There's a fascinating story in Matthew 16: 13-17 where Jesus had an exchange with his disciples. It says this. When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked the disciples " Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" They said "some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets. "But what about you? " Jesus said. " Who do you say I am ". Simon Peter answered " you are the Christ, the son of the living God." Jesus replied " Blessed are you Simon son of Jonah for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my father who is in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter and on this rock I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not overcomer it". It was at this very moment when Peter had complete oneness with God and that is in fact when we encounter our true identity.
For all the times that Peter got it wrong, he got this one right and you know it's so it's so powerful when we actually think about and hear what Jesus said. "Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my father in heaven " Basically Jesus was telling Peter " You got it right". Let's keep that that thought of revelation in our minds as we move forward in this commentary on getting clarity around our identity. The most important question in all of life is "Who do we say Jesus is?" If we don't get that one right, we have a problem. Jesus is the son of God. He is God. He is part of the Trinity. The father, son and the Holy Spirit. If we say he is a Prophet or just a teacher, that's the wrong answer. It takes revelation. We say thank you Lord for revelation for everybody who's reading this we believe in greater revelation on the personhood of who Jesus is and of who we say he is.
The second most important question in all of life is "Who do we say we are?" If we get the most important question right of who Jesus is, but don't know who we are then we're gonna have great difficulty and conflict in our life. It'll be impossible to live victoriously and it will really be impossible to be the kind of influence that we want to have on the world.
If for instance we are trying to act righteous, but we internally believe we're a sinner, we will be in conflict . We will not be able to operate in the way the Kingdom works. For most of my life I used to say "Lord I'll believe it when I see it ". Well that's really that's not how this thing works. Especially when it comes to our identity. We believe and then see. If you've been a part of the church for any length of time or you have known God for any length of time, then you most likely have heard quite a bit of teaching an identity. But this idea of identity goes much deeper than any of us can imagine and yet the more clarity we receive around knowing who we are and answering the second most important question in life, the more we are able to live an identity driven life.
I remember when I first began to understand that the battle is really between lies and truth. I asked God to show me lies that I was believing and he took me to a verse out of Genesis 3:11. God showed me where God asked Adam "Who told you that you were naked?". It was as if God himself was asking Adam "Where did you learn that lie ?". So the Lord began revealing to me some of the lies which I as saying to myself.
" I am a failure at business even though I have a passion for it "
" I am not a very good husband and do not love my wife like I should "
" I am not very smart and should go back to school "
It says in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that "we are a new, therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation old things are passed away behold all things have become new". Over time, I began to realize that almost every every time it was my past experience that defined that lie. At one point the Lord asked me "why do you call yourself by your past rather who I call you" and I really didn't have a good answer to that question. I realized that I determine my identity more from my past experience than my new creation.
Hebrews 10:14 says Jesus has perfected forever those who are being sanctified the moment we became born again. We've been perfected forever. Really one of the greatest truth we can understand is that when God sees us on planet earth, it's just like he saw Jesus. He sees us as being perfect now, but sanctification is the process of getting into our experience who we already are. Renewing and transforming our mind as described in Romans 12:2 is the key step in sanctification. Being transformed into the full experience of our identity as a new creation is what is before us. So I am righteous. I am a powerful influencer. I am a magnet for the miraculous. You know we could go on and on and it really causes us to to be reminded again of the power of speaking our true identity faith to ourselves each day.
Romans 10:17 says that our faith comes from hearing the word of God and so my faith in believing my true identity is strengthened every time I hear it. According to Romans 4:17, the more I hear the word of God, especially if it comes out of my own mouth, the more I give life to things that are dead. By calling those things that do not exist as though they did and by using my own voice to enact this change, we can life a victorious life and give strength to our soul at the same time.
Jacob wrestled with an Angel. It's a great story. Jacob said I will not let you go unless you bless me. This is in Genesis 32:22-32. The Angel asked "what is your name?" In other words, " who do you think you are? Jacob won the wrestling match and as a result, the Angel said " your name shall no longer be called Jacob but Israel for you have struggled with God an with men and have prevailed. " What is amazing about this story is that we've got this situation where Jacob is wrestling with an Angel and he's tenacious. Jacob did not ask for a new chariot or a new tent, but the blessing was a revelation of who he really was!
Wow! The name Jacob means deceiver but because of his persistence to wrestle with God and man, he actually received a new name or more importantly, a new identity. We believe that this the greatest blessing that we can have apart from knowing Christ, is the revelation of who God says we are.
It's interesting that as we go back to Matthew 16 in this story there is a moment when Jesus is asking his disciples "but who do you say that I am?" As you recall, Peter gave the right answer. He said " You are the Christ, the son of the living God." Recall how Jesus responded. He said " Blessed are you Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven." Because Peter gave the right answer, he was blessed. Just like Jacob, Peter receive what could arguable be the greatest gift aside from knowing Christ and that was knowing himself as was defined by God!!!!!!
Wow. This should get you excited because God has got a revelation of your identity waiting for you if you have not received that blessing yet. Another great example comes from Genesis 17. God had promised decades earlier that his descendants were going to be as numerous as the sands of the sea and numerous as the stars in heaven. But it hadn't happened yet. Abraham has an encounter with God, he gets a name chance when God says you're no longer going to be called Abraham you're going to be called Abraham, which means exalted father. But Abraham which means father of a multitude and literally he was to call himself by his promised destiny was to name himself by the promise. Once he called himself by the promise, everything changed. One year later, Issiac is born. I think you know that Issaic actually means laughter which is funny in it's own right. But Abraham had waited 20 plus years of no promise.
When Abraham changed his name to be in line with his with his true identity even though father a multitude hadn't happened, he says people asking who are you well my name is father but multitude but where's your multitude? It's coming it's coming. And so I say to you let's get there clarity around our biblical identity of who we are. We are the provided for one. We are the one's who can do all things. We're the one whose past is turning to good. But then let's get the specific promises of what God wants. If God called you to influence business then say " I am a powerful influencer of business ". If God called you to heal relationships then say "I am a high level supernatural healer of relationships that's affecting the world". When you start getting the prophetic word in your mouth as an identity like Abraham did then it is going to accelerate. It's going to accelerate the transformation of your sanctification.
So we just bless you today in the hopes that you will answer the second most important question in all of life which is to know who we say we are.