We each begin life like a blank page in the journal of life. For a few short moments, we’re unmarked and unblemished.
Then, shortly after birth, someone comes along to give a heading to your page. They give you a name; it’s your first identity.
As time goes on, the pages of each of our lives begin to fill with the graffiti of weaknesses, struggles and things that others have said about us—things like: rejected, failure, victim or dirty. Over time, the devil uses everything on your page as identifiers to define who you are. His goal is to get you to confess: I am a reject; I am a failure; I am a victim; I am dirty. The danger in this is that you only rise to the level of who you believe you are. For example, if you begin to believe you are a reject, then you’ll go into situations expecting to be rejected. And guess what? That’s exactly what will happen!
But as a Christian, you shouldn’t see yourself according to the things of the past any longer. No, the Bible assures that “if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things have passed away. Look, all things have become new” (2 Cor 5:17, MEV). Let me illustrate how this happens.
The Place of Identity Change
The cross is the place of identity change. In the moment of repentance, you come to the cross with your identity in hand and confess to Jesus, “This is who I am!” With this, the Bible says that your record of wrongs is cancelled—it’s ripped to shreds and thrown as far as the east is from the west (Ps. 103:12). The page of your life is now forever turned. But it’s not merely turned to another blank page left open for people to come along and mess up again. No, God gives you a new page filled with everything you are in Christ.
Your new page declares:
- You are righteous (2 Cor. 5:21).
- You are loved (Rom. 8:38-39).
- You are chosen (John 15:16).
- You are accepted (Eph. 1:6).
- You are His handiwork (Eph. 2:10).
How to Identify With Your New Identity
Though the Bible assures that Christians enjoy a new life, for many, this seems far from reality. Too many admit that they don’t feel very new. The key to bring your new life to life—to fully experience your new identity—is that you have to identify with it. This means that you have to start to confess it, to speak it aloud about yourself. You can start by declaring: “The old life is gone; I am a new person in Christ. I am loved; I am accepted; I am righteous;” and so on.
Of course, you can’t just do this once and expect everything to change immediately. No, to be effective, you must make it a constant habit to think and talk about yourself the way God talks about you. To do this, keep a list of Scriptures that declare your identity in Christ and confess them as often you as can. Follow along with a Scripture confessions CD while you’re driving, working around the house, or even as you sleep. (My Experience Freedom album is a perfect tool for this.)
There are many ways to do this. But the point is to keep God’s truths about who you are in Christ running through your mind and your mouth. When you change your thoughts, you’ll change your words, which will change your behaviors, which will change your habits, which will change your character. Then, over time, you’ll rise to the level of who you believe you are and you’ll live a completely transformed life.