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Your Identity in Christ

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I think that most of us have battled with the fear of man more than once in our lives. It’s a tough issue especially for us girls. We like to look pretty and be pleasing to everyone, but that doesn’t always work out as well as we’d like.
     I personally have had a desperate struggle with the fear of man, especially over the past couple of years. The enemy has been trying to tear down my standards by sending me thoughts like, “Well, everybody else is doing it!” But I’ve found that doing something just because it is the “in” thing is a terrible way to live. Just because a lot of people do it doesn’t make it right.
     So much these days, we as Christian girls are swept along with the world, doing the “in” thing because it’s “cool” and will make us popular and feel accepted. But just fitting in with the crowd doesn’t make us stand out as daughters of the King. Doing what everyone else is doing doesn’t give the world a refreshing picture of a pure and joyful young woman who is living for her Savior and not concerned about what the world thinks.
     So how do we get out of the rut of doing what everyone else is doing? How do we step out of the level of superficial comfort, where we are accepted because we look and act like everyone else? How do we stretch beyond what the world is doing, and instead live our lives for Jesus and Him alone?
     These are some of the questions that I have been struggling with. I am a person who likes to blend in. I don’t like to stand out or be considered “weird”. So if I am with others and they start to talk about something that is rude or uncalled for, I tend to laugh and joke along with them. Or if they start picking on someone, I tend to just go with the flow. Is that the way God wants me to act? Of course not!
     So I can see that my struggle is with the fear of man versus the fear of God. Do I want to please people and do what they are doing and try to “fit in” with the crowd? Or do I want to please God, go down the less-traveled path, and stand for Him?
     The Lord has been showing me how to overcome the fear of man by finding my identity in Jesus Christ. “Identity” means uniqueness, personality, character, and individuality. We have all been made different – after all, no two fingerprints are the same. We have all been created by God with our own uniqueness. When we try to pattern ourselves after other people, it is like telling God, “I don’t like the way that You’ve made me; I want to look just like someone else.” Finding your identity in Christ means finding your uniqueness in the Kingdom of God. God has created each one of us with different talents and personalities, and He wants us to use them, not to cover them up and try to be like everyone else.
     If we are close to Jesus, and we are studying His Word and doing what we believe in our hearts He wants us to do, then we don’t have to worry about what people think of us. As we become increasingly consumed with Jesus Christ, the fear of man will disappear. We are no longer interested in pleasing people; we are only focused on Jesus and we want to please Him. What everyone else thinks falls way behind. Jesus is the only One who matters anymore.
     When your focus is on what people think, then your focus is off God. That’s a scary thought! How many times have we made God’s thoughts less important to us than what people think? How many times have we put the fear of man before the fear of God? The awesome thing is that God is always there to forgive us, no matter what we’ve done. (See 1 John 1:9.)
     Do not waste the precious time of your youth worrying about what people think of you. Focus on God, and place Him at the center of your life once again. ©

 ~ Written by Melody Dornink, used with permission from http://www.thekingsdaughtermag.com

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Who am I?

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Your head reels . . . again . . . this time the torture is like the rocking of the sea sloshing about in your brain–lightning, roars of thunder, a tsunami of thoughts that just don’t belong. Trying to paddle through the waves seems like a lost cause; the driftwood of those ships have sailed. You feel like you’re drowning in the tossing and turning of all the crashing clutter. The devil loves nothing more than to steal our joy . . . our peace . . . our self. Are you giving him a foothold?

