Identity and Action
God has been teaching me a lot about my identity in Christ over the past couple years (you can read some of what I have already shared here and here). Lately, I have been thinking about how my identity is tied to action. Most of us probably believe that our actions determine our identity. For instance, if you write, then you are a writer. If you sing, then you are a singer.
But God flips it around. Instead of my action creating my identity, my identity leads me to action. God first gives us our identity by making us a new creation in Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17) and then calls us to act out that identity.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
(1 Peter 2:9)
In this verse, our identity drives our action. Our identity is a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession. Because of that identity, we take the action of proclaiming the excellencies of God.
Remember Who You Are
I know this is a bit of a throwback, but I just love how this scene in the movie The Lion King helps illustrate this truth (what can I say? I grew up in the 90’s).
Just as Simba needed his father to remind him of who he was, I need my Heavenly Father to remind me of who I am. I need Him to repeat to me that I am not defined by my sins and failures or even by my successes. To tell me again that I am His beloved daughter. And yes, even to challenge me to go live out that identity that I have already been given.
I Can’t Do It
It is a high calling, isn’t it? To live out the identity we’ve been given in Christ? You may be thinking, “There is no way I can live up to all that God says I am.” And you would be right but for the power of God working in you. You also would not be the first to question how you can possibly be and do all that God calls you to.
But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” He said, “But I will be with you…”
Moses asked God, “Who am I?” and God answered, “I will be with you.” Ultimately our identity is tied up in God Himself. We do not simply look inside ourselves to muster up the strength to be better, godlier people. Rather, we need the power of the Holy Spirit to empower us to live out the identity God has given us. I love how Jesus frames the Great Commission by first reminding us of His authority and then telling us that He will always be with us.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
The reason we can ultimately step out in faith to be the people God has called us to be is not because of our own strength, ability, or greatness, but His.
So what part of your identity in Christ do you need to remember today? How does that shape your actions? And how can you rely on God rather than yourself to live out that identity?