Written by: Angie Reese
Identity is one of those things that we build almost without thinking. It starts when we are young and our parents pour into us with positive praise and encouragement. At least I hope that is your story. Some people don’t get much of that positive praise. They either get no feedback or negative feedback. And sometimes we get a little of all of it. So when all of this gets jumbled up inside our heads, we somehow decide “this is me” and “this is not me”. If you’re like me, somehow you have let some of that negative feedback influence you a little too much. So how do we rebuild that positive? We look to God and see what He says about us! The perfect place to do this is in Ephesians chapters 1 and 2. These two chapters are full of wonderful things we can latch onto as part of our identity.
“He predestined us for adoption…”
Even if you haven’t had the pleasure of adopting a child or knowing someone who has, there is a terribly special kind of love involved. One that amazes me. I have a friend who has adopted two little girls and the love she has for those two is beautiful. I have a cousin who is adopted and the love the family shows her is also amazing. The love that God has for us as adopted sons and daughters is powerful and special. Let that begin the building of your identity.
“In him we were also chosen…”
Not only adopted, but also chosen! Out of all the beautiful things that God has created on this earth we are CHOSEN. That just feels good. To be chosen is to be wanted. Isn’t that a basic need we all crave? Someone wants us. God wants us.
Eph 1: 13b
“When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,”
When I read this I see a physical mark - like a special birthmark - that we have. A badge maybe that we can show people and say “Look! I am special! God gave this to me!” And all the things we know about the power of the Holy Spirit. Wow. Please notice that this special mark comes when we become believers in Him. It’s something we get when we decide that we want our identity to become intertwined with God. What other amazing gifts do we get when we believe and build our identity in God and Christ?
“Made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved.”
We have been made alive and received grace. Alive - have you ever met someone that wasn’t in this category and they still just walked around? Being alive in Christ should give us a vigor and pep that helps us define ourselves.
Grace is an amazing gift for our broken lives. It is like the glue that holds it all together. Without it we would have to work so hard to be and do all the things we were “supposed to” in order to receive salvation. Instead, it is a free gift we can never earn, we just accept. And I do hope that you have chosen to accept it!
“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household,”
I have the privilege of being able to travel to Brazil in the summer and participate in mission work. My husband and I have some wonderful friends that we consider family down there, but even as often as we have gone and as much as we are loved, we are still foreigners. There is nothing so refreshing as getting off that plane after days of hearing a language not your own and suddenly you are back on American soil. Home. Not a stranger anymore. A citizen. And even more sweet is when I have been gone for so long and I walk into my own home. My household (usually the kiddos and in-laws who have been watching them) welcomes me with an acceptance and love that no other place offers. This is another thing we have in Christ. When we are God’s people we have a place to belong. A foundation to build upon. A refuge when we forget who we are.
I know identity goes far beyond and far deeper than what I have talked about here, but this is a good place to start. As daughters of the King of kings we have so many wonderful parts to our identity. If nothing else tells you how special and loved you are, Christ died for you. Even if you haven’t accepted Him, he died for you. He waits for you to clothe yourself in Him so He can build your identity on these beautiful things. Adoption, being chosen, receiving the Holy Spirit, Grace, and a home.
Lord, thank you for giving us the gifts you have given us. Please help us to base our identity in you and these things instead of the negative that we have heard from the enemy and his followers of the world. Guide us in reading your word and listening to your voice as we build ourselves into the daughters you want us to be.
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