How would you respond if someone were to ask you, “Who are you?” Most people would probably reply with their name, age, profession, or education. While these may be facts about the person you are today, they don’t define who you are. Our identity goes beyond these external factors and can only be found in the One who created us. Unfortunately, there are many Christians today who are experiencing an identity crisis. Instead of identifying with Christ, they identify and even call themselves as their problems: sick, divorced, bankrupt, etc. It’s when we begin to understand who we are in Christ that the way we think and live changes. Identity is simply understanding ourselves in relation to Christ and living out this reality daily. As human beings, it’s natural for us to want to identify ourselves with something or someone. But while we’re busy trying to shape our personal identity through outward appearance, achievements, or failures, God has already defined us in His perfect Son, Jesus Christ. We often lose sight of that identity and end up chasing after earthly possessions and sinful experiences in an attempt to find life and fulfillment. But our hearts will always remain restless until we meet Jesus.
Have you ever stopped and asked yourself, “What does God think about me?” or “Who does God say I am?” Many times in scripture, God changed people’s identities. They may have seen themselves one way, but God told them who they really were. This is what happened with Peter. Peter only saw himself in the natural, but God called out who he was in the spiritual – a rock that He would build His Church on (Matthew 16:18).
In the natural realm, this statement doesn’t make any sense. After all, Peter was just a fisherman who denied Jesus three times. He didn’t see himself as a rock or a pillar, but God calls things that are not as though they are (Romans 4:17). He doesn’t speak to who we are; He speaks to who we’re meant to be. And He’ll always remind us of who we are before He tells us what to do because our identity determines what we do; what we do doesn’t determine our identity.
We are given our identity so others can see God through us. In other words, God made us who we are so we can make the greatness of God known. It’s up to us to tap into our God-given identity in order for God to use us to reach and build people. We’ve been given the power and the authority to speak things into existence, so if we’re constantly telling ourselves that we’re unworthy, unloved or inadequate, it will dictate what we do and how we influence others. If you’re steady and secure in your identity in Christ, your actions, speech and life will reflect Him.