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  • Writer's pictureMelissa Mitchell

Identity Crisis



An epidemic... an infection occurring widely in a community at a particular time. Today, an identity crisis is taking the world by storm. We're more educated than we've ever been. We're more technologically advanced than we've ever been. We're more connected to each other than we've ever been. We have no shortage of information. No shortage of communication. No shortage of most anything we want in the palm of our hands via the click of a button within seconds. We live in an age of instant gratification and immediate cancellation if we don't get gratification. But amidst all of the resources, all of the ways we're connected to others, all of the access we have to so, so many things- we're lacking in our identity. We don't know who we are. We have names and labels and feelings and opinions and desires but yet at our core, we don't know who we are. This is a tragedy for those who live apart from Christ, who are still lost in sin and dead in their trespasses, but it is expected of them. Those lacking a relationship with their Creator have no access to their identity until they accept His invitation and ignite the power of His Spirit in their lives. But this is not just a problem among the lost in the world. Even in the Church, this crisis is crippling believers and rendering them ineffective for the Kingdom of God.

This crisis is costing us far more than we realize.


The cost of this crisis is all around us. It's evident in the division within Christianity. It's evident in the lack of spiritual discipline many Christians have. It's evident in the lies that we who proclaim to know Christ are living out, repeating to others, and choosing to allow to dictate our futures. It's evident in the lack of gospel follow-through that so many in the American Church are settling for. It's evident in the mediocrity and shallow lives we're choosing over the abundant life Christ died to give us. I say this because I've lived it. I say this because as a Christian, I've struggled with my own identity and living in light of who God says I am. And from a place of having wrestled with God about this very issue, my heart genuinely breaks for those who are still wrestling. Or even worse, for those who are not wrestling. For those who are living in confusion and defeat. We were made for so much more.


Since the beginning of time, the Enemy has always challenged believers regarding their identity. He doesn't have new tricks. It's always been the same. In the Garden, before sin entered the pictured, Adam and Eve lived in complete harmony with each other, with God, and with all of creation. They knew who they were and who God was, and both were in their rightful places in the world. They were satisfied. They were content. They were whole. They were communing with God with no interruptions and no hindrances. But then came the Enemy. And his method then and now of getting us to doubt God and doubt our identity... "Did God really say...?" That's it. That one question is what caused Eve to doubt God's trustworthiness and goodness to she and Adam in commanding them not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and that's what he challenges us with still today. Did God really say you shouldn't eat that fruit? Did God really say you would be like Him? Did God really say you will die? Today the questions sounds more like, "Did God really save you?" "Did God really free you from that addiction?" "Did God really say that sin I love so much is really that bad?" "Did God really give me victory over the enemy?" "Did God really forgive all the things I've done?" "Did God really make me a new creation?" "Did God really mean that I couldn't do these things I love to do even though they don't glorify Him?" And that one little phrase is wreaking havoc on God's people and the Enemy is overjoyed that he didn't even have to concoct a new scheme...


Here's the dangerous thing about this identity crisis. When the Enemy attacks things we do or have done, he's just attacking behaviors. And behaviors are symptoms. Our actions are just an indication of what's going on inside- of our beliefs and our motives. And while he can and does cause damage by attacking our behaviors, that's not his end game. His end game has always been our identity. To attack not only what we do but who we are. The Enemy does this because he knows Whose image we've been created in, and if he can cause us to question our very identitiy-the thing that makes us like God- than everything else we believe about God can now also be brought into question. If we cannot even trust that God, who made us in His image- to be like Him, to know Him, and to bring Him glory through our lives- if we cannot trust Him with the most vital, most essential part of who we are- then we will not trust Him with anything else either. And that is the Enemy's aim. Doubt breeds distrust breeds confusion and complacencey and a watered-down, lukewarm version of ourselves that is so much less than God intended for us and so much less of a threat to the Enemy. Satan is not all knowing or all powerful, but he does know that God created us in His image with a plan and purpose that will bring Him glory as he was supposed to do- but he wasn't satisfied with glorifying God. He wanted the glory instead of God.


