Photo by Marc-Olivier Jodoin
Identity in God
When Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his donkey, went to his hometown, set his affairs in order, and hanged himself.2 Samuel 17:23
Ahithophel had been David’s advisor. So good was his counsel that it was said, “and the counsel of Ahithophel, which he counseled in those days, [was] as if a man had inquired at the oracle of God: so [was] all the counsel of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom. 2 Samuel 16:23
Ahithophel had a gift of wisdom and counsel on his life. His gift had made him one of King David’s advisors. It had given him a position. But in this passage, he turns against David and uses his gift to help Absalom usurp his father’s throne.
He was used to people listening to him. There wasn’t a time where his advice wasn’t followed. But there came a time where his counsel was rejected. Ahithophel had built his whole life on his gift. It got him places. It made him a living. One can see how his identity was wrapped up in this.
But what happens when the things that give us identity are taken away from us? What happens when the props we have set up to make us feel good about ourselves are no longer there?
We can build identity in the wrong places. And if we build our identity with the wrong things it is sinking ground. We need to have our identity on a firm foundation.
We can have our identity on our gifts. I can have my identity in being a worship leader, or a writer. It’s easy to get our value from our jobs or the money we make. Our identity can be on the followers or likes we have on social media. We can have our identity on the relationships we have. All these are shaky foundations. All these are subject to change and when they change we’ll be forced to figure out who we are apart from them.
God will intentionally allow things to fall apart to reveal to us where we’ve built a false identity. He will allow people to walk away from us. He will let the relationship that we have our identity in to die. Let the friendship die. He will allow the dream to die. He will throw us into a season where we have to figure out who we are apart from our gifts. He will keep removing the things we have our identity in until we find our identity in Him.
I went through a long season where God was removing everything that gave me a false sense of value. I finally reached a place where I had to ask myself, “ Who am I without the job, without the relationship, without the dream, without the gift, without the friends?”
This is where I realized I was unconditionally loved by God, I was chosen whether was on a platform or not. I could enjoy life with or without the relationship. I finally knew in God, I had all I needed and wanted.
Maybe you are going through a season where things that used to work for you are no longer working. The job isn’t as exciting. The friends are no longer there. The relationship has ended. You have been forced into a season of figuring who you are apart from some things. Some things that had been in your life for a long time are no longer there. Maybe this is a good thing because you can now build your identity on solid ground.
When our identity is on solid ground, things can come and go. Seasons can change and we will remain and be able to move forward with or without them.
I love the story of Job; Satan was convinced that job’s fear of God was based on the blessings God had given him. But God knew job’s identity wasn’t in what God had given him. It was in God, and when the enemy came after what he had and Job lost everything he still feared God. Job 1:9-12, 2:9-10
Colossians 2:7 says let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Christ is the only solid ground on which we can build our lives. His love and faithfulness are steadfast when nothing else in life is. You can lose everything and still be okay when your foundation is built on God. However, we’ll crumble with things when we build our identity on anything outside of God.
So Sis, what are you deeply rooted in? What is that thing that you can’t imagine your life without? It’s a telltale sign that you have your identity in the wrong place. When our identity is rightly placed things can change. Seasons can change. People can come and go and we will still be okay. We’ll remain standing no matter what life brings.