I know, I kind of abandoned ship for a spell. I’m sorry to leave you hanging! As of late, my faith seems to be a work in progress. Kind of like when Paul talks about “working out your faith.” Yes ma’am, that’s what I’ve been doing, workin’ things out intellectually and spiritually.
A few months ago I sit in a messy gym office where my girls take gymnastics. Mamas gather around in a cramped circle to find out whether or not they can add “team” to their plates. The owner of the gym talks all informative and lays down team rules and regulations. In a pitch to draw us in she says, “Your children need an identity. They need to belong to a group, a team.” Now I am not saying that gym team is bad, no ma’am. But in the moment, the Holy Spirit begins to churn something in the pit of my stomach.
That’s my Jesus’ message to me. His message to my girls. The message that’s been chasing me for weeks.
Oddly, my middle school years suddenly come to mind. I being super shy want to fit in. My uncoordinated lanky-leggy self, strolls down halls in my button down with rolled up sleeves, britches yanked up to my navel, and my wavy perm which is later dubbed “a bird’s nest.” Apparently, this business is not cool. I like Homek but I can barely stitch a Christmas pillow for my mama. I like basketball but I need glasses and can’t see the goal. I like kickball but trippin’-n-fallin’ is more my game. I try and figure out who I am by looking around at everybody else. Am I an athlete? A nerd? A brain? Which group do I fit in?
This identity thing doesn’t end with middle school or high school or even college. We continually define and redefine ourselves. We do this through our jobs, our homes, our cars, our kids, and our fitness level. Every day we communicate something, “I want to be seen or I want to be perceived this way.” This is hog wash in the eyes of God and it should be to us too.
Paul tells us in Philippians 3 we find who we are not in the external but the internal. Instead of defining ourselves based on what we do or what group we associate with, the Gospel would have us remember what Christ has done.
Therefore my identity, your identity is in Him, built completely on Him and nothing else. When we go outside of Him to determine our identities we actually engage in idolatry. In the sense idolatry says, “I will not be defined by God, I am going to be defined by other things like gymnastics or music or even my home.” We start holding onto these things so tightly that when God wants them, we won’t give them up because we think they define who we are.
On the ride home with gym bags and musical instruments in toe, I think of what Paul told the Philippian church: remember to whom you are united and the place where your real citizenship rests. Our citizenship, our identity is found in heaven, it is found in Christ.
We are hidden in Him (Col. 3:3); we are seated with Him in heavenly places (Eph. 2:6).
Sweet sister remember your identity.
Remember who you are.
You are His.
You have, have had, and will always have an identity in the One worth identifying with!
“But our citizenship is in heaven—and we also eagerly await a savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,” (Philippians 3:20, NET Bible).
“To all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,” (John 1:12-13).