Am I sensing more of my identity coming from Christ, as I put His words into practice?
21 He replied, "My mother and brothers are those who hear God's word and put it into practice."
INSIGHT: Think of all the sermons and books we hear/read on the importance of having our identity in Christ. Who we think we are (our identity), determines how we will live and behave. So, where does our identity come from before we know Jesus? Is the answer in counseling, recovery groups, good family or friends, books or positive affirmation?
I remember when I was seven years old feeling a real sense of fear that I was going to lose my best friend to another boy, who had just about everything a little better than me. I was so young and I already had a message subconsciously burning in my head; “You don’t measure up; you will be rejected and replaced.” Our own carnal imaginations can do quite a number on us, but I am also convinced that evil spirits target young children with lies. After the lie was planted in my mind, there were betrayals and abandonments that provided evidence to make the lie seem true. I didn’t have anyone to tell me the truth about who I was in Christ, so who was determining my identity? Who is in control of the whole unredeemed world (1 Jn 5:19) and who leads the whole world astray (Rev 12:9)? It’s clear in Scripture that until we remain in Christ through obedience to Him, our identity is being determined by Satan and the world system he rules. He can use evil spirits to inject thoughts into our minds (1 Sam 18:10, 1 Kings 22:22, Jn 8:44, 13:2, Acts 5:3), and he can use the disobedient around us to hurt us and thus shape us. I remained insecure even as an adult and even after much “Christian” counseling (which only provides temp results if any) until late 2009. There is only one way to find your identity in Christ, and it has nothing to do with running to a counselor or books. Imagine this scenario, Jesus walks up to call one of His disciples and they say to Him, “Sorry Jesus, I had a pretty ugly and dysfunctional childhood—let me go get some “Theophostic” counseling and inner healing and then I’ll be able to follow you.” Can you even imagine how that would sound to Jesus? Some incorrectly believe, “But you can’t just give people the straight word of God—you have to first meet people where they are at.” Really??? Would Jesus agree with that? Would we tell Him that the living Word of God isn’t enough to help PTSD, but some new technique from a man made of dust gets it done? Most Christian counseling is based primarily on secular Psychology and then just wrapped with a few verses of Scripture. Would God honor a vehicle the devil built just because it has a Jesus fish on the back? There is no such thing as inner healing by the aid of man-made methods in Scripture. The Psalmists trusted God and His word alone for their healing, and so have the millions that lived before some secular psychologist created “counseling” just decades ago. What of the people before then? Were they just out of luck? When we don’t know the truth, or we don’t want to hear it, we run to men to scratch our itching ears and we get a placebo, but never lasting results. People need discipleship and Biblical counsel, not counseling. When I finally stopped looking for answers from man, or clever techniques from counselors, and instead I got intentional about obeying His teachings, my life changed dramatically. Christians don’t have to allow their circumstances to define them. Christians are to receive their identity from Christ alone, but this does not happen by positive confession or daily self-talk. The only way to find our “identity in Christ” is for Him to impart his identity to us by his grace (power). Jesus does this when we turn from our sins (repent) and begin obeying Him. He then puts His Spirit inside of us (Christ living in us), and we are able to live in and for Him the rest of our lives. (1 John 3:24, 2 Tim 1:14, Rom 8:9-10, 2 Cor 13:5-6)
Before you go to any counseling that is not strictly based on the word of God, read Jeremiah 17:5-8