Well, we've finally made it! This is the ninth and final devotional in my summer-long series on the topic of identity. I pray that God has been using these as a helpful resource in your walk of faith; there's nothing I send to you that I don't desperately need to read first myself.
To recap: in the first first few weeks of the series, we looked at replacement identities - common traps where we try to find meaning and purpose in this life.
Some of us find it in our achievements, or lack thereof; some of us place the burden on others in our relationships; some of us take pride in our delusion of spiritual maturity; some of us find identity in the physical world.
This misplaced identity (or identity amnesia) always leaves us disappointed and empty. Why? Because situations, locations, and relationships cannot satisfy our soul. Only God can supply us with meaning and purpose; we were designed for unbroken relationship with him.
So, we need to be reminded to place our identity in God, even on a daily basis! What does that look like? I think there are 3 pillars that hold up a stable identity for a believer: Creation, Sovereignty, and Salvation.
First, we need to be reminded that God is our Creator and that he made us exactly how he intended (Psalm 139:13-16a). Our stability is rooted in his design; we are at peace with our image and can make the most of the gifts we've been given.
Second, we need to be reminded that our God is Sovereign and that every day has been under his wise and careful administration (Psalm 139:16b). Our identity is secure in his authorship, and our calling is to live inside of the plot that God has determined for us before the foundation of the world.
Finally, we need to be reminded that God is our Savior. By default, that means that we're people in need of saving. In other words, we're people born with a crippling and life-altering disease: it's called sin.
As sinners, or cripples, the most wonderful thing that could ever happen in our life is salvation, or healing. It means that the most wonderful thing that I could ever be called is not boss, or husband, or father, or friend, but "child of God."
It also means that God's most significant objective in my life, from salvation until Jesus returns, is sanctification. We want our lives to be comfortable, successful, and predictable, but God is willing to compromise all of these in order to deal with our deepest difficulty: indwelling and remaining sin.
Always remind yourself of your identity as a sinner, not to wallow in guilt and shame, but to maximize the celebration of your salvation. It will prevent self-righteous delusion and usher in a deeper love for your Savior, Jesus Christ.
And, of course, don't forget about sanctifying grace. God hasn't forgotten; he's near and he's active. But he hasn't singled you out for particular abuse. No, in love, he's working on your biggest problem, and he won't stop working until the job is done.
Paul David Tripp
- Has your celebration of salvation weakened over time? What can you do to grow in celebratory thankfulness?
- Has your awareness of your sin weakened over time? In what ways do you live as if you're a "Grace Graduate"?
- How have you responded poorly to God's sanctifying grace in the past year? How can you respond moving forward?