Our church pastor said recently he believed most of the problems experienced by Christians today related to a poor sense of identity. In other words, their struggles were the result of not knowing (or believing) who they were in Christ and how God felt about them.
I identified with this. Those times when I question what God is doing in my life, when I’m unsure of the way forward, are usually moments when I’ve forgotten that I’m a precious daughter of the King (and all that goes with that).
Where does our identity come from?
One of our most basic human needs is a positive and healthy sense of identity and value. And this need can only be met through a personal relationship with God, who is the author of our true identity.
Why, then, do so many of us struggle in this area? I believe it has something to do with the relationships we have with our earthly dads.
As children we learn who we are and what we can achieve by the way in which our father relates to us, and by what he says to us and about us. A good dad pours into his children a strong sense of being loved, worthy and capable of accomplishment. A good father affirms his children, just as our heavenly Father does.
It is the role of our earthly dad to implant in us, when we are children, a positive sense of self and of worth. It is, possibly, his most important task. In performing it he is reflecting our heavenly father.
But not all of us have had such a dad. Some of us had a parent who was incapable of communicating these beliefs to us, for whatever reason; some of us had no father present at all; and even those of us who had fantastic dads have been affected by imperfect human parenting.
He is the perfect Father
Thankfully, God is the perfect Father! Once we accept him as our Lord and saviour, he adopts us into his family and we become sons and daughters of the living God, the King of Kings. Isn’t that amazing? That’s a ‘return on investment’ like no other!
So let’s not squander this unbelievable gift by failing to fully take hold of it.
Let’s ask our supernatural dad if there are any lies we’ve believed about Him as a result of an imperfect relationship with our earthly dad, and ask God to show us the truth. Let’s make the effort to regularly read what the Bible says about our new identity, to habitually declare what it says, and to live our lives believing it.
Have you experienced the father-heart of God? What difference did it make to your life to understand something of the love Father God has for you?
(PS: An excellent book on this subject is Mark Stibbe’s I Am Your Father: What Every Heart Needs to Know)