Hubby and I were loving our week in London after a mission trip to Israel. Sunday evening found us in church – Holy Trinity Brompton (where the Alpha Course originated). Excited about a well-known minister praying for us, we went forward for prayer at the end of the service. Both hubby and I were gob-smacked as the minister said something about me discovering my true identity. We believed he had ‘got it wrong’ as I seemed very secure in my identity. I certainly was not concerned with what others thought about me.
Around this time, we were also trying to get pregnant. Ten years went by with no success. Before this, whatever I wanted to do, I did. I achieved much. I was able to accomplish a lot, and my identity was based in what I could do. Suddenly I was faced with something I had little control over. This caused much heartache. I realized that my identity and self-worth were in my accomplishments and what I could achieve. During this period, I faced the fact that my identity needed to be in God. I went on a journey of discovering my identity based in Jesus Christ and my relationship with Him, rather than what I could or couldn’t do.
When someone is struggling with their identity, it is common to believe that it manifests with low self-esteem, lack of personal confidence, difficulty accepting both your strengths and limitations, focusing on negatives, thinking others are better than you, feeling anxious or depressed, fear of other’s disapproval or rejection, not accepting compliments, sense of inferiority, fear and rejection looming large in your life, unfulfilled etc. Less common traits are perfectionism, controlling personality, comparison, acting differently around different people, maybe only wearing name-brand clothes, etc.
The foundation of our identity comes to the fore when we experience failure, significant miscommunication, relationships fracture or an adverse life event.
Last blog post, I addressed the issue that our identity is in who God says we are. We need to know who God is and revel in Him with awe and wonder to understand who we are, how God made us, and our identity.
Who God says we are is always in relationship to either God or others. We were made for community, not isolation.
Practical steps to help embed a Godly identity:
1. Worship God
Spend time in awe and majesty, worshipping your Creator. When we realize who we belong to, we can then discover our value.
2. Declare Scripture over yourself
To find out who God says we are means we need to spend time with God – listening, praying, meditating, asking, waiting, watching. It means devouring the Bible, God’s Word, to discover what He says about us and why He made us.
There are many Scriptures that help gain insight into how God describes us. You can easily google and find them. You can also take the time to read the Bible and allow it to sink into your mind and soul. Unfortunately, there is usually a gap between our heart and mind – intellectually knowing what God says and practically believing it and living it out.
I find an effective method is to declare Scripture over myself about who God says I am. I find Scriptures and write them out, and then declare them over myself. A great starting place is Ephesians 1. “I declare that Father God created me and blessed me with every spiritual blessing. He chose me before the creation of the world. I am called, chosen, special and equipped to spread the Gospel.” You will discover your identity changes when you declare over yourself how God sees you and believing that which is written in the Bible about yourself.
I have created a prayer calendar for June based on our identity in Christ. There are 30 days of prayer from Scripture outlining our identity as a child of God. I created this over at my other blog http://www.raisingworldchangers.com.au to pray over our children to help them with their identity. I realize it is also powerful and effective praying it over myself. Here is a pdf version. Feel free to download it here or contact me to receive an emailed copy.
4. Deal with faulty beliefs
Our perception can influence our thinking and beliefs. Often, we can incorporate lies or faulty beliefs into our life through our perception of events or words. An easy method to deal with this is to take a few moments to spend time with God and ask:
- Father God, is there any lie or faulty belief I am believing?
- Grab the first thought through your head and explore that.
- Ask God to show or tell you why you believe that.
- Ask God if there is anyone you need to forgive. If anyone comes to mind, forgive that person. Bless them. Do you need to forgive yourself?
- Ask Father God to show, tell, or give you the truth.
Healthy self-esteem and identity come from being who we are designed and created to be in community.
Next blog post, I will address how identity is a journey and helpful hints along the way.
Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:
Every week I list 5 prophetic activations/exercises under children/family, group, beginner, intermediate and advanced. The purpose of these exercises is to practice to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and see and sense God 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: Gather craft supplies and cut-out cardboard crowns. Ask everyone to decorate their crowns with how they are known in Heaven. Finish with everyone placing their crowns on their heads and declaring over themselves how God sees them.
2. Group Activation: Gather craft supplies, textas etc and create pictures/collages of the godly identity of the person on your right. Give this to the person on your right, blessing them in their royal identity.
3. Beginner Activation: Ask God to show you how He sees you dressed (eg princess, paratrooper, lover, explorer etc). Spend time asking God more about the picture He shows you. Then declare it over yourself.
4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to show you someone struggling with their identity. Spend time with God, asking Him to show you how they are known in Heaven and how He sees them. Find a way to communicate this effectively to that person and encourage them.
5. Advanced Activation: Ask God to highlight a powerful voice in your life at the moment. Ask God the true identity of that voice and prophesy into the effectiveness of that voice and their reach.