How do you come to understand who God says you are? And how do you grow into that identity in the process of day-to-day living?
The best place to begin that journey is through prayer. And the best thing to pray is the truth of God’s Word.
Now, the process is not easy. In fact, it’s often painful. God allows us to go through difficulty and pain to draw us closer to Himself as He conforms us to the image of Christ, His ultimate goal for our lives. We experience His great love and discover who we really are in the middle of the struggle.
The starting point is to believe the truth about Him and ourselves.
He is holy, we are not. We are sinners, separated by a wide gulf only God could bridge. God did that by sending His Son to die in our place and give His righteousness to us. That’s the bedrock truth to believe.
But wait, there’s more.
The assignment for that person who wants God’s forgiveness is to read the first two chapters of Ephesians and list all the things that passage reveals about who we are in Christ.
I printed those two chapters of Ephesians and put them before me each day for several months, reading through the passage over and over and asking God to show me how to craft this story. Printing this section and underlining and marking it may be helpful for you, especially if you are skittish about marking up your Bible.
The first thing noticed was the phrase “will of God.”
Paul was called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus “by the will of God.” Throughout the passage I found multiple references to God’s will. His will permeates the passage.
Thank You, God, that Your will is good for me and that You have a plan for my life and that You want me to follow You and seek You. I can trust in Your plan because Your heart is for me. I believe today You don’t want to hide Your will but show it to me. So I rest in Your will and Your plan. Help me follow You wholeheartedly.
Another word that popped up again and again in this passage was “praise.”
Paul begins his letter to the Ephesians with “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ..” We were predestined by Him “to the praise of his glorious grace…” Our ultimate goal is to “bring praise to his glory.”
Father, thank You that my life can be used to praise You. Today I want to surrender myself anew and make myself available to Your praise. Use whatever circumstance You bring my way to help me praise You. Enable me to give You glory not only when things go the way I want, but in every situation. My goal today is to praise Your glorious grace.
Ephesians 1 and Ephesians 2 are so rich with truth about who you are in Christ. Reading through the passages and identifying those simple truths can shift your idea of identity.