I don’t know your story and you don’t know mine, but we share a common theme. We are driven by the search for true identity, a desire to be understood and appreciated for who we are. We have longing to seek out something more. Those are not evil desires. God gave us the desire to seek the essence of who he created us to be, so that he can fulfill it. He created the thirst so we can enjoy the Living Water. Unfortunately, we spend a lot of time and energy looking everywhere else but to him for that fulfillment.
In Jeremiah 2 God paints a picture of how his people loved him like a bride loves her groom, full of passion and complete in their devotion to him. But their hearts changed. In Jeremiah 2:13 God says that his people have forsaken him, the spring of Living Water, and have dug their own cisterns. They are looking for fulfillment in all the wrong places. You can hear the Father’s grieved heart as he lays out their behavior before them and then ends with “How’s that working for you?”
My heart sinks as I see the areas in my life where I have chosen to find identity in my own cisterns, rather than drinking the Living Water. We too easily revert back to our own cisterns that can hold no water. Look at the cisterns in your life. What seemed like such a good source of legitimacy suddenly pales in comparison to true legitimacy found in God. That is why it is critical to meditate on the truths of who God is and who we are in Him until it sinks down deep into our spirit, soul, and body. John Calvin wrote in The Institutes Of The Christian Religion, “It now remains to pour into the heart itself what the mind has absorbed. For the Word of God is not received by faith if it fills the top of the brain, but when it takes root in the depth of the heart.” Calvin is urging us to take deep drinks of the Living Water of who he is and what we have because of who he is:
He is Jehovah-Jireh (provider).
Genesis 22:14 Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide.
You can be sure he sees and knows your every need.
Matthew 6:8 Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
He is Jehovah-Rophe (healer).
Exodus 15:26 I am the LORD, who heals you.
You are being renewed.
Isaiah 40:31 … those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength...
He is Jehovah-Shalom (peace).
Judges 6:24 … and called it The LORD is Peace.
You have life and peace.
Romans 8:6 ... to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
He is Jehovah-Nissi (banner).
Exodus 17:15 Moses built an altar and called it The LORD is my Banner.
You are led in Christ’s triumph.
2 Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ…
He is Jehovah-Rohi (shepherd).
Psalm 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd...
You are his well-tended sheep.
Psalm 100:3 We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
He is Jehovah-Tsidkenu (righteousness).
Jeremiah 23:6 This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.
You are free from the law of sin and death.
Romans 8:2 Through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
He is Jehovah-Shammah (THE LORD IS THERE, Ezekiel 48:35)
Matthew 28:20 Surely I am with you always…
You are continually with God.
Psalm 73:23 Yet I am always with you…
Stop and allow these truths to sink deep into your spirit. You may “know” these Scriptural facts, but now really receive their truth deeply in your spirit where your legitimacy, identity, significance, and birthright are defined by God.
“He has identified us as His own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts . . . “ 2 Corinthians 1:22 (NLT)
Your faith will grow stronger as you focus on your identity in Christ (Galatians 2).
What this means is that you abandon any image of yourself that is not from God. You stop accepting what others have said about you; you stop accepting how others have labeled you; you stop accepting how others have defined you.
You start believing what God says about you; you start believing God is pleased with how he created you; you start believing that God defines you.
You’re not defined by your feelings; you’re not defined by the opinions of others; you’re not defined by your circumstances; you’re not defined by your successes or failures; you’re not defined by the car you drive, the money you make, or the house you say you own when the bank really does.
You are defined by God, and God alone. He identifies you as his own (2 Corinthians 1:22).
The thing is, if you don’t know who you are then you’re vulnerable to other people telling you who you are. But the concrete, solid, gospel truth is that you are who God says you are and no one else has a vote in the matter.
This “identity issue” is an important part of living the abundant life. Jesus was able to face the incredible demands of his mission because he knew exactly who he was; he knew that he mattered to God, and that gave him confidence to move purposefully in faith.
You are now identified with Christ and have the power of the Holy Spirit within you. You are God’s precious child and he created you in a way that pleases him.