Fully finding your identity in Christ is key to fully walking in your God-given purpose. And 5 steps will help you grow clarity and confidence in who you are.
Imagine you’re looking in the mirror. How do you answer the question, “Who am I?” How do you see yourself?
Listen…to your thoughts. What do you hear? Is it one of these common thoughts that whisper to many women in midlife and beyond? “I’m not good enough…There’s nothing special about me…I’m too old…I’m too afraid…I’ll probably just fail again.”
Maybe the words you hear are different, but many women hear whispers that reflect a negative self-image rather than the image God wants you to see of yourself.
Even as a Christian woman, in the midlife years and beyond, when you’ve internalized so many negative messages over the years from other people, the world around you, or even your own thoughts, these self-limiting beliefs can become the default in your mind–louder than the voice of God telling you otherwise. And when you’re listening to these thoughts on a daily basis, finding your identity in Christ–truly in Christ alone–can be difficult.
But you might be thinking that you’re saved and you’re working on Christian growth in your character to reflect God’s love, become more Christlike, and live your daily life in a way that pleases God. And you’re encouraging others and sharing about Jesus to make disciples. So, if you’re already focusing on all these aspects of your faith, why is it important to know your identity in Christ more fully–and what does that mean?
What does fully finding your identity in Christ mean?
Do you ever sit still before the Lord and ask yourself, “What is my identity in Christ?” You’re likely aware that it’s who you are in relationship to Jesus Christ. So most of the time the focus is on how identity is defined in your inner life in the spiritual sense.
However, what may be considered less often is that because “who you are” in your spiritual life affects “what you do” in your physical body in this physical world, your identity is also reflected in your outer life in the practical sense. Even outside of formal spiritual practices, who you are in Christ is also meant to be expressed in the practical activities of your daily life.
The extent to which you live out your spiritual identity determines the extent to which your true identity shows up in your practical life.
So as a believer, all that you are and all that you do is in Christ. You were made for all of your thinking, being, and doing to please God and bring Him glory.
Not seeing yourself the way God sees you isn’t pleasing to God–it breaks His heart. And not embracing your true identity holds you back from opportunities to bring Him glory, especially related to expressing your purpose. Then overall, you miss out on experiencing the fullness of His vision for you and your life.
When your heart, mind, and spirit aren’t set on God’s truth about you, you think less of yourself than God does, live in a state of being that doesn’t reflect how much He loves and values you, and act in ways that don’t move you toward His will for your life.
“For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6 NASB) If you set your mind on the Spirit, your view of yourself will align with God’s view of you. And being intentional to step into the spiritual and practical aspects of your identity puts you on the path to fulfilling His plan for your life–maximizing both your impact and fulfillment.
Here are some spiritual aspects of your identity in Christ:
You live in a physical body in a physical world, but…
– you’re really a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20a) and…
– a co-heir with Christ (Romans 8:16-17a)…
– with the same power at work within you that raised Him from the dead and seated him in heavenly realms (Ephesians 1:19-21, 2:6).
You can approach God with freedom and confidence (Ephesians 3:12)…
– knowing that nothing can separate you from His love and (Romans 8:38-39)…
– that His power has given you everything you need for a godly life (2 Peter 1:3).
What spiritual aspects of your identity do you need to more fully embrace?
By fully receiving God’s love for you and fully accessing His power available to you, you become empowered to grow into the fullness of who He created you to be.
Here are some practical aspects of your identity in Christ:
You are specially designed by God (Psalm 139:13-14)…
– with a unique blend of gifts, strengths, and passions and… (Ephesians 4:4-7)
– God had a special purpose in mind He made you to carry out… (Ephesians 2:10)
– as a fellow worker with Him to make an impact in the world (1 Corinthians 3:7-9 NASB).
What opportunities is God showing you to more fully walk in the practical aspects of your identity?
By fully embracing your unique design and fully expressing your gifts to serve as God leads, you become empowered to grow into the fullness of what He created you to do.
Living in the fullness of your true identity in Christ allows your thinking, feelings, and decisions to align with God’s will for your life.
When you look in the mirror and can genuinely see what God sees, you start believing what you’re capable of with God and taking action on what is possible with God that may not be on your own.
Fully knowing your identity in Christ means embracing the spiritual and practical aspects of who God made you to be (true identity) so you can start living out what God made you to do (God-given purpose).
And as you walk with God, you grow in clarity and confidence about who you are and what you’re called to do. And then you stop holding back in things that really matter to you–and to God.
How does purpose relate to identity?
