‘His’ Identity Series #1.
This might surprise you, but I actually enjoy working in the yard, tending our flowers, and even pulling the weeds. In fact, before I sat down to dive into this week’s topic related to our identity in Him, I wasn’t surfing Amazon, as my bank account might otherwise imply. Rather, I was removing the weeds that had invaded the space of my favorite blush pink Peony bush. There’s something simply satisfying about uprooting patches of green that have begun to take up space and hide the beauty of my Peony bush.
And that’s what we’re seeking to do in this series. With Jesus’s graceful guidance, we want to grab the wounded parts of our hearts by the root and place our own soul weeds into His loving hands. Those invasive soul weeds that take up space within our hearts, hiding the beauty of our original design. The design of who Jesus created us to be; His.
The first soul weed I want to uproot this week is twofold. First, the misunderstanding many of us have about our Creator’s heart toward us, and second, how our relationship with Him defines us.
For a long time, I thought that having a relationship with Jesus meant that I needed to be on my best behavior. I was under the assumption that He got angry when I made mistakes, and He only ever smiled when I decided to behave…and there was no in-between. I pictured Him as an impersonal Judge holding a gavel to my head, believing His love for me only reached as far as my actions and good behaviors. I had rooted my identity inside of my achievements and actions, rather than valuing what really matters most to Him – my heart.
Sis, an identity based on a conditional love driven by outside forces only leads to the path of insecurity and defeat. This is exactly where I used to find myself – empty, insecure, and defeated – reaching only for the opinions of the people around me instead of the unconditional love Jesus had already secured for me. Instead of wrapping myself in His love, I hid behind my social status and what others thought of me, and to be honest, it is still a constant battle!
When you don’t know who you are in Jesus, the voices of the people around you grow louder than the grace-compass of Jesus within you and that’s when things get dangerous.
It all begins with a misunderstanding of His heart towards you. Sister, Jesus has never been disgusted by your mistakes or short-comings… and yes, even the biggest regret you hide deep down in your heart, the one you never let anyone else see… He is not mad at you for that. The heart of the Father aches to know you. And when you begin to base His love on the things you’ve done, or haven’t done, you soil the wild miracle of His redemptive sacrifice that can only be found on the cross at Calvary. You deny yourself the gift of freely given grace and mercy that triumphs over judgment because you have this preconceived notion that you don’t deserve it unless you’ve earned it.
Jesus has already earned the grace and love your soul thirsts for, so you don’t have to.
You were bought at the price of the Messiah’s own blood and when you live your life based on this notion of striving and earning, you are telling yourself and the world that His death and resurrection are not enough for you.
Do you want to know what Jesus aches for? Do you really want to see into the heart of the Father, to see what He has for you? What He requires from you is a moment by moment, day by day intimate relationship with Him that is based only on what He has already done for you and not what you can do for Him. This is where we begin our journey to becoming women who root their identity in Jesus. It begins with a relationship with Him and an understanding of how He truly sees you.
I want to visit the home of Mary & Martha in Luke 10, verses 38 to 41 (NIV), and show you the true heart of Jesus.
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, He came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to Him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to Him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
“Or indeed only one…”
Do you see it, Sister? Do you see His heart for you in this passage? Jesus aches to show you that He’s only after your heart and your time. Mary chose to sit – she didn’t have to do anything but stinkin’ sit! – at the feet of Jesus and listen to what He said. The physical picture Mary paints for us is exactly the stance we should be taking as women seeking to root our identity fully in Jesus.
This identity is about opening ourselves up to a relationship with Him, and understanding that we are free to approach Him exactly as we are because He has already done the hard work for us… He broke the chains of sin and death so we can enjoy His presence constantly. You are not required to approach Him a certain or specific way, you just have to come to Him with your full heart and show up honestly.
If you’re mad… scream at Him.
If you’re sad… cry into Him.
If you’re happy… rejoice with Him.
If you think for a single second that the Creator of the Universe and the Lover of your soul cannot handle your raw emotions, you are missing out on the tender and wonderful beauty of His heart and the freedom He desperately wants to give you.
A secure identity rooted at the feet of Jesus begins with the understanding that you do not have to earn His approval. Sis, you already have it without even trying, and He sees your heart anyway… so why tire yourself out like Martha, letting the distractions of this world dictate the woman you become? Jesus is after a relationship with you!
Do you know what’s so beautiful about opening yourself up to Him? Your actions and your words unnoticeably start to become different as your heart changes to mirror His own. Striving in the name of earning soon turns into receiving in the name of grace. And the more time you spend in His presence, receiving what He has for you, what He says to you and about you, will only translate into a life lived loved. And a life lived loved, a life lived with the knowledge that you are His no matter what, turns an insecure, empty girl into a fearlessly kind and courageously bold woman of God.
You are His! You were bought at the steep price of the Son of Man, set free by the blood that ran down His back at Calvary’s cross. Because of His ultimate sacrifice, you are free to enter into an unhindered relationship with your Creator based only on the radically unconditional and tender love He has for you. And in the midst of this unconditional love, He tends to the brokenness of your heart as you reach for Him, causing your identity to bloom into its intended design.
So, Sis, get cozy as His feet and watch that exhausted, striving heart of yours soar with the truth that you were only ever created to shine His glory through the very identity He’s already given you.
But now, this is what the Lord says – He who created you, Jacob, He who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”
-Isaiah 43:1 NIV