The title of our Youth series on Wednesday evening was “Born Identity.” Just hearing the phrase makes me think of those blockbuster “Bourne” movies starring Matt Damon…action-packed, edge of your seat, multiple hour distractions. I can honestly say that I’ve never really given “born identity” a whole lot of thought until now. And it has a meaning that’s so much deeper than a few hours of entertainment.
David tells us in Psalm 139:13-16 that we were weaved into our identities before we were ever conceived. Weaving is an art that takes time and great care. Our identities were not mass-produced in a factory somewhere – similar to how textiles are produced into cheap garments at the speed of light. God took His time in creating us. Little by little, one masterpiece at a time, he weaved us into, not just something good, but something very good. (Genesis 1:31) And something in His image. (Genesis 1:27)
How does it feel when you criticize His masterpiece in the mirror every morning? Or hide the talents that were so carefully chosen for you? I’ll admit that I’ve had serious struggles on both sides of this coin, in the form of criticizing what I felt that I lacked and hiding the things that I didn’t lack. The enemy rejoices when you take on that attitude…
But why? Why did God choose for us to bear His image and why should the enemy delight in the fact that we’re so hesitant to show others who we truly are? God has no physical body to speak of. He came to earth to take on our appearance as a human in the form of Christ only for a short time. Yet all of the years prior to Christ’s birth and following Christ’s resurrection, the “image” that He has wanted us to reflect are the qualities that make up who He truly is. We are to reflect His glory in the form of love, patience, forgiveness, kindness and faithfulness. If we show others the face of God then we win them to the good side, so to speak. If we’re so consumed and unsatisfied with our outward appearance God’s face is never seen and the enemy has an easier time of keeping us all in the darkness that is so prevalent in this world.
Our physical appearance only matters because the world tells us that we’re to look or act a certain way. Keep in mind that those words may not always be spoken out loud. In fact, you may live your entire life without another person ever criticizing you (count yourself blessed if this is true). However, through certain secular magazines, music, movies, television shows, clothing and cosmetic companies…these sources tell us that we aren’t anywhere near as perfect as we could be in terms of appearance and/or talent. And if we’re all honest with one another, that’s devastating to our confidence in such a way that we try to clothe our real identity and our real purpose of bearing God’s image.
As far as images go, Christ was the exact representation of His Father. (Hebrews 1:3) It’s impossible to get any closer to the perfection of God except through His Son. As a follower of Christ, we have not only been created in God’s image, but we have the Spirit of the One who represents everything God is living within us. We aren’t here on a whim. We are here for a purpose and that purpose is for others to witness God’s true character. When we try and hide our identities or criticize the person that He created us to be, we are veiling the very face of whom we are to display. 2 Corinthians 3:16 tell us that once we come to the Lord, “the veil is taken away…And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate His glory, are transformed into His image…”
Do you truly know how gratifying an unveiled face is? The freedom you experience from knowing that you can step out and show others who you are? Who God is? Make no mistake; He has given you the power to choose. You can hide behind the lies the world wants you to believe about yourself or you can embrace the fact that you were “fearfully and wonderfully made” for a purpose.
Don’t be afraid to unveil your face and show the world who you truly are.
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