We all long to make a difference, to feel important, to be loved and admired, and give unselfishly. Yet at the core of who we are and how we were created lie false identities that our experiences and our pasts have applied as labels on our lives.
Why are our identities — what we believe about ourselves — so important?
Our identities define who we believe we are, and from that definition pours out every action, every belief, every emotion, and every response to life.
Proverbs 27:19 paints the picture vividly: “As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.”
No matter our age, we all have an identity crisis when we build our identity on things that move — things that are not dependable or constant, like family, or bank accounts, comforts, abilities, and even our past.
I believe the wounds of our past damage our current identity most profoundly. Many of us grew up in less-than-perfect homes, experienced abuses as children or young adults at the hands of others, or suffered pain through tragedy, loss and sin.
As children, our identities are being formed from the very beginning. We are slapped with labels that are contrary to the very definition God gave us:
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
These labels are contrary to the very thoughts he thinks of us:
“How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!” Psalm 139:17
These false identities are contrary to the purposes and plans He has for us:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
One of my favorite authors, Jennie Allen, gives an example on how you can have 100 people looking at the same painting, with 100 different opinions, yet at the end of the day the artist is the only one who gets to decide how he defines his creation.
If we were to define ourselves, the label would be that no good thing dwells in us (Romans 7:18). There is good news, however, and we must allow it to marinate our souls until we believe it with every morsel of our minds and hearts:
We are children of God!
You may say, “Yeah, Ok, so what. That doesn’t change the way I feel right now. I feel lousy, lonely, ashamed, and a failure. . . .”
I get it, I did too and to be honest in some areas of my life I still do, yet it doesn’t change truth. It does not change what God’s word says about me.
As believers, we get to choose to believe God’s Word in its entirety as truth. We may not always feel and walk out those truths, yet we choose to believe Him.
So how do we connect the two?
How do we allow the truths of God’s Word to penetrate our hearts so that we actually believe what He says about us, how He defines us, what He thinks about us?
I believe the answer is quite simple, yet oh-so-difficult to grasp sometimes:
We declare it over ourselves….
Have you heard the phrase, “Just fake it until you make it.”? Well, let’s declare it until we believe it. Not just believe it with our minds, but until it has penetrated every square inch of our hearts.
Until the reflection we see in the mirror tells the truth.
As I read the Psalms of David, I like to read his words as if I were reading his personal journal entry. I picture him in the wilderness, in the field with the sheep, or running from his own son, pouring out his raw emotions to his Heavenly Father.
What encourages me repeatedly about David’s words is that they all sound like a pep talk to himself. We may read them and find a confident heart, almost superhuman, yet I believe that during the dark days he felt like he would never leave the wilderness –you know those days you “feel” you can’t see the light at the end of your situation — David declared over himself the truths of God again and again.
Those declarations changed his heart. They changed the way he saw his situation, or his past, or his fears, and he would walk out in confidence to believe God and only God.
Ladies! We need to be declarers of God’s Word. Like David, we must declare the truths of God’s word over ourselves and our families.
Here is the grace: you do not need to believe it today. You do not even need to feel like anything will change, you do not need to be anywhere but exactly where you’re at, whatever that looks like today.
I believe if we declare with our mouth who we are in Christ and who we are created to be, we will begin to believe our new identity. If we declare the good purposes and plans He predestined for us, we will begin to walk in His way. If we declare the blood of Jesus over every wound, every label, every lie, it will change our hearts, and we will become women who truly believe who God is and how crazy insane His love is for us.
The truth is that He loves us so much, He lavished us with that love the day He sent His only son to die and bleed out on a tree for you and for me, and that blood covers everything.
Be encouraged today to declare God’s truths over yourself. When we do begin to believe those truths, we will know it, because out of that overflowing abundance we will impact others with it. Our new identity will show others how magnificent He is in us, all for the Glory of God!