If you could do one thing to transform your life and live the abundant life that Jesus promised it would be to know — to really know who you are in Christ.
For years as a missionary living overseas, I thought I did. After all it was my life-calling. Certainly, I had the head knowledge — the Bible verses that say who I am in Christ and in my head. I believed them.
I’d go around telling people that God loved them and that no matter what they’d done, His love was greater and covered a multitude of sins. But then one day I realized that I myself did not believe in my heart that God loved me.
Why? The actions of my life did not match up with the words I spoke. If I really believed God loved me, would I berate myself every time I made a mistake? Would I cower in shame when something happened that tugged at the brokenness inside me? Would I keep an invisible cage around me that prevented people from coming too close?
You can’t hate yourself when you know your identity in Christ
For years, I’ve heard messages on this very topic — who I am in Christ and I’ve nodded my head in agreement. Yes, of course God loves me and accepts me just as I am. But did I? The answer was sadly no — externally you could say I did because people who live with shame are quite good at putting up a good front.
Early in my Christian journey, I thought it was godly to hate myself — the sinful me. It gave me comfort to think of myself as a wretched sinner.
The only thing is — for years I never got past that point. I was like the condemned woman with her face down on the ground before Jesus. Except, I could not look up. The weight of my shame wouldn’t let me.
Maybe this has never happened to you but it’s happened to me many times. When my emotions stopped reeling, and I could quiet my heart before God, I’d be reminded of who I am — loved and accepted by my Heavenly Father. And I’d sit with that truth and a cup of coffee in hand.
Know His love and remain in it
This much I know —when you know who you are — who you truly are in Christ — you will live your life entirely different. You won’t be bogged down by the desires of the world, people’s opinion, your opinion or temporal things. You will live with eternity in mind. You will live with a heart fully alive.
When you receive Father’s love deep in your heart, you will live out of a place of being loved. And out of being loved, you will have His love to love others, including yourself. Jesus said, “Remain in my love.” This is so key because everyday the world, the enemy of our souls tries to deceive us into believing we’re not.
When Jesus walked the earth, He preached, “Repent! The kingdom of God is at hand.” And later He said, “The kingdom of God is within you.” He told us to make it our life goal to first seek His kingdom — above all seek His kingdom.
And what exactly does this mean? It means we seek Him daily — we spend time in His presence. We quiet ourselves so that we can hear Him in stillness. It’s in these quiet times spent with God that the eternal truths of God’s Word can sink not only in our mind but deep into our hearts.
As I’ve been reflecting on the truths of God’s Word, I realize that I’ve needed to hear them again and again. My prayer in writing this series is that who we are in Christ will become the DNA — the blueprint of not only our thought life but our being. So that in times when we feel rejected, unloved, unworthy, not-enough, afraid — we will be able to send the liar back to where he belongs and we will make our stand on who God says we are:
We are infinitely loved and forever accepted by our Heavenly Father.