Most people would agree that if you don’t fully know who you are it is difficult to live your life to the highest potential. I mean, understanding who we are shapes how we view ourselves and how we interact with others. It molds our outlook on life. Without a clear grasp on our identity it is impossible to know where we fit.
This understanding of our identity is always growing. As a child my grasp of these things was limited, very self-centered. I saw myself and my world purely based on my own perspective of it. As I matured my scope began to broaden and I could see that almost nothing revolves around me. This understanding of who I am is much different than when I was young. I am sure as I continue to age I will realize I still have so much to learn in terms of who I am and where I fit into this world. But the point I want to make is that it is natural and expected that my understanding of my identity, realizing history and who I have become, continues to develop throughout my lifetime. This is not something to be ashamed of, but rather embraced as part of the process of growing. It is equally true for my Spiritual identity.
Years ago I thought I knew who I was. An adopted child of God. A member of the Church. A fellow saint. An heir to the Kingdom. A sinner saved by grace. I thought I new what that really meant. I thought I knew the implications of that for my life. In a way, a somewhat natural and expectedly childlike way, I did get it. That was what I understood at that time. It was an incomplete understanding, but that is okay because it is part of the journey. I am so thankful that the Spirit of YHWH is still revealing himself to me and revealing my identity in him. The constant peeling away of my heart is humbling and yet so exciting as YHWH continues to instruct me in my own identity. As in everything, every question or pondering, I want to come to the Scriptures. Deeply pouring over the Word of God that is alive and active, I want to lay down my heart for my Creator to further my understanding of who I am in him. Not for the sole purpose of knowing myself, but so I can know YHWH and learn how to serve him.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Here are some areas that I have been searching in regards to my identity:
Identity in relation to Israel
- If I am a daughter of Abraham because of my faith in Yeshua, what does that mean about my relationship to Israel? Am I to be like Israel?
- If I am adopted into the family would I not be subject to live the same life as the rest of the people of God?
- As Paul describes, I am grafted into the cultivated olive tree as a wild branch. Would I then be part of what already existed in that original olive tree or would I be part of a new tree, a completely different and separate group of believers?
- What is a remnant of in every generation? If, as believers in Yeshua as the Messiah, we are gathered to join this remnant, why have we sperarted ourselves from the remnmant of people of YWHW and forgotten the quarry from which we were hewn?
Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness,
you who seek the Lord:
look to the rock from which you were hewn,
and to the quarry from which you were dug.
Identity in relation to the Church
- What is the “church”, the ekklesia, that Yeshua speaks of and the apostles are given the authority to expand?
- Who is part of this group of people? What makes me part of this group?
- What surrounding the Church is historical addition and what is truly Scriptural?
- When was this group of people initiated? Was it at the death and resurrection of the Messiah? Was it at the time that the Spirit was given at Shavuot? Was it at the foundation of the World?
- Was the ekklesia something new that was being built or does it encompass all those who had faith, like Abraham and Moses and David? If there is one people that are joined together faithful to YHWH, Jew and Gentile, are the remnants of past generations of Israel a part of our church or are we a part of the remnant of Israel?
- Would the great cloud of witnesses even recognize us as a community of faith in YHWH?
- What are my responsibilities as part of this group?
- How should my life reflect that of being part of the people of YHWH?
When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
Identity in relation to Yeshua
- What did the death and resurrection of Yeshua accomplish for me, a Gentile? Did it free me from the bondage of having to obey the Law? Did it remove the need to attempt to obey the Law?
- Why does Yeshua condemn the lawless, even though they confess him and do good works in his Name?
- What does it mean that I am the Bride of the Messiah?
- What does it mean that I am a part of His ekklessia?
- What does it mean the he is my High Priest?
- What does it mean that I am to be a disciple, a talmid of Rabbi Yeshua?
- What does it mean that Yeshua saved us by grace and yet we are slaves to righteousness?
- If I am to follow Yeshua, conforming myself to be like him, how do I reconcile the fact I do not uphold the Law while to be considered sinless Yeshua kept the Torah perfectly?
If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.
Our identity is so significant. How we view ourselves directly impacts how we view YHWH, how we identify with the people of YHWH and how we walk through life in relation to what the Messiah has done on our behalf.
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,
“I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
Therefore go out from their midst,
and be separate from them, says the Lord,
and touch no unclean thing;
then I will welcome you,
and I will be a father to you,
and you shall be sons and daughters to me,
says the Lord Almighty.”
2 Corinthians 6:14-18