Looking back, it seemed God had been trying to get my attention for a long time, but I resisted accepting Jesus as my savior. I finally came to faith when I was twenty-seven years old after the birth of my oldest son. From that moment on, I surrendered to God and tried to learn as much about Him as possible. As I grew in the Lord, I tried to teach my children what I was learning at a level they could receive. Consequently, they were raised in a Christian home, taught the Bible, and went to church all their lives.
When my sons were in high school, I ran into an old friend I had known before I came to faith. We reminisced and shared stories of crazy things we did. I was a young, free-spirited, impulsive, young woman. It didn’t fit the God-loving, church-going, mom identity that they had of me. They could hardly believe the stories that my friend and I shared.
Everyone has an identity, personality traits, and characteristics that they are known by. This persona that you have formed a worldly identity. Once you come to faith in Jesus, you receive a new identity. Paul tells the Corinthians, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV). When you come to faith, God creates a new spirit in you. Your newly created self contains the ability to fellowship with God, which helps you become more Christ-like. You are forever changed! Jesus made it, so your new nature is like God in that you can have full access to Him; through Jesus, you have true righteousness and holiness. This happens because Jesus came to live in your heart and be the Lord of your life.
Although you receive this new identity in Christ, it takes a lifetime to work it out. It is the “already, but not yet,” theory. You have already received Christ, and He paid the price for your new identity, but you do not yet walk in the fullness of that new identity. This time between coming to faith and realizing your true identity is called sanctification. Thank God for the new identity in Christ, and continue to walk in that spiritual identity daily.
Some tips for helping you walk into your new identity are:
- Read your Bible daily and replace the lies that the enemy has told you with the truth of God’s word. The enemy has been trying to steal your identity since the day you were born. Take it back by knowing God’s word.
- If you struggle in certain areas with your new identity, look up scriptures that apply and memorize them. That way, you are ready to fight negative thoughts when the devil throws them your way.
- Don’t just read the word. Apply it to your life. This is where the “new self” or “changed man” comes into play. It’s all in the Holy Spirit convicting you and allowing you to walk in the newness of life in Christ.
My fellow believer, you have started a new and exciting path for bettering yourself. Give thanks to God for it, and live a life that reflects Jesus daily!