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Claiming Your Identity

by Brett Stewart on March 08, 2018

I’m going to be vulnerable in this post and let you in on a daily battle of mine. This might come as a shock for many that know me or encounter me, but I struggle with insecurity. If you meet me, chances are that I come off as a strong, confident personality. While this is partially true, there’s also an insecurity that lies within me. This insecurity is the worthiness of being loved.

Every day, we are faced with the opportunity to partner with lies (ungodly beliefs) or truth (godly beliefs). We have an enemy who wants us to operate from a place of emptiness, insecurity, and inadequacy so that our lives consist of daily efforts just to be filled and receive some sense of worth. The problem with this is that our worth is then tied to any person or circumstance that can easily fail, thereby removing our source or sense of worthiness. This results with the repetitive cycle of feeling empty over and over again. Another problem with this mentality is that our entire life is aimed at trying to earn love, acceptance, and worth. We try to become someone worthy of attention and love, or we at least attempt to convince ourselves that we are worthy of being loved. Without addressing ungodly beliefs and lies about who you are (i.e. your sense of worth, purpose, etc.), we operate as an empty cup. Our every move and action is an attempt to fill our emptiness. If we can do enough, receive enough, hear acceptance from others, our cup will be filled and we will be loved—we will be satisfied. This is the lie the enemy wants to keep us in.

I’ve spent the majority of my life in this place up until 2 years ago. I couldn’t understand why God would love me simply because He wants to, much less understand why any other person would love me if I never earned or worked for it. Because of this, it was easy for me to have a king-servant relationship with God. I could serve the king, and I could serve Him well. In fact, I was driven to work more for the king because as a servant (or a slave) what I earned was directly dependent on my performance—what I accomplished. Therefore my identity, my worthiness of being loved, being filled, being satisfied was dependent on my actions and abilities. I’m going to be honest…this was an exhausting place to live and be. The “life” I received from operating from emptiness and performance was no life at all. It was actually death. It was a curse and a burden.

While there is an enemy who wants us to operate from a position of emptiness, there is a God—a Father—who wants us to operate from a position of fullness of life, love, and purpose. God wants our cup to start at being filled by His truth and His love, so that everything we do is now an overflow of this love and truth, rather than an attempt to be filled.

You are loved. The very act of creating humanity in the image of God was an expression of His love. I was created out of love; I was created for love. Scripture is very clear that God is love (1 John 4:8). And if God is something…He always is. This is even how He revealed His name to Moses and to Israel: I am—Yahweh. What I am, I will be. So if God is love, He will always be love and He cannot be anything else but love. If we do not truly believe God is the essence and perfection of love, then we have nothing to hope for. If we do not believe what scripture reveals to us about the nature of God, we are wasting our time. I have no other hope than to believe that God is love. 

Scripture also makes it very clear that there is no fear in love. Perfect love (i.e. the love of God) casts out fear (1 John 4:18). Inadequacy, insecurity, unworthiness, and emptiness (and any other lie of ungodly belief) are all based in fear. Fear of not being good enough. Fear states that I am not truly loved. Therefore, if you’ve ever felt any measure of inadequacy, insecurity, unworthiness, emptiness or anything related to this, you can be sure to identify this as a lie—as an ungodly belief.

You were created because God is love and He loves you. He calls you son. He calls you daughter. That is who you are. Now I know what some of you are thinking: "Brett, you don’t know me. You don’t know my mistakes, what I’ve done, the ways I’ve let God down, the ways I’ve disappointed him. It’s just not that easy." I want you to imagine yourself into the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32). After the son dishonored the father, spoiled the inheritance, and lived a life of immorality, he finds himself in a place of emptiness (although I’d also say his entire journey separated from the father was a place of emptiness). I want you to notice his thinking, because it’s very much like our own. "I will go back to my father in the form of a slave/servant. I will work for him so that I can earn whatever I deserve." The son plans out what he is going to save to his father: “Father, I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your slaves.” So he travels back home, mind you carrying a heavy load of shame. Sure of the father’s disappointment and rejection of him. And he begins his speech that he prepared: “Father, I have sinned against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” BUT before he could even claim or identify himself as a slave, the father interjects and reminds him of his true value, his true purpose, his true identity: …”For this is my son.  And the father cleans him up, puts a robe on him, a ring on his finger, shoes on his feet, and he celebrates. The Lord claims you as His own.

You are a son. You are a daughter. There is nothing you can do to earn your position or identity from God. You simply are. If God’s love is earned, then it is not a free gift, but a payment that is earned. That makes God’s love and salvation dependent on you and not God. If salvation and love is dependent on you, then there is no need from what all believers would claim as the “greatest expression of God’s love”…the gift and sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. And we can all agree that does not align with scripture and truth.

Why did I go into this much detail to communicate a simple truth? Because this simple truth is attacked every day by the enemy. Every day you and I are flooded with thoughts or opportunities to partner with ungodly beliefs concerning who we are, our worth, or our purpose. It takes knowing the truth of who God is and who you are to be able to identify the devil’s attempt and attack of your identity. While the Lord has grown me a great deal in this truth, that battle is not over. I battle it daily. My day is filled with moments to claim (or reclaim!) my identity. Whether it’s not receiving praise or affirmation from someone that I feel I deserve, or trying to impress someone so they believe that I am important enough to value, or a direct attack towards my character or worth, or even simply the constant need to perform or earn love, in each of those moments I must claim and declare who I am.

As we speak aloud the truth of Father God and the truth of our identity in Him, our hearts and minds come into alignment with the truth we declare. As we align with this truth, we suddenly begin to operate from a position of fullness rather than emptiness. And more importantly we can trust that God is for us and He will fulfill the plans and promises He has for our lives. God is constant. He never waivers. He never changes. He is a God of love. A God of truth. A God of covenant. A God of promises. A God who will do what He says He will do. And this God, this Father, claims you as His own.

I pray you join me in this battle to claim your identity every day so that you might receive and walk in freedom, power, purpose, joy, and security in knowing your worth. You are a son. You are a daughter. You are loved by God. And nothing can change or separate that love. Anything that speaks or reveals itself as contrary to this truth is a lie. It is an ungodly belief. Identify it, reject it, and claim your identity.

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