Sometimes we sort out identity with “I” statements. We say things like, “I am a city dweller, I am a counselor, I am a daughter, I am a friend, I am a writer…” and all those other identifiers that are helpful in awkward, small talk conversations. And when we explain our identities, we are simultaneously reassuring ourselves that these statements are fact.
But every once in a while (and maybe often) the statements seem empty. We finish the small talk and say to ourselves, “Am I really?” We walk away feeling uncertain because the identity statements depend on a power bigger than my ability to possess.
I’ve been reading from Charles Spurgeon’s “Morning and Evening Readings” and this morning, the verse was short and simple, from 1 Corinthians 3:23.
“You are Christ’s.”
It was an identity statement, but it spoke to a place my words can’t reach. These are the statements spoken over the life of a believer – over all the fears and worries and hopes and dreams.
“You are His by donation – for the Father gave you to the Son. You are His by His bloody purchase – for He paid the price for your redemption. You are His by dedication – for you have consecrated yourself to Him. You are His by relation – for you are named by His name, and made one of His brethren and joint-heirs.” – Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening Readings
The life that God breathes into my bones, more than just holding me together as He holds the world (Colossians 1:17), are these precious words, “You are mine” (Isaiah 43:1).
But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
I am a lot of things, depending on the day of the week and the amount of time my mind has to wander.
But I am always His, because He said so.
It has nothing to do with the way I small talk or my professional progress. It has nothing to do with my pedigree or and nothing to do with the words I choose to describe my identity. My identity begins and ends with the words securing my eternity: “you are mine.” Spurgeon encourages the Christian to step into the identity Christ has declared,”Labor practically to show the world that you are the servant, the friend, the bride of Jesus.” Later, He writes,
“When the cause of God invites you – give your goods and yourself away, for you are Christ’s. Never belie your profession. Be ever one of those whose manners are Christian, whose speech is like the Nazarene, whose conduct and conversation are so redolent of heaven – that all who see you may know that you are the Savior’s, recognizing in you His features of love and His countenance of holiness.
I want to be more productive at being the Lord’s, better at accepting His invitation to give myself away. Because He is my identity, my life should have the look of heaven. My Monday night words and my middle-of-the-work-week thoughts and my small talk struggles should look like I believe the identity spoken over me.
This week, I will listen for God’s voice saying, “You are mine.”