Saturday, 12 July 2008

Life: A-Z; I is for Identity

identity: \ī-ˈden-tə-tē\;the distinguishing character or personality of an individual (Merriam-Webster online dictionary)

Now this was John's testimony when the Jews of Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. He did not fail to confess but confessed freely, "I AM NOT the Christ." They asked him, "Then WHO ARE YOU? Are you Elijah?"He said "I AM NOT." "Are you the prophet?" He answered "NO." Finally they said, " WHO ARE YOU? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us, WHAT DO YOU SAY ABOUT YOURSELF?" John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, "I AM THE VOICE of one calling in the desert, 'Make straight the way for the Lord.'" John 1:19-23 (NIV) Capitals mine

Jesus answered, "I AM the WAY and the TRUTH and the LIFE. No-one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 (NIV) Capitals mine

God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites; I AM has sent me to you." Exodus 3:14 (NIV) Capitals mine

I started the Life:A-Z series a wee long time ago, just realised I never finished but as the Spirit leads. I had initially wanted to write on integrity or ice-cream (lol!) but Parakletos had something else in mind.

It's the age old question, when people meet you for the first time they want to know 'who are you?'. I don't know about you but it's a question I always asked myself as a child growing up..'Who am I, who am I, who am I?'. I guess from a young age I knew there had to be more to me than my name or position in the family!

I love the definition of identity, 'the distinguishing character' of an individual. Your identity sets you apart from the mainstream, that is why you are asked to show ID to verify that you are who you say you are. When we are asked about our identity, some people answer with geography, "I'm British or I'm Nigerian" e.t.c or by profession/career, "I'm an engineer, doctor, lawyer" e.t.c or by their roles, "I'm a wife, mother of one, single, married" e.t.c. All these things in of themselves are not wrong answers but they are not the essence of who we are. That is why on our ID it is not enough to put these without something that sets us apart, usually we need a picture, something unique. Who we are is bigger than geography, career or role. This is because these things change, you can change your nationality, change jobs and even roles and if our identity is tied up in these things we feel a great sense of loss because we struggle to understand who we are.

Our true identity can only be found in God. He is the I AM that I AM. He does not change. For sure, as we progress in life and our walk with Him, He reveals more to us about the 'complex phenomenon' known as you and me! and we learn more about ourselves. Our identity is linked to our purpose. John didn't say, "I am John, son of Zechariah, high priest and Elizabeth, cousin of Jesus Christ e.t.c", He said "I am the voice crying in the wilderness" because that was His purpose, his raison d'etre. Even Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, the life."

When you know who you, then you will also know who you are not and will able to say no to others and refuse to allow other people give you an identity or an agenda that does not belong to you. John knew he was not the Christ so he was able to send the people on their way. The Jews wanted a Messiah that would deliver them from Roman oppression but they did not know that He came to deliver them from eternal bondage. They wanted someone to provide bread to quench their physical hunger but they did not know that he came to give Himself up as the bread of life, so they rejected Him.

I am a believer, I believe God made me for a specific purpose and as I walk with Him, He is unravelling more and more to me and I pray to spend my days discovering and walking in the purpose He has called me into. Pray and ask God to discover your purpose, He created you and He knows what for. Walk with Him, one step at a time and you will find yourself doing things that you only dreamt about. 'Rediscover yourself'(thanks FG) and accept who God made you and the calling on your life and learn to say no to distractions.

IT IS WELL. 2008 continues to remain our year of UNCOMMON TESTIMONIES.

Remain blessed and highly favoured.


Rinsola said...

You just don't know what this post sparked up in my mind. "IDENTITY". Thank you for sharing......

Jaycee said...

A lot of people cannot describe their identity.

I'm glad God has given me the grace and capacity to describe mine...

Thanks Believer!

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The Life of a Stranger called me said...

Thankfully I am who God says I am. I pray each day that I will never be a dissappointment to him. That as I continue to walk each day with him, I am able to discover myself in Him. Thanks for this.

Joyoz said...

Thanks for an inspiring piece, true our identity is not in who we are, but who he has made us in him, People confuse their their with their jobs, friends, social status, but really our purpose is found at the place of our calling, service in him.
I daily work to discover and be all he intends for me to be, that is the essence of my living.

Debbie said...

true people are confused as to their true identity that is why they are different things to different people, our identity is rooted in who we are in christ and what he did on the cros..
Nice piece and thanks for stopping by "straight from the heart"

simeoneomobaba said...

1 peter 2 : 9