Do you ever question your identity? There are moments when we wonder if we are who we are supposed to be. Sometimes we doubt who we are. My name is Chris. That’s my name, but that isn’t who I am, but then who am I? What determines my identity? The struggle to find our identity is something that has plagued humanity for generations.
We are no exception and I believe the need to know one’s identity has never been greater than it is today. We have an identity crisis. Today people are trying on many identities in effort to find themselves and we have thrown off all limitations. When we try to find our identity outside of the One who created us we go down a path that only becomes more confused the further we go.
There is a man in Luke 5 who thought he knew who he was. His name was Simon Peter and he was a fisherman. He was a man who caught fish until one day that changed. He and his partners had been fishing all night on the Sea of Galilee and caught nothing. At the end of a long hard night, a man named Jesus was teaching on the shore and requested to use their boats to go out and preach to the crowds from the water.
They took him out and when Jesus had finished preaching He asked them to go out into the deep and put down their nets to catch some fish. Now, the Sea of Galilee is crystal clear, that’s why they fished at night because during the day even the fish would see them coming and avoid the nets. They had been out all night and caught nothing. Why would they go back out in the day?
When Jesus spoke He did so with an authority that captivated the people and Peter was no different. Because it was Jesus who asked Peter agreed and Peter, James and John went out and put down their nets. Both boats caught so many fish that the nets began to tear and the boats were on the verge of sinking. I don’t know how many fish it takes to almost sink a boat, but I know this was a miracle.
Luke 5:8 (NLT)When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m such a sinful man.”
I don’t know if Peter knew in that moment that he was in the presence of the promised Messiah, the coming Christ, but he most certainly knew this man Jesus was from God and far greater a man than he. Imagine it, he asked Jesus to leave because he saw himself as such a sinful man. I don’t think Peter was being self depreciating here, I believe he truly was a sinful man.
There is something about coming into the presence of the Lord that reveals to us who we really are. Our sin is never more obvious than when God shines His light upon us. The same thing happened in Isaiah 6 when the prophet cried out, “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips…” Yet in both instances God looked upon them, not at their sin, but at their potential.
Luke 5:10-11 (NLT) Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!” 11 And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus.
Jesus essentially looked at Peter and said, “I know you’re a sinful man. I know you’re uneducated and smell like fish guts, but I’m gonna take your identity and replace it with a new one. If you come follow me, when I’m through with you no longer will you be fishing for fish, but for people!”
Jesus does the same for us. He looks at us, lost in our sins and says, “I’m gonna take your sinful identity and replace it with son and daughter. I’m adopting you today!”
I believe one of the greatest tactics of the enemy is to keep us from realizing who we truly are in Christ. He wants us to focus on who the world says we are, or who we used to be. He wants to trap us in doubt and confusion. We must take our minds off of our past and instead lock them on Jesus allowing His word to renew our minds and remember we are children of God.
The enemy wants to rob you of your identity. Why does anyone steal someone’s identity? When it comes to credit card fraud, they want to use your resources for their gain. That’s exactly what the enemy wants. If the enemy can keep us from knowing our identity as sons and daughters of God He can keep us from living in the power and authority that comes from being His children.
We are not a defeated and powerless generation, but a generation preparing to engage in battle! We are ready to raise our voice and take up the call of God to awaken this generation to the realities of Heaven. Today, let God place in you His identity for your life. You are not worthless, you are a treasure. You are not without purpose, you have an eternal destiny breathed by God.