What Sayest Thou of Thyself?

Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself? (John 1:22 KJV)

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As nature obliterates all physical vacuums, the spiritual realm quickly eliminates unoccupied spaces. If we are ignorant or unsure of our place, circumstances will place us in the closest open area—often one we detest. This principle of “no spaces allowed” is especially important for our identity.

An example of someone who encountered an identity challenge was John the Baptist. As he preached to the crowds, he met some messangers sent by the Jews in Jerusalem. These messengers asked of John, “who are thou?” and “what sayest thou of thyself?” Consider the tense setting in which these two questions were asked. What would you say if asked, “what sayest thou of thyself?”

Few things in life determine how we live and the results we obtain as our identity. Besides, our identity by itself is not the issue here. It is our sense of identity: what we know about ourselves and the assurance of it. Even the best tools will be ineffective in the hands of someone without self-confidence.

Our identity in Christ is crucial for a healthy and victorious spiritual life. There are two significant aspects of this identity: personal and ministry. Our unique personal identity in Christ is that we are God’s children. Next to our sonship is what God wants us to do, which we can call ministry in this context. For example, John defined himself by the ministry God had given him in John 1:23.

A clear understanding of and confidence in our identity define our happiness and victory in daily Christian life and ministry. It is, therefore, not surprising that Satan began His attacks on Jesus by targeting His identity with the words “if You are the Son of God” ( Matt. 4:1-2). Had Jesus hesitated on His sense of the Father’s love or approval, He would not have effectively used the Word of God( the Sword of the Spirit) to defeat Satan. As noted above, even the best tools will fail in the hands of double-minded people or those with little self-assurance or self-esteem in who they are in God.

We have an identity crisis in Church, and this crisis expresses itself in various ways. It will be impossible to enlist all forms of expressing this crisis, but a few will suffice to drive the point home. First, some believers still do not accept that God has entirely accepted them in Christ or loves them unconditionally. Some are unsure of God’s total forgiveness of their sins in Christ and do not cease to ask forgiveness for the same sins again and again. Some are not doing what God has called them to do or doing what God has not asked them to do (ministry).

So your understanding and confidence in what Christ has done for you and the ministry He has given you are crucial for your happiness and success in Christ. When your heart is full of an established identity in Christ,  it will pour out of that abundance in response to the question, “what sayest thou of thyself?”

What form of expression of an identity crisis are you struggling with? 

Insecurity is dangerous. Satan, people, or life will tell you who you are or where you should be if you do not firmly affirm your place. Be grounded in your identity by knowing and believing what Christ has done for you.

Ask the Spirit to unveil any areas of identity crises in your life, from low self-esteem in Christ’s work to misplaced ministries. 

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