Who are you?
A simple question to answer, or so it would seem. Responses will be varied depending on where you find yourself in this season of your life. Very often, one answers this question from the premise of a role. I am a husband. I am a wife. I am a mum. I am a teacher. I am counsellor.
I’d like to invite you for a moment to re-visit that question, if you will, not from the perspective of a role, but instead from one of relationship. What that realignment in perspective does is it shifts the focus away from what you do, to who you are? It now becomes a matter of identity, and in keeping with the context of this article, specifically your faith identity, your Christian identity.
Growing up in South Africa, I experience some of the evils of the apartheid system. Although, my generation did not experience the lash of it’s whip as heavily as our parents and grandparents did, I certainly knew enough to know that it was a system motivated by and infused with evil. One of the many aims of the apartheid system was to disempower the masses by imposing means that caused confusion about identity and ancestry. Records of births (of certain races) were either intentionally not kept or destroyed. Many people went through life not fully knowing their ancestry, not fully understanding the richness of their genealogical tapestry, not fully comprehending their cultural identity.
One’s name/one’s identity is important, isn’t it? I’m a George. I’m a Schneider, etc. That name or identity links you into a bigger picture! It ‘plugs’ you into a lineage of individuals, living or dead, and together that weaves a tapestry of experiences, of history, that’s associated with that name or identity. It gives a sense of belonging.
Chinese church leader and Christian teacher, Watchman Nee, once shared the account of a new convert who came in deep distress to see him. “No matter how much I pray, no matter how hard I try, I simply cannot seem to be faithful to my Lord. I think I’m losing my salvation.” Nee said, “Do you see this dog here? He is my dog. He is house-trained; he never makes a mess; he is obedient; he is a pure delight to me. Out in the kitchen I have a son, a baby son. He makes a mess, he throws his food around, he fouls his clothes, he is a total mess. But who is going to inherit my kingdom? Not my dog; my son is my heir. You are an heir of the Father because it is for you that Jesus died.”
In this season and point in history, when so many aspects of our Christian faith is under pressure and so many of our Biblical values and beliefs are being questioned, you may need reassuring, Dear Reader. Perhaps it would be helpful to take on board Brother Nee’s words to that conflicted Christian, “You are an heir of the Father because it is for you that Jesus died”.
The dark clouds of mounting pressures can so easily cast shadows over the certainty of who one is in Christ. The valley experiences that one traverses can so readily obscure the rays of confidence and blessed assurance that one is indeed a child of God. Circumstances in life can prevent one from seeing Jesus standing with you in the midst of what you are going through. Situations may threaten to take you from heights of belief and faith to the very doldrums of doubt and unbelief.
One of the things the enemy will try and convince you of the moment you mess up and sin, is that you are no longer God’s child! When you mess up, you may feel like the Prodigal Son (Luke 15), and come to your Father saying – “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’”
Friend, who are you?
Are you able to confidently answer that today, or are your circumstances leading you into a spiritual identity crisis, where you are forgetting who you are in Christ, or failing to recognize your position as a forgiven, redeemed child of God?
At AIFC, we often refer to ‘The Seven Great Truths of Christian Identity’. In seasons when you feel that your faith is under pressure, it may be helpful to remember and reflect on these great truths:
- I am created in his image
- Genesis 1:28
- Psalm 8:4–9
- I am unconditionally loved by God for who I am
- John 3:16)
- Romans 5:8
- I am precious and priceless
- 1 Peter 1:18
- Psalm 49:7–8
- I am a saint
- Romans 5:1
- Hebrews 10:10
- 1 Corinthians 1:2, 6:11
- I am a prince or princess in God’s kingdom
- 1 Peter 2:9
- Psalm 113:7, 8
- I am a child of God and a member of his household
- John 1:12
- Ephesians 2:19
- I am adopted as an eternal son/daughter of God
- Galatians 3:26
- Ephesians 1:3,5
- Revelation 21:7