Have You Confused Your Struggle With Your Identity?



 I might as well not even bother to explain why I haven’t blogged for awhile.  I think you understand because you are probably here just like me, trying to keep up with the whirlwind of life — the basics.   As much as I love blogging, it’s not essential to life so it gets buried beneath an avalanche of other thoughts and priorities and necessities.

Here I am today with this treasure: a pocket of time that I am going to fill with one of my best Christmas gifts to myself: the opportunity to blog.

I know it may sound selfish, but for me, blogging is more than just doing something I enjoy.  I blog because by writing down those “God” moments of my day, it helps me to really soak it in, reflect, and “own” what truths I am to apply.

I have been participating in a Community Bible Study group, which I love, but because of the Christmas holiday, we are having a break from CBS.  I decided to crack open a new study book that I had bought last year.  Just looking at the title, I knew there were truths that I would be taking home.

The thoughts/truths that this book stirred up in my heart were things I have been pondering all along…  Truths that I wish I could just help every single person to soak in, including myself.

It has to do with our identity — who we are.  I have written about this subject on past occasions so why do I continue to mention it?

I believe the importance of identity keeps coming back for these reasons:

If we knew who we were — really knew — we would be unbeatable and would consistently live the victorious life.

This brings us to the second truth:

The battlefield of the mind and in our spiritual journeys will always be based upon one or both of the following lies: a lie about myself and/or a lie about God.

When we read Genesis 1, we learn some important truths:

God’s Words create reality and have the power to bring things into being.

In other words, Being comes from God.  We become the reality of God’s truth as we receive and hear it.  If we tune it out, we miss out on this opportunity.  It also means that what He declares we are in Christ is what we actually are: He created it into Being.

On the other hand, our words don’t create or destroy, but they do promote life as they build up or death as they tear down our emotions and disturb our spiritual growth.  This is also true towards how we use our words in interaction with others.

Proverbs 18:21

21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

Matthew 12:34

34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

What’s in our hearts is revealed by the words that we speak.

Matthew 12:35

35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

It is interesting that the word here for treasure means a storeroom and actually is the Greek word thesauros.  It means a storeroom of words in our hearts.  Our hearts and minds are containers for words — either truth or lies and/or a combination.  What we allow into our “containers” will influence us.

In one of the assignments in the book, I was to write out a list of “who I am.”  The significance to the assignment was to reveal this:

We often use what we do to describe who we are and think that is the summary of who we are.

What this means is the following powerful statement:

We often choose our I am based on what we do and our struggles — rather than the reality of who we actually are.

Repeat that again because it is so powerful!

We often choose our I am based on what we do and our struggles…

rather than the reality of who we actually are.

Read an example of this in the Bible:

Exodus 4:10

10 Then Moses said to the Lord, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”

Moses judged his capabilities by his physical abilities or lack thereof.  He judged his potential by his limitations or challenges.  He judged his purpose and calling by his “giftings” or apparent limits.  He forgot that God can take a rod and make it a serpent.  He can take a virgin and cause her to bare the Son of God.  He can take tablets of stone and form His commands upon them.  He can take a shepherd boy and cause him to destroy one of the biggest enemies to Israel.  He can take the Red Sea and part its waters. He can take doubting disciples and transform them into bold testaments to His power.  He can take a citadel of military prowess and cause its walls to tumble.  He can take an orphan and make her a queen.  He can take an old, barren womb and cause it to bring forth life.  He can take a body, deteriorating in the grave for four days and resurrect it to life again.  The point is, He can!

The point is He can.

A few months ago, I was sitting in a church service, and God clearly spoke to my heart these words, “I am not looking for ability.  I am looking for availability.”  He was telling me, I can use you if you are willing to surrender to me, even your fears and limitations.

He often chooses the most unlikely candidates to perform His work because as a result His glory is revealed.

The problem is this:

We often have very little practical awareness of the reality of who we are in Christ and of Who He is in us.

Instead, we judge our usefulness and our identity by our failings, and then instead of overcoming them in the victory we have in Christ, we give in to the lie and live the lie.

1 Corinthians 15:10

10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

This is the truth I want to share with you today:

You are not your struggle.

You are not your past.

You are not even the failings of your present.

God’s desire to use you was never based upon your abilities or performance.  God’s love for you was never based upon how many times you obeyed Him.  He loved you in spite of yourself, and He still does!

Our biggest challenge is for us to get out of the way!

A couple of Sundays ago, I was feeling guilty because I hadn’t spent as much time in the Word that week and was feeling the affects.  (Note: I am not downplaying the importance of doing this, but keep reading…)  As a result, I was struggling in my worship.  The Lord then spoke to my heart clearly, and it was this: “Your worship is not based upon you.  It’s based upon Me, and I never change.  You need to get out of the way and stop looking at your unworthiness, but instead focus on My worthiness.”

The amazing truth is this:

I am worthy because He made me worthy!  Jesus gave me His worthiness.  My claim is based upon Him, and my claim is backed by an Almighty God.  The spiritual world recognizes my claim in His name!

As I close this blog post, I want to encourage you with this:

“Who you are and what your struggle with is not the same thing.” (slightly paraphrased from Me, Myself, and Lies by Jennifer Rothschild)