Who are you?
When asked this question, we generally spout a list of characteristics such as our age, height, weight, marital status, education, job. We define ourselves by physical traits and life experiences. When we face challenges in life, we compare our ability to overcome against this list and come up with a statistical analysis of our chances of winning the battle.
Too often, the results of our study fall on the side of failure: too old, too young, too fat, not enough education, etc. Given our focus on the physical and our perceived ability to fight the opposition in our own strength, is it any wonder we are wracked with fear?
We may try to bolster our odds through self-improvement efforts: diet, exercise, new hair style, perhaps a course or two to pick up some new tricks. These are some of the ways we try to gain an upper hand. When these efforts don’t help, we feel more defeated than ever.
We are comparing grasshoppers with giants when we think of ourselves and our problems this way.
If you are a follower of Jesus, however, your physical traits and experiences don’t define you. The answer to the question becomes, “I am a child of God.”
I am trained as a life coach. In studying ways to help people make desired changes in their lives, I learned that one of the most important indicators of success is a feeling of efficacy. Efficacy is the ability to produce the desired or intended result. It’s the feeling that says, “I can do this!” When left to our own devices, we often feel inadequate to the task at hand, but when we understand what it means to be a child of God, we know we have vast resources of energy, wisdom, finances, and whatever else we need to say with the Apostle Paul, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). When your mindset changes, so do your results.
So what characteristics do we possess as the Children of God?
We are forgiven – Psalm 103:12, Isaiah 61:7
We are loved – Ephesians 3:18
We are accepted – Ephesians 1:6
We are healthy – Psalm 30:2, 1 Peter 2:24, Psalm 107:20, Isaiah 53:5
We are prosperous – Psalm 72:7, Psalm 37:11
We are protected – Romans 8:31, Psalm 4:8, Psalm 91
We are powerful – Ephesians 3:20, John 15:16, Colossians 2:9-10
We are wise – 1 Corinthians 2:11–12
We are victorious – Romans 8:37, Psalm 125:1
We are God-like – Genesis 1:27, Colossians 3:10, Psalm 8:5
This is just a partial list! The Bible has much more to say about who we are as Believers.
In the Old Testament, the prophet Elisha seemed to be in a pickle. He had been warning the armies of Israel of the Arameans’ plans to attack and the King of Aram was not happy. He sent a huge army to kill Elisha and his servant, putting an end to his prophetic intervention. The servant looked at the army and then at himself and the prophet and calculated that their goose was cooked. Elisha, however, saw into the spiritual realm. It was the Aramean army that was in peril. He prayed that his servant’s eyes would be opened. When he looked again, the man saw the hillside filled with horses and chariots of fire (2 Kings 6: 8-23). The Elisha did not look to his own resources, but to those of his Father. We are like the servant when we focus on our own abilities rather than looking to the arsenal we have available through Christ.
We are living in crazy times. There are battlefields all around us. I am praying that our eyes will be opened to see God at work on our behalf. We are constantly surrounded by His love. He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). He has made us his children and joint heirs with Christ (Romans 8:16-17) and we will reign with Him forever (Revelation 22:5).
When our belief in our ability to get the job done is based on Christ rather on our own power, fear is outta here!