The Catastrophe Of Identity

Jesus preached an absolute fidelity to the truth. We as His followers are told in Ephesians 6 to “gird our loins with truth“: wrapping your innermost core with God’s word and definitions. Why is this important? Because our innermost core is essentially our identity. If your self-perception is on point and your deepest sense of identity is aligned with the truth of God’s word, you will not lose course. You will be able to weather any storm.

In case you haven’t noticed, there seems to be a little bit of a crazy, waywardness among the world right now. In a fit of lost self-identity, everything now goes as acceptable. Any resistance to this “freedom” is fought with assaults against the identity of the one with an opposing view. Any slew of negative adjectives recently thrown at the Church begins to fill the mind.

The problem is, as a church, we’re listening to these assaults on our identity.

In a misguided effort to be relevant, we’ve become too sensitive to the opinions of the world about us. We’re sacrificing some of the core of our identity and what God defines as right and wrong. We have placed parts of our identity in who the world thinks we are, instead of who God says we are.

Many believers even think that if they win approval from the world, then they are being relatable and serving Jesus better. The only issue is, I think Jesus may or may not have said something to the effect of knowing you’re on His approved course when the world is by and large persecuting you for your beliefs, not silently approving of them. See Matthew 5:10, 2 Timothy 3:12, 1 Peter 4:12-14, etc. Persecution is the sign of doing something right in God’s eyes.

So as an effect, the church can no longer deliver the truth because it too is now struggling with identity. We take our cues on our identity from a world that knows its own so little that it’s confused about whether or not it is okay to be male or female. You, chosen warriors, do not drop your spiritual armor and your mantle to the ground. Do not drop it just because of the constant jeering and pressuring about your identity from the world. The world is in such a dire state it does not know how to even spell the word anymore. That is incredibly silly, akin to a ship captain with a working compass changing his course because some wayward boats are continually wandering pressure him to do so.

So, who are we?

Our past does not define us. The thoughts of others do not define who we are. Our own thoughts about ourselves do not even define us. Thoughts, past actions, and the labels given by others are not the elements defining our true identity. Words from a true authority are what defines us. Specifically, the words of Jesus over us. When you acknowledge who Jesus is, He will in turn acknowledge who you are. When you define Jesus as He really is, He defines you as you really are.

In the nonessentials, sure be relevant. But in the core, unmovable truths of God, be unrelenting. The world *needs* that in the church, whether they realize it or not. It is the “salt” Jesus calls us to be. Some may brand a swirling, uncontrollable global state of “do whatever you want” sin as fresh and freeing, but it’s not. It’s actually ancient, and stale. The most overplayed tune of all that just keeps trying to rebrand itself throughout millennia. Galatians 5 calls it repetitive and joyless.

The doctrines of God are eternal, in both time and depth.

Always fresh and original the deeper you delve into them. Jesus offended a lot of people and never traded in His identity to the endless pressure against it everywhere He went, and He never tried to be fresh or cool. He still ended up being the most refreshing, original, and magnetic being to ever walk the earth.

Do not be afraid to be truth, do not be afraid to speak truth.

Jesus came only to heal the sick. Someone can’t know if they have cancer until they go see a doctor and become informed. Nor can the world know it too is sick unless someone tells them the truth. A doctor can’t heal someone who never comes in for treatment because they’re oblivious to their dying condition. And Jesus truly is the one and only great healer.

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Behave Consistently With Your Self-Image

You develop new beliefs by taking actions consistent with those beliefs. You act as if you already believe that you have these capabilities and competences. You behave like a positive, optimistic, and cheerful person toward everyone. You act as if your success is already guaranteed. You act as if you have a secret guarantee of success and only you know about it.

You realize that you are developing, shaping, and controlling the evolution of your own character and personality by everything that you do and say every single day.

Since you become what you think about, you should only say and do what is consistent with your self-ideal, the person you must aspire to be, and your long term future ideals. You should only think and talk about the qualities and behaviours that are moving you toward becoming the person you want to be and toward achieving the goals that you want to achieve.

Your beliefs are always manifested in your words and actions. Make sure that everything you say and do from now on is consistent with the beliefs that you want to have and the person you want to become. In time, you will replace more and more of your self-lomiting beliefs with life-enhancing beliefs. Overtime, you will completely reprogram yourself for success. When this occurs, the transformation that takes place in your outer life will amaze you and all the people around you.

The Prayer After The Audacious Prayer

We’ve all been there. After praying feverishly about something big and audacious, God sometimes gives us exactly what we asked for. Whether we’ve been granted permission to adopt a child, been given a promotion into management, or been selected for a full-time overseas mission, being a good steward with God’s trust becomes paramount.

That’s why it’s very important to follow-up an answered prayer with an additional plea to God’s ear—asking for the wisdom and courage to endure. If you’re in that phase of life right now and don’t know what to pray about, let’s pray right now together:

Follow-Up Prayer

Dear Lord,

Thank you for answering our big and audacious prayers. We couldn’t be more grateful of your provision.

At the same, we’re scared. We don’t want to ruin what or who you’ve given us. We want to be the best we can be with the gifts you have given us, but we don’t trust ourselves.

So we ask for wisdom, strength, and humility to carry your blessings well. We may not trust ourselves, but we trust you. Please give us the ability be like you as we take in a needy child, lead people at work, receive a large sum of money, enter the full-time mission field, and etc. Let our presence decrease and your presence increase.

With all glory to you and in Jesus’ name,

Amen.

Follow-Up Scripture

In addition to follow-up prayer, we should meditate on scripture during a season of increased responsibility and increased trust. There are several verses in the Bible that are great for this, but we are a few highlights:

2 Corinthians 2:14 – But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. (ESV)

Colossians 4:2 – Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. (ESV)

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