I’ve discipled many women that were struggling with their identity in Christ. Many times we work through Neil T Anderson’s book Victory Over Darkness. He describes how we, after the fall, are born physically alive, but Adam and Eve were born both physically and spiritually alive. This created a oneness with God.
So, God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them (Genesis 1:27).
This oneness was before sin entered into the world. Adam and Eve were in perfect union with God. Then the Fall happened and created a divide between humanity and God. Enter Jesus, who reconciles us to God through his sacrificial work on the cross so we can enter the Kingdom of God as his chosen children. As Jesus explained to a Pharisee named Nicodemus,
Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again” (John 3:3).
But how does this rebirth happen? Scripture tells us we must be born again, adopted.
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves (Ephesians 1:4-6).
We’ve been adopted. When we were physically born to our earthly family, we were not born into the family of Christ. We had to be born again, adopted into God’s family, his Kingdom.
I’ve spoken to the parents of adopted children and they know that God gave them this child and that they are their son/daughter, whether biological or not.
Identity is not an issue that the parents have, but it is an area of difficulty for the child.
No matter how wonderful an adoptive father/family is, it is still not the same as being born into a family. Just as Adam and Eve were with God, our biological children are a part of their parents, literally. Conversely, the adoptee legally has the same rights as a member of the blood line. Yet emotionally and mentally, the adopted person has to learn how to be part of their new family.
Whether we are discussing the issue of being adopted into an earthly family or our Godly one, there are many areas that can leave a person with insecurities about their identity. Who am I? Where did I come from? Do I really belong in this family? Does my father really love me?
Another factor that influences our acceptance and living out our identity is when the adoption takes place. Was it close to the biological birth, so that all the customs and values of the adoptive family could be taught as the child grew? Or was he or she brought into the family as a teen, when the values from significant time spent in other interactions were already well established?
Our spiritual life plays this out in a similar way. Were you adopted into the family of Christ young, so the foundations of Christianity is in your DNA? Or did you come into the family later, when you had to reconcile the old life and the new?
You will need to unlearn numerous old ways and learn to accept the goodness and discipline of your new family.
God is the best Father that anyone could possibly have–unconditionally loving, as a matter of fact. So, why is it such a challenge to believe what scripture tells us about who we are? How can we come to fully embrace our fundamental identity as children of God? What can we do about it?
In order to get started believing the truth about your identity:
- Find someone to walk with you who knows who they are in Christ Jesus.
- Identify the lies that you believe about your old self.
- Find scriptures that combat those lies and keep them close at hand. Memorize them.
You must choose to believe the scriptures that tell you who you are in Christ and to live in the freedom knowing that you are chosen, adopted by the Creator of the universe.
If you are struggling with your identity in Christ, you are not alone. If you are walking with someone who is struggling, I pray you find the resources and that you will petition our heavenly Father to give you the words and direction you need to be a guide. Walking closely with another person is holy ground, especially while they wrestle with who they are in Christ.
Seek the Holy Spirit and continue to speak truth into their lives until their DNA becomes that of their heavenly Father.
You have been rescued out of the domain of darkness and adopted into a royal priesthood (Col. 1:13; 1 Peter 2:9). God is the perfect Father who wants you to live out your rightful place in his family.
You must choose to believe the scriptures that tell you who you are in Christ and to live in the freedom knowing that you are chosen, adopted by the Creator of the universe. He wants you to walk in that freedom and experience joy as a result, as well as to disciple others so they too can experience the richness of knowing their Father.