Have you ever watched a young child automatically approach their father and reach up for a hug and a sit on the father’s lap, even amidst an important occasion for the father? This child automatically knows his or her position as a child of that father. Their identity is secure in their father’s love for them and their authority as a child of that father to approach him whenever or wherever.
When we do not know our true identity and we are not living in that, we leave ourselves wide open to everything that Satan can fling at us. I believe one of our greatest weapons in living a life of victory and defeating Satan is that of knowing and living in our true identity. When we combine this with using our authority as sons and daughters of the most High God, we have an amazing weapon, an amazing freedom, an amazing life.
Our identity is so very important.
We defeat our internal giants before we can take on external giants.
Becoming the person God sees us as is claiming and possessing our internal territory. Thus, if we are afraid and haven’t gone after inner peace with God, then we can’t expect to come against fear in the atmosphere or in someone else’s life.
I personally believe that how we see ourselves, the identity that we have from our perspective, will never be as great as how God sees us. God sees us as so brilliant and I don’t think we ever really fully comprehend the enormity of how God sees us as individuals. I believe that God is always inviting us to a deeper level of understanding of our identity and how we see ourselves. This is all tied up with our self worth and our values.
James Hird, a famous Melbourne footballer and coach, recently wrote an article in ‘The Age’ newspaper about Essendon football players and the drug controversy. His article included the following paragraph -“Football, rightly or wrongly, was our identity…over time (the controversy) stripped away our identity, our value and our worth. When people do that to you, you are vulnerable to go down a path…that maybe you wouldn’t have gone down otherwise.”
It’s so important that we don’t get our identity from what we do. This not only leaves us vulnerable, but it leaves us incomplete. Our identity is not about doing. It is all about being but it affects our doing. Our doing comes out of our identity and we must learn to separate them. Otherwise we will get caught up in a performance mentality.
Satan challenged Jesus about His identity. Matthew 4:1-11 is when Satan met with Jesus in the wilderness and challenged Jesus about His core beliefs – who He was. Satan also challenged Jesus to worship him. I believe our worship flows automatically out of who we are. When we grasp and fully believe who we are as sons and daughters of the most High King, we cannot help but worship God extravagantly. Worship flows out of who we are and who God is.
Once our identity is based on how God sees us, it is an easy next step to walk in authority. Just like worship flows automatically from our identity, so too does our authority.
Jesus, towards the end of His time here on earth, Jesus tells His disciples that “whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater than these” (John 14;12). Matthew 28:17 has Jesus saying, “All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me. Therefore go…” He gives us the authority to do what He has been doing.
Our identity affects our authority and the way we pray.
How we walk in our identity and authority as royal sons and daughters will automatically affect the way we pray. Whether we approach God as a desperate beggar or as a confident son or daughter affects the outcome. It also affects how Satan approaches us and what he knows of our weaknesses.
The quest to discover more of our true identity and to live from that place is one of the reasons that I am a huge advocate of prayer ministry or inner healing. I advocate that it is great to have an annual time of where you go deeper with God and receive healing and insight into more of who you really were created to be. Just like you service your car so that it continues to run smoothly, I believe that it is great to have a time of ‘inner service’ on ourselves so that we can deal with any small issues before they become bigger issues and also to dig down deeper into issues of self worth, value and authority.
Whenever we react in a manner that surprises us or we over-react to something, then it is definitely time to take a moment and ask God “What lie am I believing at the moment?” After God shares that with you, confess that lie to God and ask Him, “What truth do you want to replace that with God?”. God will always come through for you and help you replace lies with His truth.
Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:
The purpose of these exercises is to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and recognise God’s voice and His way of communicating with us. This enables us to grow in our relationship with God and also to impart to others what God tells us for them. Feel free to use as many of these activations each week as you can. The more you practice, the sharper you become at hearing God’s voice. Enjoy! Remember that whenever you give another person a prophetic word or picture etc, please make sure that it is encouraging, edifying (strengthening) and comforting (1 Corinthians 14:3) and that it comes from a place of love.
1. Children / Families Activation: Make up some cookie/biscuit dough. Divide into enough lots so that every member of the family/group has enough. Ask each person to fashion/mould a shape or something out of the dough that represents another person’s identity – that of who God says they are. If you have enough dough, keep going so that everyone can make something for every other person. Tell each other what you have created. Then cook the biscuits and enjoy eating them.
2. Group Activation: Make enough play dough so that every person has some. (Google ‘no cook play dough recipe’ for a quick and easy recipe.) Get into pairs and ask each person to craft something out of the play dough that describes their partner’s identity of how God sees them. Give your partner the crafted item and share the meaning with them.
3. Beginner Activation: Open your fridge or food cupboard. Ask God to highlight a particular food item. Ask God to then show or tell you how that relates to you and your relationship with God.
4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to highlight a person to you this week who doesn’t realise their full identity in Christ. Ask them if you can share with them how God sees them.
5. Advanced Activation: Ask God to highlight an area of sin that your nation / culture has now accepted as a normal part of life. Spend time with God asking Him for His perspective on this and what response He wants you to make.