About a year ago, someone near and dear to me shared a powerful revelation with me – one that has and will forever affect my life. Before I get to that, allow me to set the scene. I spent many years struggling with irrational fear, insecurity and a total loss for who I was in the world. Being a Christian and believing in Jesus was not enough to fill the void despite many church messages telling me it should have been enough. I guess I needed more to connect the dots.
We Are What We Believe
The most powerful influence in our lives, is not what comes from the outside; it is what the inside “says.” The inner voice can be our greatest critic, our greatest nemesis or our greatest ally. It affects how rationalize, analyze and ultimately come to believe who we are and who we will become.
We cannot exist apart from who or what we think we are. Our dreams, our love, our relationships, our future … every part of what is possible in our life is directly connected to how we see ourselves. We are empowered or disempowered, wealthy or in poverty, living in fulfillment or living in discontent. All of this stems from a single word: belief.
Who Said You Were
Back to the story I mentioned earlier. The revelation my friend had emerged from a well-known story in the Bible:
“When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. Then the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’ He replied, ‘I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.’ ‘Who told you that you were naked?’ the Lord God asked. ‘Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?’” —Genesis 3:8-11
This beautiful nugget is so easy to miss. Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden tree, and their eyes were opened to the world now tainted by sin. When God approached them, He asked them why they were hiding. Adam replied “I was afraid because I was naked.” The Lord’s response is where the profound truth lies:
“Who told you that you were naked?”
Why is that profound? I would like to submit an idea to you that I hope radically changes your life. What is your inner voice telling you that you are? Or that you aren’t? What have others said you are? Or that you are not? What has been spoken against you, that has left you with no identity, or a false identity? What belief do you hold about yourself that has trapped you? Now, I want to ask yourself the same question God asked Adam and Eve:
“Who told you that you were ___________?”
He Can’t See You Any Other Way
Let’s come full circle to grasp the whole concept, which is this: the Lord can’t see you any other way than HE sees you!
Adam and Eve saw their flaw, their nakedness. They saw themselves through the lens of brokenness. God cannot see us any other way than His sons and daughters. He sees us as His magnificent creation. He sees us as treasure! So much so that He would give His most valuable prize, His son Jesus, for nothing more than a maybe. That maybe, we might be interested in knowing Him – never forced.
So, if God sees us as treasure, then why do we have to live under the burden of seeing ourselves as anything else? Why should we bear the weight of a false identity that even the Lord doesn’t see?
God Doesn’t Lie
Let me share a personal story in closing. I take prayer walks often, and one day a little over a year ago, I went on my daily prayer walk. This walk was much different, as normally, I do most of the talking. This time, the Lord was doing all the talking, and He was telling me all these amazing things about me: how proud of me He was, how good at this and that I was, what a difference I made in the world.
God was encouraging every part of me that bore doubt and insecurity … and the entire time, I brushed it off. I denied every bit of it. I said things like “No Lord, that’s not me. No, I’m really not that great or good. I doubt people see that in me.”
As I came to the end of my walk, God asked me one simple question that has forever rocked my world. He said it in the most loving way anything has ever been said to me. He simply said:
“My son, are you calling me a liar?”
The light bulb went off, and for the first time I realized, that is exactly what I had been doing. I decided in that moment to simply believe Him. If God says I am those things, then anyone (including myself) that has a different opinion, can take it up with Him!
I am free of that burden now. Who said I was those things? Well, I did. But because He can’t see me any other way.
Our identity will forever be who He says we are. If any of this resonates with you, I encourage you to set yourself free. Believe that He has only one way to see you, and that is so valuable and loved that you are worth His only son.
You may also be interested in Self-Love vs. Selfish: Why Loving Yourself Isn’t A Bad Thing