Dear Young Woman, This Is Why Your Identity Is Under Attack

Identity in Christ

How would you answer the question, “Who am I?” Do you have a stable, strong, and satisfying sense of self?

That’s what we’re talking about in this series on identity.

The Fable of the Eagle

You know the fable about the eagle that lived like a chicken?

A farmer found an eagle and brought him to his farm to live chickens.

One day, the eagle saw some eagles flying. He looked at them far off in the sky and then down at himself, trying to catch the resemblance. A lot went through his mind.

“No, I look more like these birds in the air. That means I should fly like them,” he thought.

With that realization, he spread his wings, flapped, and up he went—even to his amazement. He flew higher and higher, joined the mother eagle, and soared away.

What switched? His sense of identity.

He redefined who he was. Or rather, he rightly identified who he was because all the while, he’d been living with a false identity. This new understanding changed his belief about what he could or couldn’t do. He believed he could fly. That belief led to action—he spread his wings and flew.

If you want to elevate your life, you need to look at your true identity. If you miss this, an identity crisis can derail your life, just as it did for Eve.

Eve’s Identity Crisis

In Genesis 2:22-25, God had just formed her, brought her to Adam, and he called her Woman.

I don’t know if Eve spent time truly understanding her identity—that she is God’s creation, a woman.

Did she deeply understand, as Merriam-Webster defines identity, “her distinguishing character and personality“?

The devil knows how crucial a biased identity is.

In the next chapter, Genesis 3:1, he shows up to the woman. He ended the conversation with her on an identity bait.

For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5).

Eve, do you need to be like God?

You are a woman, created in the image of God. But you can’t be all-knowing like the Almighty God.

Well, the devil’s plan seemed to work. Eve ate the apple, and her eyes opened. Of course, she didn’t become God. She became a shadow of who God intended her to be.

When we believe and act on lies about our identity, it diverts our lives away from God’s original intent for us.

But thank God, that’s not the end of the story. From then till now, in every book of the Bible, we see God on a mission to help humanity know and live out our true identity.

Reclaiming Your True Identity

Your past may have tried to redefine who you are. That optimistic and outspoken spirit you possess – pain might have silenced and snatched it from you. Yet, it doesn’t have the right to recreate you.

People may name you timid, but they don’t have the power to rename your identity.

Even if you’ve seen yourself as a failure, that doesn’t shape who you truly are.

The only person who has all it takes to define your identity is God—the one who created you.

In Jeremiah 1:5, He says: Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”

Many times, we act like the Israelites. God called them His people. However, because of their many years in slavery, the beliefs and habits of subordinate life and that of the Egyptians had dug deep into them, launching an attack on their true identity.

That ‘learned’ identity made them believe and act the way they did. They always murmured and cried for lack of food and water. Even when Moses brought them the promise of God’s deliverance, “they hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit, and for cruel bondage.” (Exodus 6:8-9).

Just like the Israelites, many of us struggle with our true identity.

Why You’re Battling with Living Your True Identity

1. The devil knows that when you rightly define and live by your true identity, it affects your beliefs and habits.

He wants your beliefs and habits to be false. He wants you to talk, think, dress, and live in disobedience to God.

When you know your true identity, you want to live in alignment with your identity in Christ. And that will affect your beliefs and habits. So, for everything you do, ask yourself, does this befit my identity? Think of someone from a royal family. They have specific ways they dress, act in public, and even the kind of person they marry.

2. The world tells us that different truths can coexist.

They sell us their version of the ideal identity, and we often blend to belong. As social beings, there is a tendency to blend, especially as teens and tweens. But when you understand that part of your identity in Christ is being set apart, you won’t mind.

Although the world holds onto various truths, God’s word is THE TRUTH. You may struggle with identity because you haven’t fully embraced God’s word as the final truth. No matter what the world says about your beauty, sexuality, career decisions, relationships, and more, God’s word stands.

3. The devil knows that when you fully embrace your God-given identity, it will have a ripple effect on your generation:

So, he keeps you living less. Think of Esther; she didn’t realize her divine assignment initially. The moment she did, it led to the deliverance of thousands of Jews.

4. Past circumstances and trauma have tried to redefine us:

Many young women have experienced betrayal, loss, or other painful events that have impacted their lives. These experiences can make it difficult to see beyond the pain. The once outgoing and outspoken girl may now be sad and silent. Just like the Israelites in Egypt, Moses brought them the promise of God’s deliverance, “but they hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit, and for cruel bondage.” (Exodus 6:8-9).

5. You’ve not taken time to know and believe who God says you are:

God’s word is filled with descriptions of who His children are in Him. God keeps nudging us to see, believe, and live out our true identity. Gideon was a mighty man of valor, but he didn’t know it. He was hiding when the angel of the LORD appeared and called him a mighty man of valor, saying the Lord was with him. It seemed too true to believe.

He asked God how… and if so why are all these happening to them. Even when God told him he was going to lead the deliverance of God’s people, he asked for a sign. Thank God Gideon didn’t dismiss what God told him about his identity. Thank God he pressed on to ask for further clarifications. And immediately swung into action. (Judges 6:11-24).

And I want you to take action too.

Action Points:

  1. Reflect on the things that have defined your identity in the past. Ask God for the grace to walk away from those false identities and commit to discovering who you are in Him.
  2. Read Psalm 139 and write down what you learn about your identity in Christ. Affirm it to yourself daily.
  3. Set a reminder to read the next post in this series so you don’t miss out on what God has for you.

“Your true identity is who God says you are. You will never discover who you are by looking inside yourself or listening to what others say. The Lord gets the first word because he made you; he gets the daily word because you live before his face; and he gets the last word because he will administer your final, comprehensive live review. Your identity does not rest on what others say of you, it does not rest on the externals of your life, it does not rest on your abilities, your capacity, your performance, your relationships. Your identity rests on the God who knows you, is present with you, and has loved you with an everlasting love through his Son, Jesus Christ.”

David Powlison

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