"Who the Son sets free, Oh is free indeed, I'm a child of God, Yes I am!"
This song is the first thing that comes to mind whenever I think of identity, because it outlines who we are in relation to God, and it outlines who God is in relation to us. We are children of God, and God is our father. This is the simplest form of identity for us, and yet we forget it, choose to ignore it, or don’t understand the implications of it.
Galatians 4:7 tells us, "So you are no longer a slave, but God's child; and since you are His child, God has also made you an heir." Jesus has set us free, and we are no longer a slave to addiction, sin, impure thoughts, depression, etc. Not only this, but because we are children of God, we are made heirs to His Kingdom. Our hope lies in this, because Jesus has already set us free by dying on the cross. We don't have to hope to be set free from slavery; we have already been set free and need to accept that freedom. Our hope then is in what we will inherit as heirs of the Kingdom of God. Our identity is that we are children of God, who have been set free from all forms of slavery by Jesus. Therefore, our mindset is eternal, as we hope and look forward to our inheritance in the Kingdom of God.
Although our faith in Jesus does set us free, we still have the responsibility of receiving and accepting this freedom. Jesus has already done the work on the cross so that we could be free, but we won't experience this freedom unless we accept it. It is similar to the idea of forgiveness. God forgives all of our sins if we choose to confess and repent from them. However, we have to accept His forgiveness before we truly feel the freeing effects of it. We are no longer slaves, so we must change our mindset from a slave's mindset to a liberated one. In doing so, we accept our new identity in Christ as a child, free from bondage. This is the life we are meant to live, a full life, a better life than we could ever dream of.
This acceptance will look different for everyone. For me personally, I had to accept freedom from expectations and pride. Through middle school, high school, and into college, I had the mindset that I wanted to be the best, have it all together, rule my life, and that I didn't need any help from anyone. This pride caused me to lose friendships, take many wrong paths, and block God from bringing blessings and freedom into my life. I finally came to a place where I realized I wasn't living the life God wanted me to live. I had the intellectual belief in His power and sovereignty, but I hadn’t chosen to experience it in a life-changing way. When I finally chose to accept it, my whole life changed for the better. I started getting involved with Better Life, joined a small group, and found new friends who have helped me in my walk with Jesus. I even found my girlfriend, who will someday be my wife. I hope you too can accept the freedom that Jesus wants you to have in your life, and find your identity in Him above all
- Seth Bolin