The battlefield of the mind. Like a chess board. You make a move, the devil analyzes and counters. But, we’re not seeing the whole picture. God. He’s right next to us. Forget about Him, did we? He’s much more powerful than the one who is in the world, and He’s the one fighting inside us . . . He fought for us and died for us because we are worth dying for. And, He already conquered what’s tying us down–our thoughts. I challenge you to read through 1 John. Yes, the whole book. Don’t roll those little spiritual eyes at me! =) Just grab this link, and read a few verses a day. 1 JOHN CSB. I feel like the CSB version really helped me when cleaning out my thought closet and replacing the dirty clothes in their for Christ’s garments. “Ay, that’s the rub,” replacing those thoughts the devil thinks for you with God’s glorifying thought process. Remember something. Think intentionally, with a purpose. Because empty space is a place in your head where the devil will think something for you if you don’t fill it with whatever is “true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy.” -Phil. 4: 6-8. Think upon such things.

Let me tell you, Scripture is the best sword and the only sword with which to counter the devil’s attacks. And, we do not wage war as the world does. If we did, we have lost already! But, on the contrary . . . the weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world; they have divine power . . . excuse me, let me re-emphasize . . . DIVINE POWER (in you because of Jesus . . . take it and use it!) to demolish strongholds. We demolish every argument and pretentious thing that sets itself up against the knowledge of God. AND WE TAKE CAPTIVE EVERY THOUGHT TO MAKE IT OBEDIENT TO CHRIST! Wow. -2 Corinthians 10:3-5. It’s a war out there. Are you ready?

Here’s some “whatevers” to get you on your way to spring cleaning in your brain and equipping you with the helmet of salvation and the shield of faith with which you can and will extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. -Eph. 6:10-18.
Let’s put on some armor:

Psalm 139:14, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” So remember that “Who I am and what I struggle with are not the same thing.” The truth is, you are a child of God (period, no counter arguments hold water when it comes to this truth). You may be struggling with _______, but that doesn’t mean you are _______.

Zephaniah 3:17, one of my favorites: “The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Savior [Who saves]! He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest [in silent satisfaction] and in His love He will be silent and make no mention [of past sins, or even recall them]; He will exult over you with singing.”

“The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.” 2 Cor. 10:3-5

Okay, I’m going to make you do some work now: =)

Psalm 40:5

Psalm 92:5

Psalm 139:17

Isaiah 55:9

Jeremiah 29:11

Colossians 3:2 tells us where to fix our minds.

And some truths to pin on your wall, your door, or wherever you look. Pretty soon, wherever you think will be wallpapered with these guys:

YOU ARE WITHOUT A DOUBT . . .

New creations… 2 Cor. 5:17

Forgiven Eph. 1:7-8

Gifted with power, love, and a sound mind! 2 Tim. 1:7

Chosen to be fruitful! John 15:16

Complete!!! Col. 2:9-10

Secure…that’s an awesome one.

Rom. 8:31-39; EVEN MORE THAN a conqueror in Christ!

Confident! Phil. 1:6

Free!!! from the bonds of Satan and this world. Rom. 6;18; 8:1

Capable… Phil. 4:13 through Him who is able to give us strength!

Spiritually alive!! Eph. 2:5

God’s workmanship Eph. 2:10 created to do His good works, which He prepared in ADVANCE for us to do! He has a plan!

Welcome in God’s presence! Eph. 2:18; Hebrews 4: 14-16; 1 John 5

Sheltered/protected in God…under His wings… Col. 3:3

Valuable to God… 1 Corinthians 6:20 and Zephaniah 3:17

Member of God’s family 1 John 3: 1-2 and Eph. 2:19

God’s TREASURE 1 Peter 2:9-10

Dearly loved! Col. 3:12

Being transformed…that’s process! Sometimes we slip…then we overcome in Him 2 Cor. 3:18

An heir of God. Whoa. Talk about being royal . . . Rom. 8:17

A FRIEND of God John 15:15

God’s DELIGHT! Zephaniah 3:17!!! (Can you tell that this is one of my favorite verses?) =)

We are welcome to DRAW near to God . . . Ephesians 3:12

!!! Let’s just add a few more of those to get the point across–these Scriptures and these truths are BIG DEALS!

What verses help you in the battle against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms?

Post them below!

~ Taylor B.