Do You Know Who You Are?

It dawned on me that I didn’t know who I was for a long time. I identified with the things around me — people, accomplishments, failures, things that were and things that still remain out of my control. I’d fallen for lies, for deception. None of it is true as I realize now, but I believed it so strongly then.

The song “Rain” by one of my favorite artists, Kings Kaleidoscope, has the lyrics:

I am enough, always enough
You are enough, precious and loved
Morning will come, sure as the Son
I am enough, you are enough

“Who You Say I Am” by Hillsong has the lyric:

I am who you say I am.

The bottom line is: I know who I am, and I know I’m loved. Fully known, and fully loved.

Photo by Mandy von Stahl on Unsplash

I’ve lost best friends, good friends, have become distant with family members, felt the double-sided, sharpened, serrated sword of rejection. I’ve felt inferior, unworthy of anything, relationships, jobs, all of it. Deep despair, sadness, it’s all been there, it’s all real. If you’ve felt this at some point or another, let me just tell you that you aren’t the only one here. There’s a horde of people, including myself, that can relate to you. For emphasis: What you are not, is alone.

Now, I know at times it feels like you don’t know who you are and you don’t know where to turn, and if you finally find yourself you will be afraid that people will reject you. 1 Peter 1:6–7 says, “So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold — though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”

Guys, trials come. Deep seated, Paul-types of thorn-in-your side trials will come. Huge desires that you have yet to see fulfilled for years. Prayers asked and communicated, wondering if God will come through (PS — he will, so don’t worry about this. As a side note, worrying will do nothing for you except make your situation worse. Philippians says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”) These trials will hurt, they will feel like a constant cramp in your side, and first off know that this isn’t from God. Your desires are from God, but the hurt isn’t. Secondly, know that God has heard your cry. Angels in heaven are recording your prayers. The whole of heaven is rooting for you, for your desires when they align with God’s.

Photo by Ian Stauffer on Unsplash

I realized that for a while when I was praying, I thought I was giving my desire to God. But instead I was complaining. Philippians, again, says: “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.” As soon as I realized this (thanks to my wonderful roommates who are a BLESSING let me tell you. Get yourself some roommates who will *pray* with you through the good, the bad, and the ugly), I immediately began thinking how selfish I was. Then I thanked God for his goodness, for all of his blessings, for food, for a home, for a source of income, for answers to prayers I was seeing answered right in the middle of my selfish moments that I had prayed for a long time ago.

Isaiah is a crazy book. The highs and lows and prophecies in the book are a little confusing sometimes. But a part of a chapter in that book has been with me for a while, and it continually brings me peace and understanding that I am fully known and fully loved by Jesus. “But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine,’” says Isaiah 43. “Because you are precious in my eyes and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchanged for your life.” This God, who I owe my life to because he created me and loved me, knew me when He “knitted me together in my mother’s womb,” says Psalm 139. “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Photo by Tom The Photographer on Unsplash

There are times when we think a person, a job, being better than someone else at something, or attempting to break someone’s opinion of us is so much more important than who we actually are. We are simply loved by God, in whom we “shall be as white as Snow.”

Not a moment of our lives is to be spent comparing ourselves to others, or what we don’t have, when really all we need is Jesus and to live and act in His footsteps.

Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still my heart and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Look guys, God knows the number of your days. He knows the number of hairs on your head, the words before you speak them, when you feel empty and when you feel high on life. He knows when you hurt, when your heart aches, when you desire something that is good and lovely and pure, and when you are waiting for an answer.

Photo by J A N U P R A S A D on Unsplash

God reminds us that he will be with us when we are in trials. In Exodus 3:13–14, Moses tells God, “‘If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, “The God of your fathers has sent me to you,” and they ask me, “What is his name?” what shall I say to them?’ God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM.’ And he said, ‘Say this to the people of Israel: “I AM has sent me to you.”” The servant heart in Isaiah 6:8 is such a beautiful response to God’s calling on our lives. “ And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then I said, ‘Here I am! Send me.’” This is the type of response we should have and want and desire.

“We love because He first loved us,” Matthew tells us. Steffany Gretzinger, an amazing vocalist who sings for Bethel Music, has a song called “Promise I Always Will.” It’s a reminder of the promise that God has made in His love for us and that we love him back, and the lyrics go like this:

I love You. I promise I always will. And I chose you, forever I’ll choose you still.

Look, these are very real struggles on which we have to depend on God for guidance and restoration. Sometimes the lies remind us of who we were, and try to deceive us into believing who we are not. But remember your authority in Christ — remember who you are! You are not a failure. You are never alone. You are not incapable. If you know the Lord, then you are CO-HEIRS with Christ. How crazy is it to know that you have literally inherited the kingdom of God simply by obeying him? He loves you so much, it’s really a mystery why He does. But He does anyway.

Do you understand how important this is? How important it is to die to yourself and live as Christ? Do you? It is so important. In fact, it is really the only important, life-or-death question you’ll ever have to face and answer. Because we all answer, but we have a 50/50 chance: yes or no. The right answer is yes, so you can never say you’ve never encountered Jesus if you read this. But no one can force you to answer this question one way or the other → only *you* get to choose whether or not you want to lose the whole world and gain your soul.

So don’t worry, people. You are not the lies you’ve been told, or the lies you believe about yourself that somehow got twisted into your mind somewhere along the way. You are not alone. We have a promise here. Jesus even told us: “I am with you always, even until the end of the age.”

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