What is Your Name?
How do we identify our identity? How do we define ourselves? Some might say a person is defined by what they do. Others would say it's the way they present themselves. Still, some would say it's their lifestyle that defines them. These answers only deal with the surface level of identity and could change at any time. They are circumstantial. So, the question I present to you is this: who are you on a deep and personal level when all the circumstances are pushed aside and you take a look at the real you?
The Bible, in John 1:10-13, tells us what our identity could be and should be. Let's take a look.
John 1:10-13 (NLT)
[Jesus] came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.
These verses teach us a key principle. When we recognize Jesus as our Savior and go to Him in faith and acceptance, confessing our sins to Him, He is just and willing to forgive us and give us the right to identify as a child of God.
God cares so much for us. Every aspect of our lives is important to God: our jobs, our kids, our bills to pay, the family vacation, the grocery list, our medications. God cares about every aspect in our lives. But, more importantly, God cares about our heart. He cares about what we call ourselves.
That is certainly the case in a familiar story found in Mark 5:1-10. In this story we meet a demon possessed man and his encounter with Jesus.
Mark 5:1-10 (NLT)
So they arrived at the other side of the lake, in the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus climbed out of the boat, a man possessed by an evil[b] spirit came out from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the burial caves and could no longer be restrained, even with a chain. Whenever he was put into chains and shackles—as he often was—he snapped the chains from his wrists and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Day and night he wandered among the burial caves and in the hills, howling and cutting himself with sharp stones.
When Jesus was still some distance away, the man saw him, ran to meet him, and bowed low before him. With a shriek, he screamed, “Why are you interfering with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In the name of God, I beg you, don’t torture me!” For Jesus had already said to the spirit, “Come out of the man, you evil spirit.”
Then Jesus demanded, “What is your name?” And he replied, “My name is Legion, because there are many of us inside this man.”
Above everything, Jesus was concerned with what the man called himself. What did Jesus ask him? "What is your name?"... Jesus wanted to know what the man identified as. He cared about his heart.
Despite the man's past, despite what the man identified himself as, he ran to Jesus. All it takes is a single touch to be transformed by Jesus. It only takes one experience to be transformed into a child of God.
Maybe you have never identified as a child of God. Maybe you have never ran to Him. But, like the man who called himself Legion, run to Jesus. Don't let your past keep you from life to the fullest that is only found in Jesus. No matter how tattered you are, run to Jesus. It is not too late for you.
Perhaps you can identify as a child of God already. Maybe you have experienced the transformation of God's love into a new creation. My question becomes this: are you content as a child of God? When we know Jesus on a personal level but still seek out sinful acts it is because something inside of us is not content in Christ. Why would we not be content with life to the fullest?
In the video above, Brian "Head" Welch tells his powerful story of coming to Jesus. At the end of his story he says this statement, "Contentment is given to you in life because you don’t have to look anywhere else and you are exactly where you need to be. The question about life is answered." That is the case for anyone who comes to Jesus and is transformed into a child of God. Again, are you content in your identity as a child of God?
Spend some time in God's presence today without any distractions. Ask Him to reveal any unknown character flaws or preconceived notions that may be keeping you back from embracing your true identity that is to be found in Him. Ask Him to fill you with His heart and be content with life to the fullest.
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