Knowing Who You Are

"You may think you know who you are," says the Lord, "but you have yet to understand whom I have called you to be." 

Who are you?  Do you think you know who you truly are?  I think most of us would answer questions like those with a clear and emphatic "Yes!"  I am pretty sure that simple questions like those do not need a lot of thinking time before we can all answer with a high degree of certainty.  However, whenever God asks that sort of question, I have discovered it will always be something that challenges you.  In my experience, God has only ever asked me that sort of question to show me that the answer is really, "I thought so" or even more honestly "No." 

When God questions you this way, you can be sure that He is exposing a problem in your life and He wants to work with you to resolve it.  So why is God putting it into my heart to ask you this question?  This is not a problem that is unique to any particular group of people in any specific region of the world; this is a world-wide problem that God's people are struggling with. 

Take me for example.  My father and mother were English, as were my grandparents and their parents before them.  Generation upon generation of my family has lived in England.  As far as records show, my family have never lived anywhere except England.  So, what does that make me?  I know what you're about to say, I am an Englishman.  My lineage defines this for me.

The shape and size of my body, together with the colour of my skin and the language that I speak attest to the declaration of my lineage. The fact that I live on the outskirts of London adds credibility to that declaration and the passport and driving licence that I carry legally confirms that I am an Englishman (or at least British these days).

The education that I have received is focussed on an English bias, giving a very one-sided view of worldwide events teaching that our way was right, of course!  This teaching has no real concern as to how wrong we have been in the past, or even how wrong we are continuing to be in the present.

But deep down, in my spirit, I know that something is not right in all this.  All of this was true up to the point that I gave my life to God and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Master.  Then, it changed!  How did that happen, you might ask? 

Because I am a new creation.  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17).  When we look at ourselves in the framework of that old natural lineage, we recognise the strengths and weaknesses that are associated with our old lives; we consider our disabilities, our fears and our worries and at the same time we deny the parentage of God brought about by His adoption of our lives.  He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself (Ephesians 1:4-5).

It is no longer good enough for us to base our lives on the template of who we were; we are not that person now that we have accepted Jesus Christ into our lives.  That is to say, the natural template of who we were is now old and completely invalid.  But have we understood this, and if so, do we act in a new way?  Do we not realise that the water baptism that we undergo as Christians is a symbolic gesture of the burial of that old man.

Many of us are sure of who we are and on this basis, we boldly come into His presence and ask Him to tell us what He has called us to do.  We listen to the prophecies that are given to us by trusted 'men and women of God' and we try to work out how they can be. We think about these things and try to reason them out in our minds.  We set before God our desire to serve Him and we plead with Him to send us to do the things that we know we can do; we beg for Him to command us to do great things that are within our capability. Yet in all this, our surety of who we are is still based upon the old template of man's expectation for our lives; it's still based upon our natural lineage.

We know full well what we can and can't do; we know and understand the things that are beyond our capabilities.  We have a good understanding of the education we have received as children and even the teaching we have had as Christians.  With all this knowledge, we are well equipped to define just what we can do and what is beyond us.  When it comes to doing the will of God, we all ask ourselves if we are up to the job and probably come up with the answer that we are not. 

Perhaps it is something as simple as believing that we do not know the bible well enough to preach it to people.  Perhaps it is because we don't have the confidence when talking to people that we feel we cannot be witnesses for God.  Have we forgotten what the bible tells us: "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." (Acts 1:8)

When we evaluate ourselves by the old, manmade template of our lives, we are reinforcing the limitations of man upon our lives and denying the blessing of God in our lives.  It is time to throw the old template away and begin to understand the new template that God has prepared for us; it is written: “ Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him." (1 Corinthians 2:9)

We are a new creation and that is never going to be comfortable until you realise that things have changed and you accept those changes that God has given you.  Now to Him who can do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us (Ephesians 3:20).  Have we so quickly forgotten, "My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.  “ For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).

If we continue to believe who we are, based upon man's definition of us, we are not living in faith; and without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).  If we continue to hold on to man's definition of who we are, we are living in denial of God and His calling upon us and His blessing on our lives.

We are not meant to be subject to the old way of thinking, nor are we meant to be defined by mankind; we are all called to be led by Him, and Him alone and that means we are all called to change.  We should not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2)  We are all called to be the light of the world (Matthew 5:14); we cannot be this if we just look the same as everyone else; light is something that stands out in the darkness.

This is why God is challenging His people to discover who they are; not who mankind would like to say that they are.  There is an incredible blessing that God has given to us if we will only pick it up.  Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God!  (1 John 3:1)

Do you think that you know who you are?  Think again and listen to what God is saying to you.  Behold, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, (1 John 3:2)  Start to put down the old and be ready to take up the new as you hear your destiny through revelation from the Father Himself.