Hi! My name is x and I am _____. You can fill in the blank with what you desire: mom, wife, athlete, MLB fan, homosexual, anxious, depressed, bipolar, etc. There is no shortage of words that can be used to identify ourselves. The issue is, it is YOU defining yourself.
Christian, you are not defined by your emotions or what you do. That sports team that you love or that sport you think about constantly does not define you. Your feelings of anxiety, depression, or joyfulness do not define you. Your relationships and feelings towards others romantically does not define you. Your family does not define you. Your work does not define you. You are more than all these things. Why? Because you are a child of God. Our identity is in Christ alone.
“So, God created man in his own image, in the image of God He created him; man, and female He created them (Gen.1:17).” How amazing is that? In the beginning the creator of all created us in His own image. The one who spoke the world into existence, the one who made millions of stars for His glory, the one who made animals that we don’t even know about just for Himself; this God created us in His own image. All other things He created were good, but when God created man He said it was very good. Why should we limit ourselves to identify with temporary things when our God made us in His own image? Why would we choose other things over Christ?
God did not create us to please ourselves, He created us to please Him! The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. God, in His mercy and love, sent His son to die on the cross for us. Why? Because we are sinful beings incapable of saving ourselves. This is a truth that is evident from the beginning of Scripture. We see the need of grace and the need for a savior to come save us all. In Jesus Christ, we have the gift of salvation by grace alone through faith alone. Our sports team did not save us, our family did not save us, our desires did not save us, nor were we saved by our own merits. It was Christ and Christ alone.
We must stop looking to these physical man-made creations for worship and value. Instead, we need to find our identity in the one who created us by His own breath. We need to stop leaning on our emotions and feelings and instead lean on God. We can’t say that we love God, yet daily choose to serve and define ourselves by things that we desire and love.“ If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God (Col.3:1-3).”
God did not create us to please ourselves; He created us to please Him!
Our life is hidden in Christ. It is not hidden in mundane things in the world, which are fleeting and temporary. No, our life is hidden in the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Our life is hidden in the one who loved us, created us, saved us, and calls us His own.
Friends, if we are truly believers in Jesus then we cannot love things of the world. We cannot choose sin over Jesus. Why? Because we have been saved from those desires. Ephesians 2 reminds us that before we were Christians, we served the prince of the power of the air until God made us alive together with Christ. Once that happened, the master of our lives changed from ourselves to Christ.
We are no longer slaves to sin, emotions, or feelings. No, we are in Christ. We had to be saved from our heart’s desires. Why, then, do we continually give ourselves to that which previously enslaved us and sought to destroy us? We are not slaves to anxiety. Why? Because the Bible tells us not to be anxious in anything but instead pray and give thanks to God. When the world seems to crash down and destroy our lives, we are no longer left to misery and despair. Paul says, “So, we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison (2 Cor. 4:16-18).”
There is a battle raging in our hearts and in our minds and we must recognize this if we wish to seek victory in the Christian life. Paul tells us to take every thought captive and turn it to obedience in Christ. Where do you turn when the battle for your mind and heart rages? Where do you turn when you fear the worries of life? Let us be like the psalmist who says, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid (Ps. 27:1)?”
There is a battle raging in our hearts and in our minds and we must recognize this if we wish to seek victory in the Christian life
Christian, what defines you? Are you seeking the approval, satisfaction, and comfort from created things more than you are the Creator? If so, turn to Christ. We must realize that Christ is not a simple “add-on” to our life, He is our life! Look to the cross. We must also understand that no matter what happens in this life, if we were to lose everything, we will never lose Christ.