Recognizing and living out your true identity in Christ

The following is an excerpt from a book on wholeness that is in progress.

From God’s heart

Every person who has ever been born came from a different place in the heart of God that no one else has and no one else ever will come from. Your place was reserved just for you. This means that there are things about God that can only be known on this earth if they come through you, because only you reflect that part of his heart. You were put on earth at just the right time and just the right place for those things to be known by people around you.

Before the first star was flung into space, God dreamed you up. God was thinking of exactly what he wanted in his next child, and in the depths of his creativity and loving imagination, he made you, perfectly designed to reveal his heart. He longed for you the way someone longs for a husband, a wife, or a child. He designed exactly what he wanted in his own child as a gift to himself and those around you. No matter whether you were planned or unplanned, wanted or unwanted, or raised the way you should have been, God celebrated the day you were born. Your parents may not have handled things well, but your design is still perfect.

Broken does not mean defective. God designed you, and your design is perfect, right from the heart and imagination of God. God didn’t go to the cross because you are a mess. He doesn’t love you because of what you can do or what you do for him. He loves you for the same reason any good parent loves their child, because you came from him. There is absolutely nothing that can equal your value. He went to the cross because you are too valuable not to rescue. He went because he wants you with him for eternity.

You add beauty to the kingdom

I used to ask God to show me how he viewed the people he was bringing to us to receive ministry. He always showed me exactly the same thing every time, no matter what their situation or what kind of mess they had made of their life. He would say, “They are a jewel in my eyes. My kingdom on this earth is more beautiful because they are here, and my kingdom in heaven will be more beautiful when they are there.” Then I would see the jewel cast before his throne, in all of its glory, and he would say, “My throne is more beautiful when him/her at my feet.” That is the way God feels about his children. That is the way he feels about you. That is not just because you are his child and God has to love his children. That’s not the way God’s heart works. He is Truth. He doesn’t love what isn’t valuable. The very fact that he loves you means that you are of great value.

You are not defective in any way

You are the temple of God. Just like the Old Testament tabernacle and temple, which were meticulously and perfectly designed to hold the presence of God, your design is perfect too. God will not dwell in anything less.

The Bible makes it very clear that God will only dwell in something fitting for his glory. The glory of God, which is the proof of his presence, dwells in the temple and it dwells in you. Your design is a perfect fit to hold and display him, only better than the temple. For you are a living being, a living expression of his heart. The only thing standing in the way was sin, which Jesus dealt with on the cross. Jesus dealt with sin to remove everything that hindered the expression of God’s heart toward us and toward others.

Some people tell me, “You have no idea what I’ve done and how much I have disappointed God. He could not possibly love me.” Let’s say I buried a perfectly pure gold bar in a bucket of absolutely putrid pig slop. If I offered you that bucket, would you take it? Of course you would! You know that the pig slop doesn’t change the gold. The gold is you, and the purpose of the cross is to clean up the pig slop so that the gold can be seen for what it truly is.

You were celebrated in heaven

A woman I know, someone who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, received a vision of herself from God shortly before the degradation of Alzheimer’s began to set in. She saw herself going backwards in a time tunnel. As she went back into time and became younger, she saw various baggage she had picked up in life fly off of her. Finally, she reached the point of her conception and, in this vision, she went through that point and saw her unborn self as a baby laying before God’s throne. She was ready to be put in the womb. With angels gathered around, she heard God say, “And then there was Cheryl (not her real name),” and fireworks went off all over heaven. All of the angels broke into singing and rejoicing because this next beautifully crafted piece of God’s heart was here. That is exactly what happened over you.

Living your identity to the fullest

Everything that God has done, going to the cross, sending the Holy Spirit, making it possible to heal brokenness, is done to release the fullness of God’s incredible gift and the expression of himself, you, to the world. For when you are able to be your true self, the fullness of your own identity, the presence of God is able to flow through you so well that you deliver his presence to others. That is the definition of his glory, the proof of his presence.

That is the lesson of Matthew chapter 25. This chapter gives us three stories, each building on the last until we see that our final judgement is based on the expression of the heart of God through us in our everyday lives. In other words, being the real you in your daily life, the person you were designed to be, is God’s highest calling for any of us.

The first parable in the chapter, the parable of the ten virgins, tells of two virgins, some of whom had oil for their lamps and some didn’t. When the master returned, those without oil were not allowed in with the master. The oil is a symbol for the Messiah. This is the foundation. We must have Christ as our Savior.

The second parable shows us what we are to do with the presence of Christ in our lives. This is the parable of the talents. Here, a master gives talents of gold to his servants and wants it invested. The gold is a symbol for Christ. It is the things of Christ given to each of us in our hearts. Investing the gold is simply letting the person of God express himself in a personal and natural way, just by being yourself, in daily life.

In the next story, Jesus shows us what the parable of the talents looks like in action. This is the story is the final judgment. This story is not symbolic. Here nothing is veiled. Jesus judges people by showing them how they lived out what was in their hearts. For those who knew him, those who had the gold of the talents in their heart and invested it, Jesus shows how they invested their heart: visiting the sick, feeding the hungry, welcoming strangers, and so on. This list is not a specific list of fulfilled commandments. It is a set of examples similar to providing a child a cup of cold water to drink. These people were scarcely aware of what they were doing. This is just the natural way they lived with Christ in their hearts. To them, these acts were just part of their lives. They weren’t special ministries or callings. They were expressions of their heart and therefore expressions of the heart of God.

Your own identity, the way you were uniquely made, is an expression of the heart of God. When you live out the expressions of your heart in intimacy with God, you are doing everything he put you here to do. Every time you love someone or show kindness, you are showing people God’s heart. It doesn’t matter whether you are a full-time minister, a professional in the work place, or a stay-at-home mom. There are people around you who need to experience the heart of God. Just by being yourself with God in you, you are giving the world the greatest gift you can give, the heart of God.

This is not about numbers or the type of assignment you have in the kingdom. It is about people. God is not concerned about numbers. He is infinite, and he can do whatever he wants with numbers. He is concerned about people, heart encounters, quality over quantity. This is not about perfection. It is about being the you he designed you to be, loving others and sharing his heart. This is why we heal brokenness. The purpose of binding up the brokenhearted is to restore the identity God gave you before the foundation of the world so that you are free to be the personal expression of God’s heart to those he has put in your life.