21 Days in the Word - Tool 4 - Discover Your Identity In Christ
One of the reasons to study and meditate on Scripture is to renew our minds from our old identity to our new identity in Christ. 2 Corinthians 3:18 tells us, “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
He describes the Bible as a mirror that we are to stare into to change who we used to think we were with who God says we are. Tragically, many of us are looking at a warped view of ourselves. I remember being a carnival where there were mirrors that distorted you and made you way to fat or thin. We are to quit getting our self-image from our past, from our peers, from words spoken over us or by us. We are who He says we are.
For many years I was afraid of public speaking because I had a picture of myself terrified, speechless, and embarrassed speaking in front of me. The Holy Spirit told me that was a lie. He began to give me Scriptures to confirm my new identity. Scriptures that said things like, “In the hour you speak it will not be you speaking but my Father speaking in you.” Also, “I will give you a tongue and wisdom that none of your enemies can refute.” God helped me use my imagination to see myself in line with who God said I was.
One of the key verses about our identity is 2 Peter 1:4. It says, “Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
In I Peter 1:23 we are told, “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” This tells us that the promises of God reveal the nature of God that is in us when we are born again. As we declare the promises of God we are declaring who we really are in union with God. In other words it is our new nature to love, to be bold, and full of patience. These promises are given to paint a picture of us as we really are so that we will begin to walk in line with that.
A good example of this is how little toddlers learn to walk. Thank God toddlers don’t get their identities from their past or they would never try to walk. They would say to themselves, “I’ve never walked so I guess I never will.” Toddlers instead get their identity from their parents. They see them walking and believe inside that they are walkers. Even though they fall they get up again because they know walking is in their DNA.
To change your identity you must consistently and persistently study and come in agreement with who God says in his promises that you are. In James 1:23-25 we learn, “Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it--not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it--they will be blessed in what they do.”
I believe looking in the mirror is taking time to consider deeply who the person Jesus says we are is really like. Beyond just declaring this, I believe this means using our imaginations to paint a picture of ourselves speaking, thinking, and acting the way the promises of God describes. For example when Abraham looked at the stars I believe he used that opportunity to imagine those stars as descendants and him being a father of that multitude. It also says that Abraham spoke in praise, giving thanks to God for the promise as if it was already his. He called those things that were not as though they were.
The other thing James mentions is doing or acting on our new identity. One thing I have learned is that it is always safe to imagine what faith would act like in any situation and then to act that way. We should practice speaking forgiveness and acting like every mountain of hurt is going into the sea. We should reach out to show love to a difficult person believing Christ is reaching through us. As we do this we get some wins under our belt. Any kind of success living out our new identity causes us to become more solidified in that new identity.
Why not take this Scripture and stare into it as a mirror and come up with declarations and examples of how you might walk this out:
“It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God--that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: ‘Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.’” (I Corinthians 1:30-31)