Child of God, understand that you are more.

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I hope you’ve been enjoying the series on the power of identity. Today, I am going to talk more about discovering who you are in Christ. 

1 Corinthians 9:24 is such an insightful verse of Scripture. Take a look at what it says:

“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it”

When I looked closely at this verse, I asked myself; “Does it mean that only one person will win the Christian race?” If this is so, why am I even running in the first place if it is only one person that will win? What is the probability that I will be the winner? But thank God for the Holy Spirit who brought light on the Scripture.

What I discovered from this verse is that there is a possibility for everyone to be the first but the condition for this to happen is that you must stay on your track. In a marathon race, any athlete that crosses another man’s track is instantly disqualified.  So much more than just running, you have to stay on your track. No matter how good your speed is, forget about running if you are not on your track. Do what God has called you to do and stop running in another man’s track.

Note what Paul said in this verse. He said “run in such a way that you may obtain.” Don’t run to impress; run to obtain. Win in your own area of assignment. Stop pursuing another man’s dream or purpose. You are not any man. You are you. You are not competing with anybody but yourself.

But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. 1 Corinthians 9:27

Note the distinction in the words by Paul in the verse above. He said “I” put “my body” under. So he was not his body. One of the things you compete with is your body; the dictates of your flesh, the Adamic nature of sin. No wonder Paul said the flesh profits nothing.

Your competition against people is a waste of time and resource. Compete with what is competing with you; that is your body and you are assured of winning. There was a time in my life that I wished I could be some of my friends or neighbours because I didn’t like myself. I thought I was not good enough and I would have been better being someone else. But I discovered that no one is bound to like me beyond the way I love myself and so I began to love myself.

Jesus said “love your neighbour as yourself.” That word is loaded. It means I have to know how to love myself in order to love my neighbour. How could I ever love my neighbour if I don’t know what it means to love by practising it on myself?

Do you know what I discovered as soon as I started loving myself? People started liking me and appreciating my uniqueness. I remember a story I heard many years ago; a young dynamic man of God was praying one morning and God asked him who the person that was praying is. Puzzled by that, he said “but Lord, it’s me, your son”. God replied him and said, “I can see the hands of so and so man of God (because of his gesticulations), I can hear the voice of that man of God…can you just be real?”

This is my suggestion – stop trying to be anybody that is existing or has existed before. You can only be the best by being yourself. Second bests are not usually recognized. Before I round off this chapter, I want to ask a simple question; do you know who the second oldest man in the Bible is? I am sure most people don’t know him, not because he was too old, after all he was 962 years, but because he was simply not the oldest man.

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Never struggle to be second best in life. Be the your best in the assignment God has for you here on earth. Stop yielding to distractions here and there. Enjoy being yourself. Do you know that David would not have won Goliath with Saul’s armour? Why? It was because Saul himself could not defeat Goliath with that same armour he gave to David. Return the armour of Saul and grab your sling. Your uniqueness will determine what you will win with.

Finally, John refused to be called by another person despite their greatness. Elijah was great in his time. The prophets were great people but always remember that a person whom God has not started with is better than the one He has finished with. No wonder Paul said in Romans 8:37 that in all things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. This means that we are more than those who have already conquered. Child of God, understand that you are more.

 

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#Identity – Do you know who you really are?

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“And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?”

“Are you…?” This question is a very interesting question that we are asked in life, either directly or indirectly. In John 1:21, we see the man John the Baptist asked the above question; ”Are you Elijah?” Expect to be asked this question in life. This is a question of comparison. Man will always find something that has existed before to compare you with but little do they know that according to 1 Cor 2:9, eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.

No man can be compared with you. Even though people will try to define you, you have to understand that your true definition can never come from man. In fact, man will always short circuit or underestimate what God has called you. Man will put a limit on what God calls you.

Jesus said in Matthew 11:11, “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist…” Nobody was a great as John the Baptist from all who existed before Him but they were still trying to compare him with Elijah. Don’t let anyone compare you to anyone who has existed before you. You are different from all.

When Joseph told his bream to his mother, father and brothers, they underestimated his dream. Joseph saw that the sun, moon and eleven stars bowed down to him (Gen 37:10), but note his father’s interpretation of the dream:

…Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?”

What an underestimation of such a big dream! I want to let you know that was not the interpretation of the dream and these are the reasons why:

  • Joseph’s mother was not there at the fulfilment of the dream.
  • Jacob did not bow down to him when he finally saw his long lost son

Joseph’s dream was a world class dream but they gave it a family definition. The dream suggested that Joseph will be a world renowned influence but they were going to make it a local champion dream. No man can rightly estimate you neither do they have any right whatsoever to estimate you. Even Joseph’s father could not give a right estimation to his beloved son’s dream. Remember, he loved Joseph that he bought a coat of many colours for him but that love was not powerful enough to make him give the right definition of his son’s dream.

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Stop waiting for man to define you. Don’t surrender your identity to external factors. Joseph’s dream had more to do with the fact that the people that matter in that time will still come and receive of him.

Refuse to be anybody other than yourself. You can only achieve God’s purpose by being you because God knows the best identity you need to carry out His assignment for your life. Many people in our world today are trying to live out the script that a man – who could come in form of anybody like your parents, guardian, mentors, pastors etc – wrote out for them rather than following the script God wrote for them.

Don’t miss next week’s post as I talk more about your identity in Christ. 

#Identity – You are not what you have or what you do

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It is so amazing that in our world today, it is difficult to get people who can put a clear cut dichotomy between who they are and what they have or what they do.

A while ago, I had a discussion with some youths and an interesting question was raised. The question was this; if you are given 20 million naira, can you walk nude for a distance of 6km? I was completely shocked when someone said that not only was he ready to walk 6km, he was also ready to go naked for 50km. What he was saying essentially was that the N20m was worth that venture. That young man has not been able to sort out his identity because if he understands who he is, he will not be ready to lose his name for material things.

You must realise that the money does not make the man rather; it is the man that makes the money. A wise man said money is neither moral nor immoral but money is amoral. That means money does not have an identity of its own. It takes on the identity of the person who holds it.  If it is in the hands of an immoral man, it becomes immoral and in the hands of the moral man, it becomes moral.

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In the same vein, material things should not dictate who you are. Who you are should dictate the material things instead. We can therefore conclude that who you are is superior to what you have or what you do. It is remarkable to note that God is even more interested in who we are than what is in our hands. In the book of Samuel, when Samuel was on an assignment to anoint someone as king of Israel after Saul had disappointed and failed God, God made it clear that “man looks at the outward but He looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

I believe this is the reason many do not focus on who they are. They fail to pay attention to the state of their heart and prefer to impress men by the outward rather than impressing God by their inward. Proverbs 23:7 says, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”What this Scripture is saying is that you are not better than the state of your heart because your heart is you. It is the essence of your being. We call it the core of your being. Its state determines who you are. Rev Sam Adeyemi said, “The heart of the matter is a matter of the heart.”

There is no security in what you have but in who you are. You can have N100m in your account, yet not be a millionaire. In fact, that N100m in your account is temporary if you are not a millionaire in your thinking. It is as a man thinks in his heart and not what a man has in his hands or pocket or his account.

You are not what you have but you are who you are. You are your state of heart. If you have what you are not, you will soon lose what you think you have. We have loads of people in our environment today who will be broke in just three months if they lose that high paying job. Most people only derive their sense of worth from what they have and not who they are. Before you have more, you need to become more. It is the outgoing of your present level that moves you to another level entirely. Focus on who you are.