Learning that I was unconditionally loved was hard. Believing it in my heart was even harder.
The perfectly timed truth that I was truly loved beyond my accomplishments came in a devotional written by a pastor guest writing for a daily devotional I subscribe too. He shared that his identity was wrapped up in his job. Which in his case was his ministry. He shared that he felt he needed to earn love from man and God by doing good, the evidence of good was how well his ministry was going. It could have been written for me and about me. I remember reading it shaking. It was one of those moments where you know without a shadow of a doubt that God is speaking to you from the words of another.
I read it several times over several days. It was truth that my head had always known but my heart never believed. The truth that I am not what I do or the sum of my accomplishments and failures. But rather that I am a beloved child of God. Period.
The key scripture that it was exhorting was Ephesians 1:4-5. I read the scripture over and over again as well. It seemed to be speaking to my soul that this was where God wanted me to dig in with Him. Then, I went to church that Wednesday and our Pastor revealed the church would be studying Ephesians as well. I knew without a doubt that studying Ephesians was the next step in the journey to rebuilding my identity in Christ that God had begun with the demotion the week prior.
I was leading our women's Bible study that season, so I asked our Pastor in a moment of courageous faith if I could write and send devotionals to the Women's Bible Study as we went through the book. He was excited about this, so I began writing that week.
So each week, I wrote my perspective on the chapters, discussed it with my girlfriends, and went to church to hear the Pastor's exhortation, but I still struggled to get the Truth that I was loved into my heart.
Because it is so backward from our wrongful worldly ways. Our world says hustle for worth and then hustle a little harder. Keep up with the Joneses, that is a good life. And even if we know they are wrong, we were raised here. We were raised in a measure everything and do better than the rest to prove you are good culture.
Do you see it?
We live in a performance-based culture. This is the opposite of God's grace and something that humans have struggled with since the fall. And if that were not bad enough, we have an enemy who loves to keep us striving in this race. Busy is good for the kingdom of darkness. It keeps you distracted from God and mindless to God's Kingdom.
This is the war in our identities. The war is against the enemy of souls and the world that he rules. And we have to battle with Truth that penetrates our hearts to win. Knowing the Truth is not enough. We have to get it into our hearts.
For me, I knew that to get it in my heart I would have to battle the everyday lies with everyday Truth. So, I created a manifesto based on Ephesians chapter 1 and read it out loud to myself every day. Two years later, I often still do. (you can find the Loved & Free manifesto here).
Every day I read the truth that I am a dearly loved child of God who does not have to strive to earn love until I believed it. I spoke the Truth that God was for me and had a good plan for my life until I accepted that is truly who the good God of the universe is. And I declared that I was created on purpose for a purpose that was written on my heart at my creation until I surrendered to God and His plan for me.
Slowly but surely these Truths found their way to my heart and changed my identity. I rebuilt my identity on God's love for me and found that in the process it freed me to be who I was created to be.
Knowing the truth of who God says you are not only in your head but also in your heart is how you rebuild your identity in Christ. It is not easy or quick, but it is doable. God's Truth and love have the power to restore anything.
Let's Pray: Father, I know that you love me, but I want to believe that you love me. Unconditionally. I want to believe that I am loved just as I am. I want to believe that I am good enough, accepted, a part of your family right now, just as I am. Please help me get your truths in my heart. Help me to rebuild my identity on your love for me. I want to live loved and free in you. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Do you believe in the depths of your heart that God loves you as you are?
It isn't easy to believe that we are beloved children of God who do not need to strive to earn approval. Our world's ways are so backward to this truth. But we can learn to live Loved & Free by rebuilding our identity on God's love and truth.
Join the battle for your identity and win!
You Are Loved and Free: A Guided Journey to Winning the Battle for Your Identity, is a practical application to rebuilding your identity in Christ. Filled with God's truth, heart revealing questions, and space to journal your answers it will guide you toward healing and freedom in God's truth.