Have you ever felt as though you were losing your identity in Christ? This can sometimes happen after a long period of suffering or a hard season of spiritual warfare. We look at the hard things we had experienced and think we must not be doing something right because we feel abandoned by God.
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What Is Our Identity in Christ?
Our identity is our sense of self and our knowledge of who we are. When we are confident in our identity, we know who we are, what we believe, and why. We make decisions based on our personal values and belief system and surround ourselves with people who reinforce what we believe about ourselves.
As believers, our identity is found in Christ. We have value because He created us. We have purpose because we were created on purpose for a purpose. Our decisions are based on the Bible and the teachings of Jesus Christ.
The Link between Identity and Relationship
I have always maintained that true knowledge of God can only be accomplished when we know who God is. We are created in God’s image and were made to remain in a relationship with Him.
Before His crucifixion, Jesus told His followers:
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me (John 15:4 NKJV).
That word abide was the Greek word ménō, (pronounced men’-o). It means to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy, abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, or tarry.
Jesus wanted His followers to make a deliberate choice to be present with Him. If you are choosing to remain in someone’s presence it means you desire to be in a relationship with them.
Your identity is impacted by the people you spend time with just as your identity influences the people you choose to spend time with.Your identity is impacted by the people you spend time with just as your identity influences the people you choose to spend time with. #hebrews12endurance Click To Tweet
7 Signs You May Be Losing Your Identity in Christ
1. Your personal devotion time has dwindled. As Christians, we need to spend time in the presence of our Heavenly Father. This is where we learn about who God is and build the foundation for our identity.
When we sacrifice our alone time with God (for whatever reason), we put at risk the foundation on which we build our identity.
2. Your beliefs keep shifting. The world we live in is filled with many people who believe in many things. If we base our beliefs on what the world says, we will constantly be changing what we believe and how we feel about things.
Our beliefs should be based on the Bible which is the infallible Word of God. God’s Word is true and it never changes. When you feel as though you are losing your identity in Christ, reach for God’s Word and find the truth you need.
3. You’ve lost your passion for Christ. When we first become believers, we are passionate about the Word, and work, of God. Unfortunately, this fervor doesn’t always last. This is why Jesus told the church of Ephesus:
But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first (Revelation 2:5 ESV).
If we lose our love for God, what are we going to base our identity on?
4. You are constantly seeking approval from the world. Okay, let’s just put it out there: if you are waiting on the world to approve you will wait for a very long time. Or if you do get the world’s approval, you will always be struggling to keep it. Let’s face it, the world’s standards change all the time.
What’s considered noteworthy and innovative today is completely different than what it was five years ago. (And I’m pretty sure it won’t remain the same in the years to come.) Is that how you want to live?
5. You talk mostly negative things to yourself. Girl, you know no one can criticize you the way you can. But if all you’re doing is talking down to yourself and saying negative things about you to you, you’re doing the devil’s work for him.
Is that your job? To be Satan’s handmaiden? I didn’t think so. You were bought with a price and you are special to God. He’s the one who gives you value and determines your worth.Girl, you know no one can criticize you the way you can. But if all you're doing is talking down to yourself, you're doing the devil's work for him. #hebrews12endurance Click To Tweet
Take a second to listen to your thoughts to see what you’re saying about yourself. If all you can think are bad things…you may be losing your identity in Christ.
6. You’ve lost your joy. In John 15:11, Jesus told His disciples:
I have told you these things, that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy and gladness may be of full measure and complete and overflowing (AMP).
When you can no longer find joy, especially in the things of God, you may be losing your identity in Christ.
7. You don’t have a sense of peace. One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is a peace that surpasseth all understanding…the kind of peace that doesn’t make any sense because everything in your life is upside down, but you’re experiencing it anyway.
If you no longer feel this inner peace you may be losing your identity in Christ.
How to Regain Your Identity in Christ
When you realize you’ve lost, or are on the verge of, losing your identity in Christ, the devil will attack. He will tempt you to walk away from the faith or just give up. Here are some things you can do instead.
1. Do not give in to the enemy. Hell was never meant for God’s children. The everlasting fire was prepared specifically for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). But Satan knows his time is short and he’s trying to get as many people in hell with him as he can. Refuse to be one of them.
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7 NKJV).
2. Read the Scriptures. The best way to remember who you are in Christ is to spend time reading and studying God’s Word. Maybe you won’t feel like doing an in-depth study, but you can read your favorites verses.
3. Listen to Scripture songs. Listening to scripturally-sound songs can encourage your heart when you feel like you’re losing your spiritual identity.
4. Spend time in nature. God is the Creator of everything on earth. Spend time appreciating what He has made and find connection with the sustainer of all life.
5. Serve in your community or local church. Service takes the focus off ourselves and puts it on others. When we serve others, we remember that Jesus was sent on earth to serve us and gave His life for us in the process.
6. Pray. Ask God to allow you to see His hand in your life. God is always working but we can’t always see Him because we’re not really paying attention. Ask Him to open your eyes so you can see the wonderful things He’s doing.
7. Listen to sermons. Sometimes, you just need someone to remind you who you are in Christ. Listen to your favorite pastor or search YouTube for videos on identity.
8. Reminisce. What was your life like before you were saved? If you grew up in the church, think about the person you were five years ago–how has God changed you?
Bible Verses on Identity and Purpose
Our purpose is intricately woven with our identity in Christ. Only when we know who we are will we begin to understand what God expects from us. Only then can we begin to think about and live our purpose.
As you ponder your identity in Christ, here are a few passages of Scripture to remind you of your identity and purpose.
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, (Ephesians 1:11 ESV).
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11 ESV).
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9 ESV).
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV).
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20 ESV).
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10 ESV).
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing (John 15:5 ESV).
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:20 ESV).
Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand (Psalm 95:6-7 ESV).
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ (Colossians 3:23-24 ESV).
When you feel as though you’re losing your identity in Christ it can be a scary thing. The key to not fully losing your identity is to remind yourself what God says about you and to take steps to stop the drift.
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