The Only Foundation Worth Standing Upon
Over the last couple decades within the Christian community, teaching about our identity in Christ has become more and more popular. When I typed “Identity in Christ” into Google there were 1,370,000 pages on the topic. We have been saturated with this topic in recent years. I began to wonder where this trend of teaching about our identity in Christ actually came from.
I have taught it myself, but I began to ask myself, why am I teaching this? Is it because the Bible teaches it, or is it because I am following the trend? As I have been studying the lives of Joseph, Daniel and David, their strength, their ability to stand in the midst of difficulty, their “success,” never came from a foundation of understanding who they were. It came from an understanding and revelation of who God is.
I am not saying learning about who we are in Christ is a bad thing to do. Being identified with Christ is very important. I am more than a conqueror, as Romans 8:37 teaches me. I am forgiven and washed in the blood, as Ephesians 1:7 tells me. I am loved, as John 3:16 says. But why am I these things?
There is a danger that can happen when we teach about our identity in Christ, in that it can become self-centered instead of God centered. We never want to make the mistake of living out the Kingdom, based on a foundation that we have built, from who we are in Christ.
Our purpose in teaching about our identity in Christ should stem from our desire to proclaim Christ, to show how awesome He is. I do not ever want to teach about our identity from the motive of trying to alleviate our broken self-image, and low self-esteem. We try to convince people over and over that they are loved, that there is something within them that is worth loving, in hopes that they can eventually grab hold of that truth, and move forward out of their place of bondage.
We spend so much time and energy in discovering who we are. Limiting our steps of faith through the discovery of who I am. Only stepping out to risk once I have discovered that I am…strong, or that I am…accepted. We work very hard to stabilize our small rock pedestals of perfection. When all the while, God is trying to get our attention, calling us with a passionate invitation, “Look over here!” He says, “I have a large slab of rock, a great foundation, called I AM. Come and stand upon the truth of who I AM, not who you are!”
When we begin to shift our focus from ourselves to Him, when we take the journey over from our little rock to His mighty foundation, we begin to see that we are… because HE IS! Suddenly we are no longer afraid to be seen with any lack in our lives. We no longer have to always appear confident and able. We take hold of the freeing truth that when I am weak, He is strong. I do not have to be all these things I have been striving to be, because He is all of those things for me.
Listen to what 1 John 4:7-8 says, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love, does not know God, because God is love.” It does not say, “anyone who does not love, has yet to find their identity in Christ, as one who is loved.” The key to loving, is to KNOW God. I do not learn to love, by having a revelation that I am loveable.
I become someone who loves, by having a revelation of who God is, not who I am. Discovering something within myself that is worthy of love will not free me. In fact it will only cause me to live from a place of striving and trying to maintain that place within me that I think is lovable, never coming into a place of grace, to be okay if I cannot sustain that perfect state.
You are loved because GOD IS LOVE. Love is who He is. It is His nature. The question of whether or not I am lovable has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with Him. He chooses to love you even in your weakness and sin. Your struggles, your sins do not change the nature of God. He remains love in the face of whatever brokenness we bring.
It is His act of love upon me that changes me. When He shares with me who He is, when He pours out upon me who He is, my soul is touched, I become secure, and my spirit is awakened.
As a believer in Christ when we KNOW who God is, the by-product of that “knowing” will result in us having a strong and stable identity. If we focus on the source of our identity, if we behold the glory of God, instead of focusing on our lack, the rest will fall into place.
This is a place of such freedom. It removes all striving to be loved. It removes all performance trying to find our places of acceptance and belonging. You are fully loved not because of anything you could ever do or become; you are loved because God is love! Place your feet upon the truth of who He is, and you will never be shaken!