Identity is something really personal. To know who you are is probably one of the most foundational aspects of living a fulfilled life.
Man's true identity was lost the day we fell into sin. We didn’t only lose our relationship with God.
Identity is not found in who you are, but whose you are. This is the reason for family.
Children find their safety and their identity in their families. The love that mom and dad show each other is a vitally important factor in helping children shape character. This is the reason why God places such a high priority on family.
Like we saw last week, the relationship between individuals come under attack in order to discredit the Gospel and destroy hearts. The result of broken relationship is broken identity. It is crucial for us as human beings to be restored in our ability to love God and one another. This will have a direct influence on the next generations.
The legacy of sin, broken relationships and lost identity goes all the way back to Adam. So when God restored the human race through the blood of Jesus, one of the four pillars that was restored was our identity. This is why God has revealed himself to us as our father. Your identity is shaped by your father and the way he loves you.
In Romans 8 we see that God gave us the spirit of adoption in Christ. This spirit of adoption not only restorers who you are, but gives you a sense of family and a place to belong. This is the foundation of identity.
Adoption can be seen in two ways. First of all a child that does not have parents and lives as an orphan can be adopted by a family and receive a name. The second, what I believe is important here, is the way a father adopts his own children.
In any child's life the father particularly has to unconditionally reach into the child's soul and own the child. This is usually done around the age of a young teenager. In some cultures there are specific rituals to accept children into adulthood. The importance of this is that the child will feel a sense of belonging and acceptance.
This is what God does with us. He reaches into our hearts and souls and adopts us as His own. This is not just so that we can call ourselves children of God, but so that we can have that deep sense of knowing that we belong to Him.
I believe that all fulfillment in life is found in our primary relationships. Your ability to bond on a deep level with people and God dependents upon how you feel about yourself. When you are secure about yourself you will be able to give your heart in love to others. When you are not sure about yourself you will not have enough trust in either yourself or others. Therefor you will not give your heart, unconditionally.
This is the reason God restores your heart first and not your understanding.
In order to love and feel accepted, your heart needs to be healed. The Gospel is all about God reaching into your heart and recreating your spirit so that you can be a child of God. If you truly understand what that means, your identity will be found in Him.
So many people serve God with their minds, but still carry an orphan heart.
If this is you, I want to invite you today to ask God give you that spirit of adoption.
Pray this simple prayer.
Father God, I realise my heart still longs for acceptance. I ask you today to give me that spirit of adoption so that I can feel accepted into your family.
Please help me to forgive and love unconditionally so that my heart will not be hard and separated from you.
I receive the full work of the Holy Spirit in my heart today.