As I sat in the front row of the Christian high school auditorium, waiting to be introduced to speak to the students and faculty about who I am in Christ, I reflected on the morning that had turned into a comedy of errors!
My hair was a mess. I tried on four outfits before settling on one that hid most of the major flaws. A heavy load of coins in my blazer pocket slipped through a small hole and were circling and jingling around the hem of the blazer! I sprained my left ankle and right wrist the day before and was wearing higher heels than I'm used to. I nearly fell on my face trying to gracefully go up the stairs with no banister while holding my Bible and papers. On top of this, when I pulled up to the school, I spied a huge banner announcing that today was Open House. So there were visitors in attendance making decisions about where to send their children for high school. All this pressure - with huge hair, bad ankles, and a slapping, jingling jacket. I felt totally unfit to speak to anyone that morning, much less the assembled guests and school body.
Thankfully, God broke through the swirling mental turmoil of insecurity as I sat waiting in that front row. << Click to Tweet
Do I believe that God is who says who He is? That's a yes - so then - do I believe that I am who God says I am? Well, I guess I must believe that, too. After all, that’s the very message I was just about to share with the students, teachers, and Open House guests. How could I convey a message about who God says they are - His child, His ambassador, His soldier – and encourage them to embrace and live out this truth, if I couldn't do it myself? So I prayed for God to be glorified, to use me as His instrument, and to speak through me to reach at least one who needed to know how special he or she is in His eyes. And God did not disappoint!
My favorite confirmation occurred that night when my son called me over to see his Facebook feed. A student had updated her Facebook status in capital letters with words I shared that morning -
“I AM NOT WHO YOU THINK I AM.
I AM NOT EVEN WHO I THINK I AM.
I AM WHO GOD SAYS I AM.”
When the enemy tears at our souls, we question who we are. He uses tactics to convince us that we aren’t worthy. He entices us to compare ourselves to other people, to focus on our flaws, to remind us of our failings. We see an obscured picture of the truth that God wants us to see, possess, and act upon.
The truth is that God is very clear about who He says we are. <<Click to Tweet
Throughout His Word, He reveals these gems in undeniable statements. He tells us:
- I am a branch of the Vine (John 15:5-8) – connected to Him, fed and nurtured by Him, designed to bear fruit (Gal. 5:22-23).
- I am a child of God (John 1:12) - unconditionally loved and called to be child-like (Luke 18:17) but not child-ish (1 Cor. 13:11).
- I am salt (Matt. 5:13) - deeply valued as Roman currency, a preservative protecting my culture from decay, inciting “thirstiness” for God in those around us.
- I am God’s temple (1 Cor. 3:16) - His very presence dwells inside us, allowing us direct access to the creator and ruler of the universe. We might need to tidy up the attic a bit, but His light will shine in all the dark places.
- I am an Ambassador (2 Cor. 5:20) – living in a place that is not my true home, but sharing its virtues and encouraging others to join me on the journey.
- I am His Workmanship (Eph. 2:10) – His poema, His work of art made of flesh and blood, distinctly designed by a Master Artist according to a perfect plan and for a specific purpose, which He planned in advance.
Through the many statements God makes about who we are in His Word, over 50 of them at my last count, God declares our true identity. We are saints and sinners, priests and living sacrifices, sheep and shepherds. We are His friend, His heir, His instrument, a part of His body. We are athletes running a race and soldiers at war. We are clay, fragrance, neighbors, builders, and under construction.
He doesn’t keep our identity a secret, but longs for us to embrace these images as our own. Knowing our true identity empowers us to fully live a victorious life of faith, understanding both the privileges and responsibilities of our true identity as Christians.
How about you? Do you believe you are who God says you are?
Susan Panzica is a Jewish Jersey girl who loves Jesus, her family, the ocean, and mangos. Her passion is to bring an eternal perspective to earthly matters through writing, speaking, teaching, and coffee dates. A quasi-emptynester who works with her chiropractor husband, she thoroughly enjoys when her college age children are home, with or without all their friends. Susan is a speaker, women and children’s Bible teacher, and writer of the devotional blog Eternity Café.
Photo credit: Brianna Campos