Our physical identity is made up of our memories, experiences, relationships, culture, background, personality, beliefs (our faith), character and values that help us to create a continuous sense of who we are during our time here on earth.
Our identity is part of who we are. It is also made up of our future self, and many other things that are important to us. Knowing our identity will help us to be confident about the future, confident in what we stand for, and our beliefs.
Some people live a fake identity, trying to be someone else, that does not reflect who they really are. While others have completely made themselves believe in an identity that is not theirs but yet they claim that is who they are.
A lot of people have put on part of someone else’s identity without even knowing it- because that’s what they are used to, or because that was the environment that they found themselves in. Our identity should completely reflect who we are on the inside and as a result influences our outward behaviour, character and personality. Our identity starts from the inside- understanding ourselves, changing habits that we were accustomed to from an early age and still making room within us to embrace new changes and experiences, that will change us for the better.
To truly know your identity first start by knowing your identity in Christ. This is the foundation of what holds us together when the chaos of life raises. Some people know their identity (self-worth etc) outside of Christ. While knowing who you are, and what your beliefs are is good, it is not enough to fight the battles we face each day. It only fights the physical battle (such as standing up for yourself, not being bullied by others, and achieving the goals and plans you set for yourself because you believe you deserve them). But we live in a spiritual world, and we need to fight against the things that come at us spiritually. As a result, knowing your identity in Christ will help you to be confident in not just who you are at the point of the battle, but to be confident in the God who you serve and be victorious even before the battle is over.
Experiencing and knowing your identity in Christ will shape and determine how you walk in alignment with what God has destined for you. You cannot be in full alignment with God without knowing who you are.
You may ask, what does it mean to have an identity in Christ? The following are some examples of what it means to know your identity in Christ.
- It means that you do not agree with how the world sees you but with how God sees you.
- It means that you see yourself as God sees you.
- It means that you accept the salvation that God gave you on the Cross
- It means that you are aware that shame, pain, fear, barrenness etc can not stay where you are anymore and that your body is God’s temple.
- It means that you are new in Christ, that you are a new creation and you no longer live as the world but you live for Christ.
Your identity in Christ should outweigh your identity in this world.
To fight the physical and spiritual battles and thrive in a world full of spiritual warfare and demons, you have to know your identity in Christ. You have to be confident and comfortable in the identity you have been called to live. Your identity in Christ is your calling here on earth. It is how you were called to live. If you ask God to show you how to live your life, it is accepting and walking in the identity that He has given you. The identity Jesus died on the cross to give you.
Authority and power are given the moment you accept Christ as your saviour but it is the consistent and intentional work of declaration that you must do to affirm your identity.
Let’s take a closer look at understanding some examples of the identity God has called us to live.
- From the beginning of creation, God made you in his own image. This means that God sees you as his. – You are created in the image of God. You have been created either female or male (and nothing else)- Genesis 12:7
- When you accept Jesus Christ as your saviour, you are now a new creation. Your past is no longer yours; it can never be yours, you are now made completely anew- this means that the way you used to think negatively of yourself can not be anymore because you are God’s child now.
- When you come to Christ, things will change for you. Life will now be different. It means you have now come into the royal family of Christ. You have now been called out of darkness into God’s marvellous light.
- You have now been chosen, you can now be called a royal priesthood, a holy nation. (1 Peter 2:9)
- You no longer live for yourself. You now live for Christ. And it doesn’t mean you have to physically die on the cross like Jesus, but it does mean that you can not just live life how you want it, you must constantly ask God how He wants you to live. Your life now is for him- but living for Christ is much sweeter than living for yourself. You live for Christ because He gave himself for you. (Galatians 2:20)
- Part of your identity in Christ is accepting God’s plans for your life. You now accept God’s plans. You now accept his plans to give you hope and a good future (Jeremiah 29:11)
- Your body is no longer yours but Gods’. Your body is now holy for God to dwell, and you have to keep it holy in other for him to continuously dwell. Your body is now the temple of the Holy Spirit, who will tell you everything God the father has for your life. You must glorify God with your body. You must be intentional about what you feed your body through your senses (what you see, eat, think, and even where you go). The relationship you have also affects your temple, you must therefore surround yourself with Godly people and people that are equally yoked – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
- You are God’s wonderful work. When you begin to walk in your identity your mind and heart will begin to know the works of God. This is a great reason to praise God! You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You were made with wonderful intentions (Psalms 139:14)
- You will not be fearful if you know who God is, because God has redeemed you and called you by name.
- You are not a stranger to Christ. But you are now identified and seen as fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God. (Ephesians 2:19)
Take time to discover who you are in Christ and be able to stand firm and strong in days of trouble. The affirmation of your identity will help you win the battle of your mind and your world.
Embracing your identity also involves making peace with your past and moving forward in the love that has been poured over you through Christ.
You may have not had a great identity because of the influence of your past, but, you are now made new through Jesus Christ so don’t let the identity of your past hold you from fully discovering your true and real identity in Christ.
This year, spend it getting to know yourself, what makes you who you are, what you like and don’t like (why is this), your background etc. Do an evaluation of yourself, and your identity. Are there things in your identity that you need to be detached from (bad habits from your culture, environment, upbringing etc).
Anything from your identity that does not enhance or promote the advancement of the kingdom of God inside of you is not from God and you need to renew your mind and embrace the new life you now have in Christ.
If you want to embrace a journey of self-discovery and self-love, start with the word of God. Start by looking at what God says about your identity, about you. The word of God will reveal who you are to you, and help you on the journey of fully knowing and embracing your identity. The Holy Spirit will be with you every step of the way. He will show and guide you on what you need to know and help you to get rid of the fake identity that you have put on. He will help you to completely and wholly embrace the life you have been created to live through, in and for Christ.
How to start living in this identity is by affirming it with your own mouth. Find scriptures about who God says you are and repeat them to yourself out loud as many times as needed. To start you off, the following are taken from the bible based on who God says about you. You can repeat these as many times and then once you are confident and comfortable saying them you can search for more in the bible.
- I am a member of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:37)
- I am a friend of God (John 15:15)
- My temple (body) is holy, it is holy for the Holy Spirit to dwell (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
- I am renewed in the spirit of my mind, and I now put on my new self which was created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:22-24)
- I have been redeemed by God (Isaiah 43:1)
- I am not condemned because I am now in Christ (Romans 8:1)
- I am not a stranger to Christ, but I am a fellow citizen with the saints and members of the household of God (Ephesians 2:19)
- I love God and believe in him therefore I have eternal life (John 3:16)
- I am engraved on the palms of God’s hands ( Isaiah 49:16)
- I have redemption through the blood of Christ (Ephesians 1:17)
- I am blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3)
- My mind is set on the things that are above where Christ is seated at the right hand of the father (Colossians 3:1-3)
- I have been justified by faith, I have peace with God through our Lord, Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1)
- I am not forsaken by God because He has chosen me to be part of his children for his great name’s sake (1 Samuel 12:22)
- I am an ambassador for Christ. God makes his appeal through me. I am reconciled to God – (2 Corinthians 5:20)
- I am made alive together with Christ – by grace, I have been saved (Ephesians 2:4-5)
- I am perfect, just as my heavenly father is perfect (Matthew 5:48)
Find your identity in Christ. A life lived in Christ is a life secured, stabled and empowered by the help of God.