I love how the first few chapters of the book of Matthew speak to our true identity in Christ. Matthew who himself was a tax collector was despised by the Jews because of greed and their work with the Romans like the other tax collectors. When Jesus did the unconventional and called him, the Pharisees had a lot to say about this. Here are four (4) things the book of Matthew reveals about your identity.
Your identity is not a function of your past
‘Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. ‘ 1 Corinthians 1:27 NLT
In Chapter 1, Matthew goes through the genealogy of Jesus Christ. In his account, he chronicles some of society’s rejected and dejected. The descent of Jesus tells us about grace, but also one about identity. The men and women highlighted here are people who society would normally reject and shame. However, these are the men and women God used. Abraham was an idol worshipper, Tamar tricked and slept with her Father-in-law, Rahab was a known prostitute, David was an adulterer and Ruth was a widow. This did not stop God from fulfilling His purpose through them. He did not look to their past as a reference to determine their future.
No matter what your past looks like, I want you to know that God plans are to give you hope. for God works everything out for your good even when some have labelled you as a write off because you lack certain qualifications, stamina or knowledge. Others may simply associate you to the life you’ve lived before, but God can still use you! Your Identity is found in Christ and your purpose in life is defined by what God has declared. Have the courage to break out of limiting beliefs about who society says you should be and step into the fullness of who God says you are. When you come to Christ all that changes. Jesus Christ lived and died so we can live in the fullness of our identity in Christ.
You are exactly who God has created you to be
‘For thou hast possessed my reins: Thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: Marvellous are thy works; And that my soul knoweth right well. ‘ Psalm 139:13-14 KJV
If you understand anything knitting, it is an intricate craft that missing a stitch misplaces the pattern and piece. That is very similar to how God has wired us. Everything in us is precisely put there for a purpose, even what we may consider weird. Your identity is perfectly crafted for your purpose.
In Chapter 2 we see the birth of Jesus. Jesus, the Savior and King was not born in a palace. like the Pharisees expected. Instead, He was born in a manger and that was aligned to His character of humility. Mary who was chosen by God was not a queen of woman of high ranking in society. Everything about their past and present, appearance and circumstance was exactly how God designed it and it was enough to fulfil the purpose He has for them.
When you walk in your true identity, those called to serve the vision God has given you, will find you.
Even those that are designed to leave your life, will start to ward off. Have you ever noticed how people’s true character is exposed when as you step into your purpose? Some will question your abilities, Gods calling upon your life or justify why you shouldn’t be doing what you are doing. In this chapter we see how Herod was troubled by the birth of Christ the King. When your authentic self is born (through revelation and recognition), and you start to tap into that, you will certainly poke a lot of people. Many will start to shed off. Be encouraged, whoever leaves is not for you. Those that are for you will stick it out and stay loyal till the end.
Your identity isn’t what you look like
In chapter 3 we see that John’s outward appearance didn’t really match the magnitude of impact he was making in the Kingdom of God. We are told that ‘John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. ‘ Oh how I love this. This scripture not only addresses the clothing aspect but also the diet side.
These are areas that people become obsessed with when it comes to identity. For most people, their identity lies in their physical appearance. So they invest thousands in hair, makeup, diets, and surgery just to uphold an false persona if you may, of what they believe holds their value. It’s okay not to keep up with trends, it’s okay not to be on social media platforms, it’s okay for the world not to know how your life is going. Not doing these things doesn’t change one bit who God has created you to be. As a matter of fact, it makes your life much better. So I encourage you today not to conform to the pressures of perceived progress that people display online.
The enemy always presents a pseudo identity
‘ And it is no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light;’ 2 Corinthians 11:14 AMPC
Chapter 4 is the climax of the role of one’s identity in fulfilling purpose. It shows us how identity is Satan’s major target for the believer. He introduces a counterfeit of who God says we are and what we can do. Being called doesn’t mean we are immune to temptation, Jesus being the very nature of God was too tempted. During His temptation, the enemy targeted three areas, that is, His identity, relationship and calling.
This is no different from our own experience. The enemy strategy is to steal, kill and destroy our purpose by first targeting our identity. If you give him access, he will destroy you! Whatever that enemy presents to us to a counterfeit of what God has already given us. We see this right from the beginning with the deception of Adam and Eve.
Therefore, what he says about your sexuality, marriage, job, identity, relationship with God, future is a skewed and evil version of God’s plan for your life. You need to be weary of the enemy’s shenanigans’ in order to walk in your true identity in Christ. Make it a practice to run every whisper or thought by the Word of God. That way you will be able to determine whether it is a true representation of God’s character.