Who am I?
Something I have often struggled with as a Christian is where is my identity? What defines me as a person? Where is my identity found?
One day I was at work washing dishes at my old job and I was pondering this identity crisis that I was having. God spoke to me and told me that what I defined myself as was not in agreement with his. I was so frustrated that I shouted in the middle of work “God, I don’t know who I am or what I want? So, if you don’t mind could you please tell me?” I was in inner turmoil wrestling with the lies that I had believed about myself and what I was and the person I had created myself to be.
Now if that was the end I wouldn’t be writing this blog. We have been spending the last few months at the House of Prayer taking the Burning Lamps Internship. I have found that a prevalent thing that I have found working in me in the Internship is this issue of identity and the lens I have viewed myself through that have clouded this issue in my life. Issues with self pity and my frienship with it, issues with my past and feeling entitled to something because of what I had been through in the past. Every relationship I have ever been in in the past have been adversely affected by these issues.
Something that I read in the scripture confounded me. I read this passage in Matthew 16. We all know this one. Jesus took his disciples near the region of Ceasarea Philippi and he asked them, “Who do men say that I am?”. This is a question that we all have asked our friends at one time or another, “What is everyone saying about me?” So this was an easy question for them to answer. Doubtless they have heard the stories and the rumors and the speculations about Jesus as they walked with him and heard what the people were saying. They knew what the Jerusalem Enquirer said about him. Some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah and some say one of the prophets.. i mean where do we start with this Jesus guy?
But here came the kicker, the one that really mattered. “But who do YOU say that I am?” Note Peter’s response, “You are the Christ, the son of the Living God.” Jesus goes to him and says the famous lines, “Blessed are you Simon bar Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven and I say to you that you are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church.”
Notice how the Spirit of God revealed the son to Simon and in turn Jesus identified Peter and from then on his name and his life changed. There are plenty of times where men have had encounters with God and their names and their lives were changed forever. In Isaiah 62 God promises Jerusalem a new name that her enemies will agree to. The mouth of the Lord will give Jerusalem a new name that her enemies will proclaim. Hephzibah, my delight is in her. He does this despite what Jerusalem has done to him. He says this despite her evil works and rebellion against him. He does this despite the fact that they murdered his innocent son.
So when you look at the Bible and the character of God, he loves us DESPITE what we do. It’s not what we do that makes him love us. It’s who we are that he’s so in love with. He is ravished by one glance of our eyes! Everytime we agree with God and behold him and agree with the person HE made us to be, he just EXPLODES! Imagine that… he’s like gaga over us everytime we agree with him. Man, even I have a hard time believing this because it’s so easily forgotten. I have spent so much of my life creating this person out of hurts and offenses and finding that this person is the most ungodly creation known to man. This isn’t what God created me to be. I wasn’t born this way. I was created to be with him. I was created to know and love him.
I am your beloved your creation
And you love me as I am
You have called me chosen for your kingdom
Unashamed to call me your own
I am your beloved