Are you Irish, German or maybe Swedish? Are you a singer, accountant or physician? Are you a Smith, a Brown or a Johnson? Who are you anyway?
I recently heard a well-known worship leader share a story from his life. A short story with a huge impact, that is, if you took to heart what he was saying. It illustrated a truth that has helped me on my journey from addiction to freedom that I would like to share with you.
After years of ministry, this worship leader had fallen into a sinful lifestyle. He repented, and over a period of time was restored to ministry. Several months ago, he was sharing his heart with a group of people and I was fortunate enough to be among them. He told of a recent time when he was sitting in his living room and a tempting thought came to him— something that would have been blatant sin. It was a strong temptation. But as he was contemplating whether or not to act on it, he heard a voice inside him clearly say, “That is not who you are!” He recognized it as the voice of God.
In that moment, this man realized that his identity was not his name or his ethnicity. His identity was not his job or ministry or how much money he had made. His identity was who he was as a child of God. He had no business acting like something else or anyone else. He had a responsibility and a freedom to act according to his true identity. As the realization hit him, inner strength came to rise above that temptation and say. “No!” to the sinful act.
It is not only a responsibility, but a privilege and an honor we have to live as sons and daughters of our Father God.
I thought what this man shared about this personal experience was so significant as it put words to what had happened in my own life. On my journey from addiction to freedom a key for me was to understand my true identity. We act on who we believe we are.
No person is a cheap object that should be used for the enemy’s games. You may have been told that you are not valuable, that you are worthless and have nothing important to give or say in life. You may have been told this verbally or by seemingly inconsequential actions. But that is NOT what Father God says about you. This is what is said about you in God’s Word “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!...” 1 John 3:1 (NIV).
You and I are so precious to God’s heart. That is why He loved us enough to send His son, Jesus, to die for each one of our sins. We do not have to carry the guilt and penalty of sin any longer. He lavished love on us… He still does each and every day. We are His children.
So the next time temptation comes your way think about your identity. Ask yourself, “Who am I?”