As we grow in Christ, we begin to discover who we truly are, and our actions necessarily follow. Living deeply rooted in our Christ-centered identity does much more than simply build our confidence. It also greatly impacts how we respond to others and provides a powerful insulator against sin. In each moment, we are living as a deeply loved child of God, held secure by Christ, or as an orphan forced to fight through life on our own. We can act as if we have to prove ourselves, or we can rest in who we are, all God’s done, and all He’s promised yet to do.
When I first sensed God calling me into ministry, I was plagued by insecurity. While I knew, intellectually, God alone was my Savior and Lord, I routinely lived as if I held those titles. My mental role reversal caused me to strive rather than surrender and to see every challenge as a threat instead of opportunities to experience God’s care. I responded to financial and health threats in a similar manner—acting as if abandoned and forced to navigate a harsh world on my own.
This inevitably led to unloving, harsh, and self-centered behavior that hurt others and hindered my intimacy with Christ. Increased freedom came when I progressively found myself in Him.
I belonged to Christ, purchased with His very life. To free me from hell, yes, but also to bridge the gap my sin had wedged between us. In other words, the God of all creation, of infinite wisdom and power, suffered and died to forge an intimate, inseparable, soul-deep bond with me. To turn one of His enemies into His adopted child.
I’m never alone. My Daddy, who’s bigger and greater than anything that could ever come against me, stands ready to come to my aid.
No matter the circumstance or threat, I can relax, knowing God remains with me, has a plan for me, and will perfect all that concerns me. Those truths provide powerful armor I can sink deeply into when temptations hit.
Without that armor, I invite attack.
Notice the tactics Satan used when tempting Jesus.
3 And the tempter came and said to Him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But He answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
5 Then the devil took Him to the holy city and set Him on the pinnacle of the temple 6 and said to Him, “If you are the Son of God, throw Yourself down, for it is written …” (Matthew 4:3-6, ESV, emphasis mine).
It’s as if he’s mocking Jesus, saying, “If You really are who You say You are …”
When I’ve experienced something similar, I often felt compelled to prove myself. Not Jesus. Instead, He calmly but firmly spoke truth, repeating, “It is written …”
Jesus knew who He was and Who had called Him. Everything else was irrelevant. Everything else is irrelevant to us as well. Regardless of what we face or how others treat us, you and I belong to the God who formed us, loves and redeemed us, and calls us to greatness. We have nothing to prove and no reason to fight for control. We simply need to sink more deeply in who we are and all the blessings and provisions available to us as daughters of Christ.
Let’s talk about this! How has identity-confusion led to sin in your life? What is one way you can anchor yourself more securely in your true identity? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
Jennifer Slattery is a writer and speaker who hosts the Faith Over Fear podcast. She’s addressed women’s groups, Bible studies, and writers across the nation. She’s the author of Building a Family and numerous other titles and maintains a devotional blog at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com.
As the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, she’s passionate about helping women experience Christ’s freedom in all areas of their lives. Visit her online to learn more about her speaking or to book her for your next women’s event and sign up for her free quarterly newsletter HERE and make sure to connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.