Saturday, July 23, 2011

Identity by Craig Luper

“What is my purpose?” “What is my destiny?”

I hear a lot of people asking this.

We see the next generation wandering from place to place trying to find significance in what they do.

We also see senior citizens wrapping up their careers and heading into retirement with a look of confusion and dismay on their faces as they wonder what to do next. For 30, 40-plus years they have been tied to a title, position and job that has defined who they are and has dictated what they do, but now they find themselves wondering what they’re supposed to do next and asking the question, “Who am I really?”

I believe one of the crucial themes and teachings that needs to be brought out to the body of Christ and to the world is that of “Identity.” The world has put such an emphasis on what we do as opposed to who we are, and the church has fallen right in line with that way of thinking. I believe God laid out the order from the very first, in Genesis 1.

Genesis 1:26,27,28,31--God's Emphasis on Identity
In Genesis 1, God lays out for us in the very beginning the correct order – His order – of priority for identity versus purpose. Take a few moments to read this passage of scripture and let the Lord speak to your heart.

First we see that when He said, “let us make man into our image,” He was establishing the priority of identity from the very start of creation. Identity was more important than purpose! He did give them purpose, but it was after He gave them identity. He established who they were from the very beginning.

The definition of image is “likeness, splendor, form, appearance, figure,” so when God said “Let us make man in our image,” He was making man in their likeness, splendor, form and appearance. Adam and Eve could rest in the fact that their identity was in Him.

After God gave them their identity, He established their purpose and destiny. He told them to be fruitful, multiply, subdue the earth and rule over it. Isn’t it interesting that we want to go to the ruling and reigning before establishing our identity? It is so much easier to tie our worth to what we do or what our title is, rather than to simply rest in who we are in Christ.

We have to understand and get a revelation that identity precedes purpose and destiny, and it also affects our behaviors (i.e., attitudes, emotions, values). What you and I do will tend to flow from who we perceive ourselves to be.

The New Testament order is not “do in order to be,” but rather “act consistently with who you actually are.”

God meets our deepest needs through our new identity in Christ. So today, where does your identity lie? Is your worth centered around what you do, or is it established in Him?

Craig Luper is the executive director of Nehemiah International Ministry located in Concord, NC. He enjoys all types of sports, going to movies with his wife, playing golf with his sons, and spending time with friends

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