Articles - Christian Growth
by Lyn Packer
The TV program CSI's theme song asks "Who are you, who, who, who, who?" In real life we ask that question as well. We all want to know who we are and so we use words to try and describe who we are, but sometimes those words are more harmful than helpful.
There are two words in particular that we use to describe ourselves; those two words are "I am". Interestingly, that is who God is - the eternal and great "I Am"; the one who knows who He is, the one who has been eternally and absolutely secure in His identity and the one who knows who we are. In fact He is the one who gave us those two words with which we define ourselves. We use those two words a lot to describe who we are and they are more often than not associated with negative aspects of our life, for example
And with every "I am" we label and identify ourselves.
We are born with the innate knowledge that we are meant to be "someone" and we spend much of our life trying to find out who or what that "someone" is. We look for something to identify who we are and most often end up with an identity statement or label based on behavior or perceived value. Then when we think we've labelled and identified ourselves we begin to live out of that identity, even though it may be a negative one.
The trouble is the things listed above may be facts or problems associated with our lives, but they are not who we are; they do not define us and are not our identity, they are just facts about our life. Facts and problems may come and go, facts can change, but who you are is not defined by behavior or perceived value, but is based on an eternal reality.
So who are we? What is that eternal reality? We are someone of eternal significance and value because we are created in the image of God. And if we are a Christian, then we are also a child of God, part of God's eternal family, we've been given by Jesus the same glory the Father gave Him (John 17:22) That word "glory" means exalted state, worth and value. We are someone who is priceless, whose value is worth more than the combined wealth of the planet, (Psa 49:7,8) who is valued by the Father to the same degree He values Jesus. In Christ we have been made righteous, holy and blameless before Him. Our everyday life and Christian walk is therefore one of learning to walk in the reality of that eternal identity.
We may have some problems in our life, or facts that still need changing, but those things do not define us; they are simply problems or facts and God has a strategy to take us through them so that our view of ourself becomes consistent with who He says we are.
Our identity is found in relationship with Him by virtue of being created by Him in His image, and because of Christ's work on the cross that reconciled us to God. The realization and outworking of that identity is a gift we get to continually unwrap and delight in. So who are we really?
Those two words "I am" are actually an indicator to an eternal reality. God is the great "I am" and He has given us those words to use to express the eternal reality of who we are in Him. While we are not, and will never be, God, we are small, but wonderfully made in His image, "I am's". As Christians we get to use those two words to declare over our life the great truths of our eternal identity as children of God.
Who are you?
You are an "I am", made in the image of God the one who is eternally secure in who He is. Below is a list of some of the things He says about our eternally secure true identity in Him. I haven't put the scripture references in this list but every one of these is something the Lord says in scripture about who you truly are.
Of course there is a lot more that scripture has to say about your eternal identity; there is a whole lot more that God has made you and is making you.
Who are you? You are an "I am" – you are who you are because He is who He is; and the second list above is an accurate picture of who you are. It is your identity and your eternal reality in Christ and God.
Over the next few days take note of when you use that phrase "I am" and what, if any, negative things you are currently saying you are, then deliberately choose a truth to replace it. For example if you catch yourself thinking or saying "I am not wanted" then change that to "I am a child of God, beloved by Him and the apple of His eye" because that is the truth about who you are. The other is but a fading echo of the past life of a man or woman who is now dead. You have been made new, your old life is past - let go of it.
So often we think our old life still has a hold on us, that it hasn't really been crucified, but it is often us that are still holding onto that old identity by the way we think and the words we says over ourselves. And our holding onto that old identity means that we don't allow our minds to be renewed on that subject and therefore we don't walk in our true transformed state.
As you finish this article why not take some time now and thank the Lord that you have been made a true and eternally secure "I am" in Him.