. I had some profound encounters with God's love that helped me discover a more honest reality about my identity in Christ. I stopped reading the Bible, praying, worshipping, and serving as someone trying to earn God's pleasure, and began to practice these delightful rhythms as ways of experiencing God's pleasure, knowing His heart, and experiencing His empowering presence; leading to living as a faithful witness.
After the Apostle Paul implores us to live in a manner most worthy of our calling (Ephesians 4:1), he goes on to tell us that it is necessary therefore to put off the old self (false identity) and put on the new self (true identity). I can relate to this because when I was a kid, I loved to talk! And I still do! Some of my family used to call me "motormouth" and would ask me to stop talking and be quiet. But, I had something to say! What was said innocently, stuck in my heart, and nearly 40 years later I am still battling insecurities about talking too much. You see, "motormouth" is my false identity that tries to show up and influence my life. In spite of being a gifted speaker and knowing that I am commissioned by Jesus to preach and proclaim the good news of God's love and compassion (true identity), I face a battle - which identity is going to shape my life, my leadership, and my love today? How will I know if I'm living from my true identity?
Here are a few ways to measure which identity you are living from. True or False.
- You react appropriately when under pressure. True!
- You want others to succeed and be blessed even when they hurt you. True!
- You share life-giving words when you feel negative and critical. True!
- You are generous instead of being jealous or envious. True!
If after that little test, you recognize that a damaged and incomplete version of your true identity is leading and shaping your life, then how do you "put on your new self"?
- Do the hard work of heart work by engaging in healing prayer, seeing a therapist/counselor, or honestly opening up to a trusted mentor/friend.
- Find biblical scriptures that affirm your true identity and declare them daily until they FEEL true.
- Confront the lies you believe about yourself and break all agreements with them.
- Change what you say about yourself. Your internal culture will shape your external culture.
- Develop a "Rule of Life". You can learn more about it here or here.
There's a more brilliant and magnificent version of you waiting to emerge. My hope is that you will begin to live from your true identity by putting off the old self and putting on the new self. The old self doesn't fit you. It looks odd on you. It's a disgusting and decaying raggedy garment that belongs in the trash. The new self is custom tailored. It looks fantastic on you! To be honest, the new self is where you will feel the most satisfied in God, thus God being most glorified. It's your true identity that can help build the kingdom of God and bring heaven's solutions to the world's problems. Go for the upgrade. It's what Jesus is offering you.