I came across this story a few days ago regarding our identity.
“The thief on the cross who begged for forgiveness in the last moments of his life must have been shocked when he stepped over the line into paradise after Jesus told him he would (Luke 23:43). I imagine this former thief walking the streets of gold, shocked at the robe he was given and the greetings he received from the angels. When he asked what it was all about, one of the angels told him, “You don’t understand—you’re a king here.” The thief looked at the angel, stunned. “A king?” he asked. “If I had known I was a king, I would have never lived as a thief!” 7 Longings of the Human Heart – Mike Bickle
Hos. 4:6 “my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.”
Knowing our true identity is the foundation to approaching God and life confidently and passionately. The thief’s lack of knowledge kept him from the fullness of His destiny.
Until we discover who we are, we will never know what we can become.
Remember this scene in Disney Pictures, The Lion King:
Rafiki: [after guiding Simba to a spot where he says will show him Mufasa] Look down there.
Adult Simba: [looks into a pool of water] That’s not my father. That’s just my reflection.
Rafiki: No, look harder.[touches the water, as it ripples Simba's reflection changes to that of his father]
Rafiki: You see? He lives in you.
Mufasa’s ghost: [from above] Simba.
Adult Simba: Father?
Mufasa’s ghost: [apears among the stars] Simba, you have forgotten me.
Adult Simba: No. How could I?
Mufasa’s ghost: You have forgotten who you are and so have forgotten me. Look inside yourself, Simba. You are more than what you have become. You must take your place in the Circle of Life.
Adult Simba: How can I go back? I’m not who I used to be.
Mufasa’s ghost: Remember who you are. You are my son, and the one true king. Remember…
In the film, Simba finally takes his rightful place as King. But it isn’t until the revelation from His father lands in his heart that he finally wakes up to who he is. Disney Pictures reveals both the plight and reward of identity discovered.
Though I have been saved over 40 years and in full-time ministry for over 25 years…it’s only been the last 10-15 years that the fullness of my identity in God has been awakened.
The Bible identifies 5 keys to unlock your true identity. Each contains a lifelong discovery in and of itself.
1. We are His Bride – (Isaiah 54:5 Jeremiah 3:14)
God’s loving heart is affectionately directed to us as a bride. He pursues us with passionate affection and longing desire.
Jesus has created access to His heart and He longs to access ours. He wants to know us. Every prayer, every thought about Him, every step you take towards Him, moves Him!
What makes life amazing is the fact that we have a God who loves us and out of the depths of His passion, He pursues us.
As a result we get to experience God’s affections continually.
2. We are Sons/Daughters (Ephesians 1:3-5 Galatians 4:5)
The first ministry the Holy Spirit performs for us is to convince us that God has become “Abba” or Daddy.
It was common in Jesus’ day for adults to be adopted into families. In fact, many of the Caesars in the Roman Empire were actually adopted as adults into the royal family and became Kings.
You have been adopted by God. This is a legal transaction. You are now legal sons and daughters with all the privileges that come with the new family line. The greatest privilege of all is that our God is now our Dad. A good Dad. A Dad who loves perfectly!
As a result, choose to live as a Son/Daughter instead of a servant.
3. We are Royalty (1 Peter 2:9)
When we become sons and daughters we come into the direct royal line because of the blood of Jesus; we share the royal lineage of the King. It has always been in the heart of God that you have his royal blood, to rule as his royal children.
Royalty is treated with favor, they are educated differently, they are raised to rule.
As royalty (kingly) you are now part of a royal family each having a direct line to an inheritance in God.
As a result, we live as a Prince instead of a pauper.
4. We are Citizens of Heaven. (Philippians 3:20)
Citizenship is the most valuable asset of a nation and it is not easily given away because of it’s power and impact. People come to America because they love the quality of life and opportunity that our country offers.
The more that people understand the benefits and value of the Kingdom of God they will rush into it.
In a Kingdom, the King would choose who He wanted as His citizens. It was not automatic.
God has chosen you! You are then citizens in a heavenly government, one nation, on earth, but are aliens in the world. As a citizen of heaven, we have the support, backing, protection and access of heaven while living on earth.
Citizens are as wealthy as the kingdom they are from, not the kingdom they are in. You have rights as a citizen of heaven and we need to know them.
As a result, we exercise our rights as a citizen of heaven.
5. We are Ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20)
An Ambassador is a representative of the highest rank sent by the ruler of one government to another representing the power and authority of his government. Ambassadors are never voted on but appointed. They hold one of the highest ranking positions in government.
God’s strategy for proclaiming the message of His kingdom is to use ambassadors. We have been chosen and appointed by God as an ambassador to re-present His kingdom well. If we place the Kingdom first as Ambassadors the promise is that all things will be added to us (Matt. 6:33).
As a result we choose to re-present Heaven well.
Take time this week, meditating on the scriptures above, to encourage yourself in who you are in God and God’s investment and love toward you.
YOUR TURN: In what ways to you think knowing our true identity impacts us personally, our relationship with God and our impact in the world?