Romans 12:2 (ESV)
 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
1 John 3:24 (ESV)
 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.
There is a lot of identity confusion in the world today: there is confusion in our roles; there is gender and race confusion. We try to hide our true identity – we want to hide our ugly side and cover up our insecurities; we hope no one will see what we try so hard to conceal. However, many of us are wearied and defeated by the masks we wear! We compare and dislike ourselves, and these feelings grip our hearts with fear, paralysing and isolating us.
Identity is the image you have of yourself, and the image you have of yourself will determine your mental health, significance and the inheritance you walk into. What is the image you have of your-self? Who do you think you are?
Your image of who you think you are is more important than what God thinks of your image! Yes, I, too, am struggling with what I am saying, but hear me out! What you think of yourself will determine how high you will go and what you will do. Why? Because God has no limits, except for the limits we put on Him! And those limits are the limits where we say, “Well, I can’t imagine God ever using me,” or “I am just not good enough.” We disqualify ourselves too easily, when He says, “I qualify the disqualified!”
These statements limit God in your life. Your image of you impacts you more than what God knows your image to be. God’s image of you is who you are supposed to be, and where you should be heading. Who God thinks you are is who you truly are; what God thinks about you is who you truly are.
The worst thing you can do is have a different image to what God has of you. Numbers 13 and 14 is the story of the spies who go to see the land God is giving them; this is not God asking for an opinion! However, they come back with a report, and they show everyone all the fruit – they confirm it is a land of milk and honey. They carry on talking and they describe the people as strong: they are giants, the cities are walled, and they describe all the different people groups.
But Caleb quietens the people and he says, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.” Joshua and Caleb see the same thing and they say the same thing, then Caleb goes on to say, “Let’s move now! Let’s go – we can take it!” and he says this straight after the others have given their negative report.
Why did Caleb say “at once”? It is human nature, the longer you wait the greater the problem be-comes in your own eyes. Caleb knew that the people would be negative and it would spread to everyone. Straight after Caleb’s report, the others oppose him and give the people of Israel a bad report of the land. In the Greek, it is called an “evil report”. The evil report is not about the walls, or the cities, or the people – what makes the report evil is when they reject what God has given them and say “We cannot win; the people in this land are stronger!” The moment the people say, “We can’t”, God calls it an evil report.
Their negative report continues when they tell everyone about the giants, and they say, “We seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.”
Why would they say they are grasshoppers in the giants' sight? Because they were grasshoppers in their own sight. What kind of image did they have? Where was their identity rooted? It was rooted in their circumstance and not the promise of God. They had a grasshopper image. They began telling themselves, “We cannot do it; we are smaller than they. They have walled cities, and they are giants”. They aren't only saying, “We can't do it because there are giants and they are so big,” but “We can’t do it because we are so small and we are incapable of winning, and if this is how we see ourselves, then that is how they see us.” They were busy encouraging cowardice in their own hearts, and when you encourage cowardice in your own heart, then you cancel everything God has promised.
That night, after the negative report, the whole congregation raised a loud cry, and they wept; they believed the evil report, and they complained to Moses and Aaron. Take note of what happens next: they hear an evil report, they receive it, they believe it, and then they start crying. The next thing they do is rebel against their leaders. They become suicidal, and they wish they had died. Then they begin to defeat themselves in Numbers 14:3: “Why is the LORD bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword?” They had distorted what God had said; they forgot He had given them the land – they believed that God was sending them to their deaths. If, in that moment, the Israel-ites had to face an enemy, they would actually have been defeated by the sword. They hadn’t even seen an enemy and they were already killing off their wives and their children. All they heard was a negative report and they had allowed the circumstances to diminish them.
How much time and effort do you apply to work on your self image? Instead of being intentional with our identity, we tend to blurt out a prayer – “Lord, I need help! Do something!” – when the answer is in the Word of God.
What you walk in depends on how much your mind has been renewed by the Word of God, and your mind has to be renewed about the image God has of you. Why are Christians not walking like Jesus, acting like Jesus, and seeing the same works as Jesus, all the time? It is quite simple: the image we have of ourselves is different to the image God has of us.
Who do you think you are? Who are you in your own sight?
The very image of Jesus or a grasshopper?
1) Growing in who God says I am:
“Remind me who I am.” Each day, each moment of weakness, pray and ask the Lord to remind you - I am His beloved!
2) Allow His truth to transform you.
Write out Scripture verses that say who He says you are. Ephesians 1 is a good place to start. There are six statements of who you are in Christ. Meditate on these truths.
3) Confess what you believe and not what you feel.
Believe what His Word says and promises. To ‘believe’ is to be fully persuaded. This requires meditation on His Word - Philippians 4:8; Psalm 1:2.
4) Choose your thoughts.
Be intentional about the renewing of your mind. This is a choice and a process. An outside miracle will not change your mind. Take every thought captive - 2 Corinthians 10:5.
Jason Gray - Remind Me Who I Am
Women of Reverence welcomes Zelda Cronje as a guest contributor.
Zelda Cronje is a wife to Hennie Cronje, a mom to two adult children and a gran. Both Zelda and her husband are on the Eldership (Pastoral) Team at Cornerstone Church, Bedfordview, Johannesburg. They also serve on the New Covenant Ministry International (NCMI) Apostolic and Prophetic Team. Together with her husband are in the market place, business owners.