The genius of identity
Then the angel of the Lord came and sat beneath the great tree at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash of the clan of Abiezer. Gideon son of Joash was threshing wheat at the bottom of the winepress to hide the grain from the Midianites. The angel of the Lord said, “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!”
“Sir,” Gideon replied, “if the Lord is with us, why has all of this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The Lord brought us up out of Egypt’? But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.” Then the Lord said to him, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites, I am sending you!”
— Judges 6:11-14 (NLT)
We are studying how to unleash God’s genius in us and for us because we want to discover what is often undiscovered in us. I believe the Lord wants to say, “You and other people have underestimated and have been overly skeptical of the amazing potential and greatness that’s in your life.”
God wants you to discover and unleash your genius not just to get more for yourself but so you can be more for God and others.
The more we see ourselves the way God sees us and believe about ourselves what God believes about us, the more we will see the genius and power of God flow through us.
Gideon didn’t see the genius of God in his life until he discovered who he was and operated on the strength he didn’t know he had. This is why in calling people, God would continuously speak first to their identity, not their ability.
Some important truths about identity
Your identity is more important than your ability. Your ability to make a difference won’t rise above your identity. “You can’t soar like an eagle if you think like a chicken.”
You set the bar on how much God can use you by the degree you choose to walk in the identity He’s given you
“For as he (a person) thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
— Prov. 23:7a (KJV)
Things that are true about a person with a strong Christ Centered core identity:
Because their identity comes from God, they don’t let what’s happening on the outside stop them from becoming what they’re capable of being on the inside.
They find more strength to overcome failure, criticism, rejection, and disappointment in their lives.
“...for though the righteous (someone who knows they are righteous) fall seven times, they will rise again…”
— Proverbs 24:16 (NIV)
Until we have a higher opinion of God’s opinion of us than we have of anyone else’s opinion of us, we will be like a cork not an anchor on the waves of life.
If we look for our identity in the wrong places we will stumble and become disillusioned.
If we have significant other people affirming our identity in God, we will be more likely to be secure in God’s identity for us.
“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.”
— Hebrews 10:24 (NLT)
The more you choose to walk in your identity, the more you become transformed in every area of your life to be who God made you to be.
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
— 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NKJV)
How to unleash your genius by stepping into your new identity
Let Jesus be the center of your new identity. Live for and from Jesus’ praise and approval. “Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”
— Matthew 10:38-39 (NIV)
Accept the gift of your new identity in Christ by faith. Sit in the chair of undeserved favor!
“You are not what you have done or what people say about you, you are what Christ has done for you.” — Mark Driscoll
You don’t achieve something great to become a person of favor; you come to know that you are a person who is highly favored, then you automatically begin to achieve things greater than you thought you ever could.
“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure."
— Ephesians 1:3-5 (NLT)
“Cheer up, Zion! Don’t be afraid! For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. (Gush over you) With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
— Zephaniah 3:16b-17 (NLT)
Commit to the process of renewing (updating) your mind daily to agree with who God says you are.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
— Romans 12:2a (NIV)
Refuse to be a prisoner of old thoughts of rejection and low self-esteem. Nail to the cross any thought of yourself that doesn’t agree with grace and favor.
“You were taught, with regard to your old life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
— Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV)
Understand forgiveness and repentance is not just turning away from something but turning to something a brand new identity. (Prodigal Son)
Activate your faith by taking action to do what your new identity tells you that you can do. Make decisions of faith and take steps of faith. “Go in the strength that you have…”
Learn to make bold declarations of your new identity daily in the presence of your difficulties and your adversaries. The more you say it, the more you’ll eventually see it!
“When I blow the trumpet, I and all who are with me, then you also blow the trumpets on every side of the whole camp, and say, ‘The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!’”
— Judges 7:18 (NKJV)
“In the sight of God who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ…”
— I Timothy 6:13-14 (NIV)