Who Am I?
I think that's a question a lot of us may struggle with. Who am I, really? What am I doing with my life? Where am I headed? I have lost count at how many times I've stopped dead in my tracks to ponder these questions. I began to look inward, within myself, my abilities and ambitions. But after listening to a podcast episode, by SetApartGirl Ministries, I realized I was doing it and going about it all wrong.
Although all of those are valid questions that lead to presumably solid self-reflection, it causes us to put the focus on ourselves. In trying to answer this question, we become nearly self-absorbed and vain — in something that started innocently. Human race as a whole has an almost instinctive tendency to be selfish, without even realizing it. It’s human nature to put ourselves first — our own needs, wants, and so on. But there is a line. As Christians, we are called to be selfless and Christ-ful. Society makes it so easy to put the spotlight and pressure on us to
We don't define who we are by ourselves. As believers, who we are in Christ defines who we are. Ultimate submission to Him and what He makes of us, within that submission, is our definition. When we give our lives to Him, we give Him everything, including our earthly identity. In doing so, we trade it for a new identity, a new definition, in Him.
Ian Thomas once said, “Unless you are prepared to let go of what you are, you’ll never become what God intended you to be.” I’ve realized that I will never be at my full potential until I am completely surrendered — surrendering my whole self and being to God, which is contrary to what the world calls us to do. We’re told to follow our hearts, and that’s good and dandy, but God needs to the one directing your heart and from there, you follow His paths.
Let’s say your heart, or identity, your being, is a ship. Quite frankly, you can’t even say it’s your ship, because everything we have and are is a gift from God. Not only does God own the ship, but its course will go wayward a little too soon unless He is also in charge as the Captain. I personally have found it hard to fathom that the spirit I am constantly in control of isn’t really mine; it’s God’s. The minute we submerge ourselves in God’s salvation, love, and grace, we give ourselves to Him, to follow His will rather than our own. This means that our identity isn’t something that we come up with on our own.
When we try to “be ourselves”, I think it really boils down to us trying to excuse our worldly living and selfishness. When we try to define ourselves, we bring the focus onto us, rather than on God. Maybe we need an identity or self-expression to be noticed, accepted, etc. But when we understand Christ and our role within that, we won’t want that spotlight in any way.
The Bible reminds us of this in Colossians 3:3 (NIV)
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God
If we’re trying to find ourselves, the more we dig, the closer we should be to God, because we are hidden within Him. God didn’t give His son to die on the cross for us to go off and “rediscover ourselves” or to “be the real you.” It’s the other way around. He died to set us free from ourselves, to set us free from those worldly instincts and selfish tendencies.
To paraphrase what Ian Thomas once said: if you can define your life in the terms of you, rather than in the terms of Christ, then you aren’t living the Christian life, whether or have it or not. As Christians, everything we do is because of God, not against or in spite of Him. Everything that is happening around us, to us, for us, is because of Him, so why do we try to take the credit?
For us to be who we are, or meant to be, in biblical manners, we shouldn’t be battling God against His plans and purposes for us. Rather, we should be embracing them; willingly embracing the design He has carefully and specifically set for our lives. This leads us to a come to a heart of acceptance as well as surrender. the Bible tells us that when we surrender our hearts to God, He gives us the desires we long for; but not the worldly desires we shop on Amazon for or covet after. God puts His desires within our hearts; essentially, He morphs our own desires to become like His desires for our lives.
It’s pretty simple to be able to know when the change has taken place. You know your desires are more godly than worldly when you stop longing for worldly comforts and pleasures and start longing to be like Christ, leading others to Him, and count it an honor to suffer for Him; just like Paul did. It’s a struggle, though, to let go of everything we have been clinging to in this world. But we must look towards heaven. I know my personal desires and goals are constantly in my own way and in the way of my path to Christ. In those moments, I have to place them at His feet — giving Him what I need to rid myself of — and take up His desires and will for me. Leslie Ludy once said,
Surrender is the only way to become the person God created you to be. In acceptance lieth peace.
If you’re still looking to find yourself, look to God. We are Christ’s disciples, and being like Christ in our walk is purest form identity that we can ever gain. And when we find Him in those moments of desperation and confusion, He is always enough — always more than enough — to fulfill and overflow our cups.
Our daily prayer should be that we seek to be like less of the world, and more like Christ — to find our identity in the One who made it.