“Identity” is defined as a “close similarity or affinity, the fact of being who or what a person or thing is, the condition of being the same with something described or asserted, sameness of generic character, and the condition of being exactly alike – oneness.”
Imagine, for a moment, your life without the work you do, the status you hold, or the title or position you stand in, in society. Imagine, for a moment, your life without the names you affectionately carry at home or within your personal circles, like “mommy”, “wife”, or “best friend”. For a moment, imagine yourself without man’s approval, praise, acknowledgment, or affirmation. For a moment, let’s take it a step further: imagine yourself without the honorable and validating special “call” that God has given you to walk out on this earth.
Who are YOU without these titles, positions, and accolades?
Could we say, with all honesty, that if these ‘things’, accolades, and titles with which we so easily associate our worth, and in which we find our identity, should no longer form part of our daily lives, we would still know who we fully are? Would we be content and have that sure confidence without what these titles and positions mean for us?
I know these are hard and heart questions and, for most of us, we can honestly say that some of these ‘things’ are very near and dear to our hearts, and without some of them, we would truthfully no longer know exactly who we are.
Psalm 139:23-24 (TPT) says: God, I invite Your searching gaze into my heart. Examine me through and through; find out everything that may be hidden within me. Put me to the test and sift through all my thoughts (anxious cares). See if there is any path of pain I’m walking on, and lead me back to Your glorious, everlasting way - the path that brings me back to You.“
I love this passage of scripture because David is asking the Lord to examine his heart and sift through his thoughts, every day, to find what is hidden deep within. He's asking God to reveal to him if he is on any path of pain, offense, or falsehood and then lead His deceptive heart and thoughts back to God, the everlasting and truthful way. Interestingly, this psalm is entitled “You know all about me”. This psalm speaks about how God formed our innermost being, shaped our delicate inside and our intricate outside, how He wove them all together in our mother’s womb. It speaks of How He formed every bone in our body when He created us in the secret place, carefully, skillfully shaping us from nothing into something (also see Genesis 2:7).
Over the last couple of months, I have started praying this part of scripture over myself, and let me tell you, friend, God is very faithful to do just what we ask Him. He has been leading me through a process of refining, purification, and sanctification, and exposing things in my heart that I did not even know were lingering there. He does this not to condemn me, of course, or bring shame into my heart but, on the contrary, to bring freedom and truth into some foundational beliefs that were overshadowing the very truth of His word and Who HE says I am.
You see, David, the author of these Psalms, even though anointed to be the King of Israel one day, knew the importance of not putting his identity in this title of King. He was not swayed by all the accolades, the wins he achieved fighting for his nation, or the praise of people. What did matter to David was that God never took His presence away from him. And he was credited as a man after God’s own heart because of this. He understood that he found all his worth and value in God, as a servant and son of God. In God, nothing that God graciously bestowed upon him to steward here on earth, like becoming King, could add to David, as he knew he was already a much-loved son of the Most High. He knew the presence of the Lord and God’s Word was his sustenance and substance.
David knew that looking for validation and acceptance in things, people and their opinions, titles, or positions would leave him empty and empty-handed to walk out that for which God had called him. He even knew that the honorable call of God on his life was not bigger than God Himself, the very One Who called him in the first place. God’s presence brought with it God’s thoughts and heart toward David. In God, he found his belonging, acceptance, affirmation, worth, value, and identity. Apart from God, David was nothing and could not do anything. God gave meaning to all the things God asked him to steward here on earth.
David’s famous Psalm 23:1 (AMPC), says The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack. The NLT says The Lord is my Shepherd; I have all that I need. In other words, in Christ, we find ALL we need and we find above all, WHO WE ARE in Him. We are His beloved child, already fully known, fully seen, fully accepted, and wholly loved. Before you became you, before you even saw the light of day, He already had you in His heart and saw you and who you would be, thinking of you every single day, until it would be the appointed time to breathe His very life into your nostrils. WOW! Thank You, Lord, for seeing and knowing us.
If we come to the heart knowledge of the fact that we don’t lack anything in Him and discover our true identity in Him, we will realize that all the titles we get to carry and all the crowns (hats) we get to wear throughout life, the applauses, the wins, the accolades (that do, indeed, come from God’s goodness and favor upon our lives) are for us to merely steward here on earth. They do not define us. They do not add to us, nor do they take away from us. So, if we step away from a position, lose a friend, have man's agreement or disagreement - it does not shake our identities or worth and value, because we find this all IN GOD, in His presence and Word.
I am who He says I am, not what I do.
The Word of God says I am created in His image (God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them - Genesis 1:27; NIV).
In this life, my identity is hidden in Christ and all I am is clothed with Christ, who is God’s beloved Son, and I am now One with Christ. THIS is my identity - son and DAUGHTER of God. Forgiven, loved, and accepted.
Daughter, I encourage you right now, as you’re reading this blog, to take a moment and read these following scriptures of TRUTH and identity aloud over yourself:
“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it” - 1 Corinthians 12:27 (NIV)
“For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ…for you are all one in Christ Jesus” - Galatians 3:27-28 (NIV)
“...your life is hidden with Christ in God” - Colossians 3:3 (ESV)
“I have loved you, My people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to Myself....” (NIV). The Message translation reads: “I’ve never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love!” - Jeremiah 31:3
“God has been so kind to us, and He has accepted us because of Jesus. And so we will live and rule like kings” - Romans 5:17
“You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, [God’s] own purchased, special people - 1 Peter 2:9 (AMPC)
I pray, as these scriptures washed over you, you were freed into the all-knowing truth of who you are in Christ and Whose you are, before you even lifted a finger and picked up a role or title. He is your true identity and you will only find your true worth and value in Him. For you are His very own chosen and special daughter. May you be filled to overflow in His presence and in His Word so that you may come to know you are enough, and you lack nothing in Him, in Jesus' Name.
All my love,
Women of Reverence welcomes Zanitha van der Linde as our guest contributor.
My name is Zanitha van der Linde, but you can call me Zee. I currently live in the breathtaking desert landscape of Dubai, in the UAE with my gorgeous husband of nearly 6 years, Barend, and our two wonderfully cute fur-babies, Luke and Kiki.
God recently led me to step out of a 5 year full-time ministry season and into a full-time glorious ministering-to-me season and I love every minute of sitting at my Abba’s feet.
I am passionate about the Word of God, the prophetic, and sharing the good news of the gospel of Jesus and the love of our Father with others.