Ephesians 2:10 says "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared for us beforehand that we should walk in them." Those good works will not get accomplished if we're wrapped up in an identity crisis, and the Enemy couldn't be happier about that. Those good works created beforehand were done so by a soverign God who knew we would battle this, yet made us anyway and is so patient with us as we seek Him to sort it all out. And friend, let me tell you. Seeking Him is the only way. You will not find your true identity in anything or anyone else. I've tried and I will spare you the details but all roads dead end in failure apart from Him. We absolutely cannot know our worth, purpose, value, and identity apart from the God who gave it to us. All the things we've settled for that are not from Him are just manmade labels- even the "good" things we think we are- we're not. Society today is shoving down our throats this message of "You're enough" and "You deserve x, y, z" and "You're a good person" and "You just need _______ to be happy" and "God doesn't really care if you do ______ as long as you said a prayer" and "No one can tell you who you are but you" and "You do you" and "Love is love" and so many other lies that are complete trash and will not fulfill you, satisfy you, or get you to heaven. If our sin is the problem, it cannot also be the solution. In and of ourselves, we're not good enough. We're not capable of pleasing God or doing anything for Him without Him. If we could look within ourselves to find what we're looking for, we would have found it by now. The Enemy is causing this chaos inside the Church because if he can get us naval-gazing we will be blinded to the broken people around us that need to know who Jesus is . He has always wanted us to doubt what God has said and drum up some half-truth about ourselves to stake our lives on, and

It. Is. All. Futile.


The identity crisis inside the Church is partially why the identity crisis outside the Church has escalated as it has. We're confused and living outside of our intended purpose, and therefore we're not living out the Great Commission of telling the rest of the world that we know the Savior they're looking for. Once we confess Jesus as our Savior and begin walking with Him, this is when the Enemy begins to wear us out with doubts and questions related to our identity. As long as we're lost in sin and not even remotely close to living out our purpose, we're not a threat to him. But the moment we surrender to Jesus, we've got the Enemy's attention. And if he can distract us, confuse us, distort our view of ourselves and of God- he will. We don't have to miss the mark much- a miss is a miss. If we don't know who we're created to be and the God who made us for His perfect plan and purpose, we'll spend our whole lives thinking this thing is about us. And y'all, what a sad way to exist. And that is existing, not living, because Jesus died to give us abundant life, and that is not found in more of us but only in Who He is. God's Word is full of Truth and promises concerning our identity. Here are just a few to give you an idea of just how good our God is and how intentional He is in all that He does:


Before we were formed in the womb, God knew us. Jeremiah 1:5

We are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14

God thinks thoughts of hope toward us. Jeremiah 29:11

We have a holy calling according to His purpose. 2 Timothy 1:9

We have obtained an inheritance. Ephesians 1:11

We've been given gifts according to His grace. Romans 12:6

Nothing can separate us from His love. Romans 8:39

We were bought at a price. 1 Corinthians 6:20

We've been crucified with Christ. Galatians 2:20

His grace is sufficient for us. 2 Corinthians 12:9

We're a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, His own people. 1 Peter 2:9

He who began a good work will complete it. Philippians 1:6



Friends, don't miss this. Don't miss this truth that you won't find what you're looking for about you inside of you. We must look to Him to know who we are. We don't have to settle for a counterfeit version of who He made us to be- He is willing and able to reveal Himself to us and in knowing who He is, we see who we are. Eternity hangs in the balance and there's far too much on the line for an identity crisis to keep us from being all that God desires us to be. All the labels we put on ourselves or allow others to put on us can all be washed off by His blood. Our relationship with Christ makes us who we are so that we can proclaim who He is. When we think we're better than we are we dismiss our need for a Savior and deny what He's done on our behalf. When we think we're worse than we are we say that what He's done on the cross was enough for everyone else but not for us. "Yeah, but you don't know what I've done." I don't. But God does, and He sent Jesus for that too. There's nothing we could start or stop today that would change God's love toward us. Deny yourself, pick up your cross, and follow Him. As you get to know Him, you get to know you. The Potter is really, really good at being the Potter. We are free to be the clay and to know, love, and live for Him. Trust Him today for all that you are, for all that you're not. He is enough.


Until next time,

Melissa







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