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All my life, I think I’ve struggled to know who I am and who God has called me to be. As far back as I can remember, I’ve often felt uncomfortable in the skin I call my own. Though I didn’t mind what I looked like, I always wanted to be taller, or more athletic, an Einstein, or something that would set me apart from the crowd.
By the time I was a teenager, this painful discomfort had rested deep in my bones. I tried to change who I was on the outside so that someone, anyone, would like me. I cared more about the number of friends I had than the ones that genuinely cared for me. Though I was never popular, I would be lying if I said I never wondered what it would be like and why their lives looked like highlights and mine like last week’s news.
It was not until young adulthood that I realized the issue was not who God says I am but who I believed I was. The Devil had wrapped insecurity, shame, guilt, and pride like a bow around my neck until I suffocated from it. But when I finally realized the lies I tell myself are not the same truths God declares over me, I never tasted such sweet freedom.
Who Does God Say I Am? (And Who I’m Not)
- God says I am known for who He created me to be and not my past, present, or future sins.
- In Psalm 139:14 of the NLT, the Psalmist writes, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” I don’t know if you caught it, but it states, “I know that full well.” Repeat that phrase over and over again. God created us without fear, and we know that because God makes incredible and beautiful things, we can rest in that fully acknowledging that He made us that way too! Yes, we are fallen and sinful beings. “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,” and this side of Heaven, we will continue to fall until we get eternally sanctified to Him in Heaven (Romans 3:23, NIV). However, rest assured that God sees you for who you were created to be, and He wastes not one ounce of your composition.
- God says I am forgiven, held no longer by the sin, shame, and guilt that once entangled my weak and weary soul.
- In John 1:9, both the NLT and ESV give great descriptions of what it means to be forgiven not only from our sins but also from the wrath we would pay if it weren’t for Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross. 1 John 1:9, NIV notes, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9, ESV adds, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Because we are all sinners, born into fallen humanity from Adam and Eve’s waking pain-births, it is inherent that our sins will kill us without Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:21 of the NIV writes it this way: “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” The voices in our minds tell us we are guilty, but through Jesus’ blood and redemptive gift, we are free.
- God says I am created in His image regardless of how I feel about myself or what others say.
- As a female, I find it easier to pick out my flaws than comment on what makes me special or unique. I am the first person to reject a compliment, and when people offer comments, I shy away from embarrassment. But brothers and sisters in Christ, Christ says we are all created in the image of Christ. Regardless of how I feel, Genesis 1:27 in the NASB states, “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” If God created us to appear like Him to the world, you better believe that He crafted you with immense care, concern, love, and design.
- God says I will direct your steps, even when you say I can’t figure this out.
- One of my favorite verses in the Scriptures reminds me that though we may plan our course of action, our Lord ultimately directs the paths that follow. While it is okay to plan and be prepared, Jesus wants us to rest in the fact that He knows every step before we take it and every word before it comes out of our mouths. While that might sound scary to some, I am comforted in knowing that even despite my weaknesses and failures, the words that stumble out of my mouth when they shouldn’t, or the actions I take that disobey Him, He still loves me and has great plans for me. Proverbs 16:9 in the NIV sings, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” Even amid uncertainty, if we “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV).
- God says I have not given you a spirit of fear even when you say, Lord, I am a fearful coward.
- As much as I could pretend I am never afraid, it would not be very ethical to make such a remark. When COVID-19 first hit last March, I was petrified and scared to go anywhere. While the lockdowns were rampant, my soul was overcome with grief, isolation, and despair. At every corner, my anxiety heightened, followed by numerous panic and anxiety attacks daily. I was ashamed that I couldn’t handle this monster by myself and had to resume counseling for issues that I thought I had under control. Although I was discouraged, God gently pulled me to Himself in this season and continues to as I wade my way through this war. He whispers over me that I do not have a spirit of fear, for, with Him, I have no reason to be worried. 2 Timothy 1:7 of the KJV faithfully declares, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Fear is an emotion the enemy uses to paralyze us, but God has not given us fear. In Christ, we have all things, including the fearlessness of a warrior to fight using He who roars within us.
Because God says we are known, forgiven, crafted in His image, guided, and courageous, something about how we see ourselves begins to change. When we look into the mirror, we no longer forget what we look like, but we look deep within the fading mortal in front of us (James Chapter 1). We see someone worthy and redeemed in His eyes, not because of who we say we are, but who He declares we were created to be.
Five Verses about Who God Says I Am
I have all I need– Philippians 4:18-19: “I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (NIV).
I will never be alone– Hebrews 11:6: “So we say with confidence,
The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me” (NIV)?
I am loved, forgiven, and have life– John 3:16-21: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God” (NIV).
I am alive and free– Romans 6:1-14: “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, a that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace” (NIV).
I am blessed and chosen– Ephesians 1:3-14: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory” (NIV).
A Prayer to Believe I Am Who God Says I Am
As fallen human beings, we know and acknowledge that it can be challenging to see ourselves for who you created us to be. In our questioning and hardships, please help us to look for you in re-defining who we are. Lord, you say that we are chosen, loved, redeemed, and cared for. We are a royal priesthood adopted into your loving family, and you have more fantastic plans in store for us than we could ever ask or imagine. In your eyes, we are more significant than our past, present, or future mistakes. In your heart, we are holy, blameless, sound, and as lovely as your intention in creation was for us. Today, help us to look towards Heaven as we seek you. And as we desire you, help us know and reflect who you are in us as we live our daily lives.