Mentoring Warriors- Identity.  Who Am I?

Who are you? Not, what do you do, or where do you live. Rather, who are you? I am a son, a husband, a dad. I am a man who wants my life, my identity to be centered in Christ. The problem is I keep doing that which I do not want to do. In Colossians 3, Paul lists out the “earthly” things in me. “Sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desires and covetousness.” GUILTY!  Paul also says two other things that are the secret, the turning point. “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ.” My body is definitely alive! It gets hungry, thirsty, tired. It aches when I over do it and it has a hard time rolling out of bed some mornings. I am still my own person, but in my soul, in my heart, I am dead to me and alive to Christ. This is my identity. This is who I am. In fact, Paul goes on to say “When Christ, who is your life appears…”  Did you hear that?  “Christ, who IS your life…” Do not miss this, my friend. If you have trusted Christ for salvation, He has come to live in you supernaturally by the Holy Spirit. Christ living His life through you. This becomes an experience as you, by faith, deny self and present your body to Christ.  

All too often I live in that earthly list Paul described because I am believing lies about who I am. Satan “is like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” 1 Peter 5:8 ESV. He does so with lies, accusing you before God, that you are not who God says you are. That you are a cheat, a failure, a drunk, a porn addict, damaged goods with no hope of restoration. Keep believing those lies and you will find yourself wandering around aimlessly in life, head down, gloomy and full of shame. But, THAT IS NOT WHO GOD SAYS YOU ARE! He says you are forgiven, righteous, pure, loved. You are co-heirs with Christ and you are promised the same resurrection of new life that Jesus has. You are empowered by the Holy Spirit and you are called by Him to be His salt and light in this world. You are nothing of what Satan says about you. Nothing!

“But, why do I feel so defeated?” you ask. May I say this with as much love and respect as I can, If your self-identity is wrapped up in your shortcomings and failures, even though you say you are a Christ-follower, you are not, by faith, dying to self. You are, instead, living a very self-centered life; a life that grieves the Holy Spirit. If you continue down this defeated path, your soul may be saved, but the character you go into eternity with will be weak, a fraction of the man you could have been. “Ok, now I am super depressed!” you say. I understand. Been there way too many times, myself. I’ll go back to the question I started with. Who are you? Change happens when you start seeing yourself the way God sees you!

So, where do you go from here? If you find yourself in a spiritual funk, here are some practical steps to take:

1. List out the lies you believe.  Don’t get stressed out if the list is longer than you thought. My list had over ten lies I was holding on to.

2. Next to that list of lies, list out what God says about you.

3. Be sure those truths are backed up by Scripture. That will get you digging into the Word.

Lies I Believe Truths that God says

about Me

Scriptures that Back up

that Truth

4. Write a letter to yourself.  

In that letter, admit where you have believed lies about yourself, and who God says you are. Keep it on you at all times. A friend keeps his in his wallet. He pulls it out anytime he senses his identity slipping back into lies.

If you are a Christ-follower, you are who God says you are. Manhood and following Christ are directly connected.

Warrior on!

David Riffel is the Founder and Executive Director of Having gone through his warrior years (18-30) essentially without a mentor, God has placed in him a heart for warriors, to come alongside them in various ways as they figure out life. David’s newly released book, Mentoring Warriors: Coming Alongside Young Men 18-30, outlines principles for mentoring and gives advice for warriors in six key areas of life: self-management, life skills, education/career, relationships, faith, and identity.

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