A Different Definition
"For too long you have defined yourself by what you are not, now it is time to start defining yourself by who you are!” These were the words that I heard the Lord speak to me during a quiet time a couple of years ago and these are the words that have had one of the biggest impacts on my life. Our words and the ways that we define ourselves are powerful; they shape the reality in which we live.
One of my favourite Bible passages on this theme is Exodus 3 & 4. The Lord has just appeared to Moses in the burning bush and has told him that He is sending him back to Egypt to deliver the Israelites into the Promised Land. It was the most challenging thing that the Lord could ever have asked Moses to do. Moses’ immediate response was to question his own identity, “Who am I to do this?” He then goes on to list every single one of his weaknesses. I wonder how many times I have done the same thing.
God’s reply really fascinates me. He doesn’t answer Moses’ question, at least not directly. He first tells Moses that He will be with him and then He tells him His name: I AM WHO I AM. In choosing to reveal this name to Moses, God was showing him, just like he showed me, that there was another way. There are two different mindsets at work here.
Moses’ approach would lead to a place of constant insecurity and self-doubt. God’s approach would launch him into his destiny because it had the backing of all of Heaven behind it. When we define ourselves by what we are not, we actually create a stronghold. When we define ourselves by who we are and who God created us to be, we create a strong foundation and a platform from which we can be launched into all of the promises of God.
The Lord only ever defines Himself by who He is. It’s in His name, which means that it is in His nature, and we have been created in His image. There is something for us here. Jesus modeled the same thing in John 10:30. He knew who He was in relation to His heavenly Father and He lived out of that place of identity. Seven times in the Gospel of John, Jesus goes on to describe himself using the words I AM. He is showing us how to live out of a place of Godly identity.
As I began to stand on who God said I was, I could feel the difference in every area of my life. All of a sudden confidence, hope and faith began to take root and underpin my foundations. These things I could stand on, these things I could build with.
The Lord never defines us by what we are not, but by who we are and who He has created us to be. Let’s get God’s perspective on our identity and, like Jesus, choose to identify ourselves by who He says we are.
Thank you, Heavenly Father, that you prioritise relationship with us. Thank you that by drawing close to you, we get to know the great I AM and we get to know ‘who I am.’ Today we choose You. We choose Your perspective, Your thoughts and Your words towards us. Today we chose to define ourselves by who You say we are and we stand on that foundation.
Elizabeth Preece is a third year at Bethel and part of Steve's 2013 - 2014 mighty intern team. Elizabeth is from London, England and worked as a French and Spanish translator for international law enforcement. She is currently revolutionizing the translations world within Igniting Hope and is working with teams of incredible translators and proofreaders on 11 current projects including 6 different languages. Books from Steve and Wendy have already been printed in German, Icelandic, Kiswahili, Spanish, Russian, Turkish, and Serbian (for more information on how to find any of those - contact us).