I believe the roots of our disappointments, internal turmoils, worries, and fears are rooted in identity. The apostle John wrote in his first letter:
“Perfect love casts out all fear”.
The people around us, the culture, the world, and even the church can only offer an imperfect love. But our Father in Heaven offers a perfect love that casts out all fear. Fear of not being loved (rejection), fear of failing in our performance, or even fear of loosing control of situations.
Jesus’ parable of the wise and unwise builders tells us that the unwise builder built a house on sinking sand, while the wise one built it on a rock. Many of us without realizing it have built our houses on sinking sand, and I believe our emotional reactions are a great indicator of where are we building our identity. Do you get very mad when that special someone does not text you back? Or get depressed when you fail in your performance? Or loose your head when you loose control of a situation? Yes! we are emotional beings, but if that “house” starts to crumble in given situations, that simply means that you are putting your identity in the wrong place. God is calling you back to the core of your identity as a child of God.
But Piero, it is very hard for me! I feel so empty at times, incomplete in my daily life, how am I suppose to make it? I know I am a child of God in my head, but I don’t feel it in my heart?
A CROSS-LIKE INTIMACY (PICTURE A CROSS IN YOUR MIND)
There is a direct correlation between identity and intimacy. Our identity as children of God is found in the cross, and also the way this identity is fueled and fed is through a cross-like intimacy:
THE SECRET PLACE
First, a vertical intimacy where we have direct access to the Father through the cross. Just as Jesus spent time in the desert with the Heavenly Father, so we as children need to know our Father intimately. It is in that place that He reminds us of who we are in Him. It is in that place that He reminds us of our true selves, the self He intended us to be since the Garden of Eden.
Second, a horizontal intimacy with people in community. We were created to be in community and to encourage and help each other selflessly demonstrating the Father’s love for each other.
This cross-like intimacy was found in the Garden of Eden, first vertically where God will walk and talk with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day, and also horizontally where God knew that Adam needed community and created Eve. We failed in the garden, but now our true identity has been redeemed through the cross of Calvary in Jesus Christ! This identity is fueled through a cross-like intimacy. So, when someone tells me, “I feel empty/incomplete/down/unworthy.” I immediately ask them “when was the last time you spent time with God in the secret place?”
I know this for myself, that whenever I feel empty out of the blue, I know that most of the time it is because I haven’t had that time with Him.
Ignite your identity by simply prioritizing time with Him everyday (it has to become a non-negotiable) and by spending time with a healthy community that is passionate about Jesus!
Remember you don’t need to “do” in order to “become”, you already “are” a child of God because of the cross. Your “doing” has to come from the source of “being”, that’s the essence of the cross.