Two Questions: Who is God? & who am I?
If i've learned anything, the answer to who WE are comes from a greater understanding of knowing FIRST who God is - which begins by spending time in His Word, and having conversations with Him. Now, we won't come close to the depths of knowing ALL of who God is during this lifetime - but as we BEGIN to understand who He is, the clearer it becomes on how He sees us - which is ultimately, equals with Christ. To think - He loves us with the SAME amount of love he loves JESUS with, because He says we are co-heirs with Christ! (see Romans 8:15-17)
A few months ago I was at one of my lowest points spiritually and had an identity crisis - not knowing who I was as God's child. I remember someone even asking me, "Well you know you're God's child right?" and I couldn't give them a confident answer. I knew the answer should be 'Yes' but I couldn't say it with any assurance behind it. That's when I realized I had been talking the talk, but my identity wasn't actually firm in Christ. I knew I was loved by God - but what beyond that? There HAD to be more, my soul knew it. So I set out on my search for God's truth. I didn't want to try to come up with who I thought I was, or listen to what other people or the world told me I was. I wanted to know who God says I am - who He created me to be.
So I started making my way through Psalms to hear who David saw God to be - and that was so eye-opening! 10/10 recommend going there next. But Ephesians is one of my FAVORITE books in the Bible, and a great place to find simple truths we can so easily forget (or haven't even heard yet!) So here are just 8 verses that give you a jump start into who God says we are. I challenge you to meditate on these points - ask God what they FURTHER mean for YOU specifically. Then go through the rest of Ephesians and write down other truths you find about who GOD is and who He says YOU are. Invite His Spirit to read with you!
1. You are chosen - Ephesians 1:11
"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," - NIV
"Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to His plan." - NLT
YOU WERE CHOSEN BY GOD BEFORE YOU CHOSE HIM
2. You are marked as His - Ephesians 1:13-14
"You 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, who is the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession." - NIV
"And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God's guarantee that he will give us the inheritance promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him."
WE MAY QUESTION IF WE BELONG WITH DIFFERENT PEOPLE OR PLACES IN THIS LIFE, BUT YOU DO NOT HAVE TO WONDER IF YOU BELONG TO HIM OR WITH HIM. YOU JUST DO.
3. You are holding His glorious inheritance & power - Ephesians 1:18
"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe." - NIV
"I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called - his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance." - NLT
YOU ARE HIS INHERITANCE. YOU'RE HOLDING HIS POWER. YOU'RE HOLDING HOPE.
4. You are alive through Christ - Ephesians 2:4-5
"But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions, it is by grace you have been saved." - NIV
"But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even tho we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God's grace that you have been saved!)" - NLT
LIFE WITH CHRIST ISN'T ABOUT BEING GOOD - IT'S ABOUT BEING FULLY ALIVE
5. You are God's creation, created to do good things - Ephesians 2:10
"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." - NIV
"For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." - NLT
YOU ARE HIS FAVORITE CREATION, AND HE HAS EQUIPPED YOU TO DO BRILLIANT THINGS.
6. You are close to God through Jesus - Ephesians 2:13
"But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ." - NIV
"But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ." - NLT
NOTHING CAN SEPARATE US FROM OUR FATHER - HE IS NOT FAR AWAY, HE IS NEAR.
7. You are being built as a dwelling for God's spirit - Ephesians 2:21-22
"In him (Jesus) the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him (Jesus) you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His spirit." - NIV
"We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. Through him you gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit." - NLT
YOU ARE BECOMING. WE ARE NOT WORKING TOWARDS PERFECTION BUT FULLNESS, AND HE CHOOSES TO USE US IN THE PROCESS.
8. You can approach God with freedom and confidence - Ephesians 3:12
"In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence." - NIV
"Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God's presence." - NLT
WE DON'T HESITATE TO WALK INTO THE LIVING ROOM AND HAVE A CHAT WITH OUR EARTHLY FATHER BECAUSE WE KNOW WE ARE HIS, AND HE KNOWS US. WE HAVE THE FREEDOM TO APPROACH OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN THE SAME WAY!