“…the evil spirit talked back: “I know Jesus and I’ve heard of Paul, but who are you?” Acts 19:15 (MSG)
In this season of my life I have been contemplating the question of “who am I?”. In talking with friends, I know that I am not alone in this searching. I think we all go through times in our lives, especially during major changes and seasons where we feel the need to better understand ourselves and our roles and purpose in the world.
There are so many aspects to consider: identity, characteristics, personality, persona, roles, titles…
I am Julie. I am a daughter, a wife, a mother. I am hard-working, loyal, honest. I am a chef, a reader, a missionary. I could go on…but, is that all of who I am!?
When I looked up the word ‘identity,’ I found that one definition is ‘the individual characteristics by which a thing or person is recognized or known.’ That makes sense. The descriptors above point to characteristics that help others recognize and know me. Each of those things make up parts of who I am.
But another definition that I found is ‘exact sameness.’ This definition really struck me, especially in regards to my identity in Christ.
When I became a believer and asked Christ into my heart, to reside and abide in me, I was given the identity of Christ. I became a new creation, a daughter of the King, a co-heir with Christ. Those things are not necessarily physically evident things. I still look the same to people, and I know that I don’t look like a princess in the ‘Disney’ sense of the word. But, that doesn’t change the fact that I am now one with God; that I now am an ‘exact sameness’ as Christ. When the Father looks at me, He sees me, but He also sees His son, His Beloved in whom He is well please.
The seven sons of Sceva were not recognized by the evil spirit because they had no relationship with Jesus. They were posers, pretending that had something that they didn’t. The evil spirit didn’t see Jesus’ identity in them because it wasn’t there. The evil spirit knew Jesus and knew Paul because of His ‘exact sameness’ in Jesus, and as all believers share that oneness, we are also recognized because of our identity in Him.
Understanding our identity in Christ is essential for knowing the truth of who we really are and giving us the strength to stand against the enemy’s battles against us. If we truly know who we are because of our acceptance of Christ into ourselves, then the enemy will not be successful in egging us on with lies and partial truths of who he wants us to believe we are.
The Bible is full of statements of our identity in Christ. Some of the ones that stand out to me are:
I am a pearl of great price. I am the Lord’s beloved. I am a child of God.
What aspects of your identity in Christ stand out to you from the Word? What helps you know that you are recognized in the spirit?
Yesappa, I ask you to reveal to each of us our identity in you, especially in this particular season of our lives. What ‘exact sameness’ do we walk in alongside of you each day? Give us the strength to hold on to those truths about who we are and let go of the untruths that the enemy has tried to plant in our hearts about ourselves. Help us live out of our identity in you every day and in every way. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India