Recapturing Our True Identity

Pastor Darren Kishimoto   -  
February is a special time around our house.  Last week we celebrated Avery’s birthday on Valentine’s day.  Today we celebrated Colson’s 18th birthday (Feb 22).  How he got this old I have no idea!  It doesn’t seem that long ago that we brought him home from the hospital just a little baby.  The picture of Renae and Colson is from the April 2003 edition of the Messenger church newsletter.  How fast time flies!  For many of you with older children, you probably remember the day your child was born, and can relate to us when we say “sorry Colson, mom and I have a hard time believing you’re an adult, please give us a few more years.”
At the church, we love to see our sons and daughters develop and mature but we also get great joy by having little ones in our midst.  We love their life and energy.  Seeing them also makes it easy for us to grasp the truth of scripture that “God created their inmost being, knit them together in their mother’s womb, and they are fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:13-14).  It’s obvious to us just how special and precious they are.  However, this is not just true about babies and toddlers, the same could be said for each one of us.  From mother’s womb to childhood to adulthood to senior status, the Bible says that we have been created in God’s image and are fearfully and wonderfully made.  This is a crucial part of our identity and yet these truths often get away from us as we grow older.
A couple of years ago I went to a great workshop by ArborSpring Ministries and they discussed how our identity and our worth, which has been bestowed upon us by God, has been “deformed by the fall” and “conformed to the world.”  We have inherited a sinful nature from Adam and Eve.  This sin not only breaks relationship with God but it skews our understanding of ourselves.  We may not realize it but we often hold ungodly beliefs about ourselves (and others) and forget the words of Ephesians 2:10 that “we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works.”  We internalize others’ criticisms and Satan’s lies, and we think we’re not redeemable or that God could not love us.  We’re held in cycles of shame and fear as Adam and Eve were in Genesis 3 when they hid from the Lord after disobeying Him.  We conform to the world by defining ourselves as the world does by what we own, what we accomplish, and what others think of us.  Over time, we lose sight and sense of our true identity.
But while we have been deformed by the fall and conformed to the world, the good news is that we have been or can be reformed through the cross and transformed by Christ.  God wants to eliminate ungodly beliefs that keep us from Him.  He wants to dispel the lies and break down the strongholds in our lives.  The truth is by the sacrifice of Christ, we have been redeemed, born again, and made new.  And this is an ongoing process.  As Christians, we are children of God.  I John 3:1 says “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!  And that is what we are!”  This is our identity!  Part of our Christian life then is about understanding and recapturing our true identity in the Lord as beloved children of God, created in the Father’s image, fearfully and wonderfully made.  A good first step is to simply draw near to the Father each day and spend time in His presence.
Have a great week!