Our identity is given to us by Christ. It doesn’t always (often) reflect our current reality but it calls us into new life in Him
You Are Who HE Says You Are
When Abram had his name changed to Abraham (Father of many nations) his son Issac was yet to be born. Think about that for a moment. Abraham’s identity was changed–fundamentally. But he was not living out this identity. It was a promise to be lived into. It was a fundamental change that was yet to take place.
Gideon was one of the judges of Israel–during the time spent in the Promised Land before king Saul. His story is in Judges 6 and his call story is unique. Gideon was threshing wheat in the winepress. Which, if you don’t understand the context of the day, this setting and activity makes as much sense as any other strange setting from the Old Testament cannon. Except, this is pure foolishness.
Threshing wheat was the act of separating the wheat from the chaff–the good from the bad. And in those days, the biggest help was the wind. You’d crush the wheat and the chaff–breaking them apart–and then gently throw the whole mix into the air. The wind would catch the feather-like chaff and blow it away. The seed would fall harmlessly to the ground. The good stuff remained.
Fear Puts Us In Crazy Places
But not for Gideon. He was doing it at the winepress. Which is the last place one would thrash wheat. Winepresses would have been protected from the wind. They were built in low places, protected from the wind. Why was Gideon threshing wheat in the last place he ought to have been doing this task? Fear. Simple and unabashed fear. For seven years the whole nation had been living in fear of the Midians. Crippled by their fear.
It was while Gideon was doing his chores in hiding that an angel of the Lord appears to him with the greeting, “The Lord is with you, O mighty warrior.” Nothing, absolutely nothing about Gideon was mighty or warrior like. Save one thing. The Lord was with him. Like Abraham, a new identity had been conferred upon Gideon. And it was one that he had not earned on his own accord. Listen to Gideon’s own admission: “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am he least in my father’s house.” Moments earlier the Angel declared, “Do not I send you?” and reminds Gideon, “I will be with you.”
Your Identity in Christ
Often times the identity that our Father places upon us is one we have yet to live into fully. Yes, yoked to Christ, we become children of God. But the rest of our lives are involved in figuring out what this looks like for each of us. This is what discipleship is all about. Living into your identity. And the grace of knowing that, even when you get it wrong, your identity doesn’t revert back. You are who God says you are. Period. Not what your actions say. Not what your failures say. Not what your friends, family, strangers, or enemies say. Not even what you say in the dark places of your own soul.
You are who Jesus says you are. You are His. Now, live into it!Photo by Raphael Rychetsky on Unsplash