In the world, you usually identify yourself by what you do. But who you are is not just about what you do, and it definitely isn’t defined by all of the ever changing standards the world gives. Your identity in Christ isn’t based on your role at your job or in the home, by your physical appearance, money or possessions, achievements, circumstances, relationships, or peoples’ opinions.
Who you are is based on who God made you to be as an individual and isn’t defined by an earthly measure or role.
However, because you’re specially designed to carry out a specific purpose, when God’s calling on your life involves what you do or a certain role, this is a way of expressing part of your identity.
Living out your identity goes beyond reflecting your faith in your inner life. It involves aligning your decisions and actions with His will and purpose for your life. And as you walk in His purpose for you, you more fully express your true identity in the world to make the unique impact you were born to make.
Expressing your purpose is important to fully expressing who you are. And knowing who you are helps you to fully express your purpose.
How identity affects purpose
When you don’t see yourself the way God sees you, you see a distorted view of yourself–like looking in a funhouse mirror. The longer you see yourself this way, it lowers your confidence and then you actually start to lose clarity about who you really are. And this causes you to second guess yourself and lose clarity about the path of your purpose as well.
If you believe you’re not capable of carrying out your calling–that your purpose isn’t possible–you lose hope in living out God’s vision for your life. And then you’re more likely to make decisions based on the worldly point of view. And this ultimately keeps you holding back from fulfilling God’s plan for your life and living with the fulfillment He intended.
Without clarity and confidence about your identity in Christ, you lose clarity and confidence about your purpose and…
- Stop seeking before you discover your purpose
- Stop preparing before you step into your purpose
- Stop walking in it before you fulfill your purpose
In what situations do you struggle with stopping when God is prompting you to move forward?
As you learn more about who you are according to God’s Word and your unique God-given design, you can better understand the direction God is leading you and step out or walk further on your path of purpose.
Among many other benefits, fully knowing who you are in Christ helps you to…
- Start believing you are enough and can do what God calls you to do
- Start growing in courage to step outside your comfort zone
- Start pushing through obstacles to progress in your purpose
Where is God nudging you to start believing, growing, or pushing through?
Fully knowing your identity in Christ lays the foundation for fully living out who God made you to be and what God made you to do.
So if you want to get clarity and confidence about your purpose and continue on your path forward, it’s essential to get clarity and confidence about who you really are by fully finding your identity in Christ.
How purpose affects identity
Just like finding your identity in Christ helps you to progress on your path of purpose, as you move forward in what God calls you to do, you will grow more clarity and confidence about your identity. When you step out more into your purpose, you start to discover more of your abilities and see the greater extent of your gifts. And you also start to grow closer to God and understand more of who He is and how He works in your life.
God guides your steps and provides for your needs as you walk with Him in your purpose. As you start to see both the bigger picture and the details come together, you begin to get more clarity about what’s really possible with God. This grows your faith and trust in God, as well as increases your confidence in what you’re capable of because you begin to more thoroughly understand how He’s equipped you to walk the path He’s calling you to.
If you don’t make getting clarity about your purpose or stepping into it a priority, you may end up looking back on your life with regret because you weren’t able to become and fulfill all God intended for you–making your unique difference in the world and experiencing the type of fulfillment that can only come from knowing you’re walking in your calling.
You are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14a NIV). And you are here to express the fullness of your design and the purpose God had in mind when he created you.
As you grow in your purpose, you grow in your identity in Christ.
So if you want to fully know who you are as a person and understand your part in God’s plan for this world, it’s essential to seek clarity of your purpose and start walking in it as God leads you in His timing and His ways in your season of life.
My post Practical Steps to Fulfilling Your God-Given Purpose provides some guidance on steps to get more clarity about God’s purpose for your life.
5 Habits to Grow Clarity and Confidence about Your Identity
Spending time with God and His Word is the foundational step to finding your identity in Christ. And you build on this by integrating into your lifestyle regular spiritual and practical ways to connect with the love of God, truth of His Word, mind of Christ, and leading of the Spirit.
To consistently grow in fully knowing your identity in Christ, it’s essential to shift your thinking from the worldly to the spiritual point of view. God’s Word says, “we regard no one from a worldly point of view” (2 Corinthians 5:16a NIV).
An excerpt of a definition for “identity” from YourDictiontary.com describes what the flesh and the world focus on to shape your identity and self-image. It defines identity as, “Who you are, the way you think about yourself, the way you are viewed by the world.”
“Who you are” in God’s eyes is your true identity in Christ.
“The way you think about yourself” usually doesn’t match how God sees you. And it only represents your true identity if your thoughts align with God’s thoughts about you. Otherwise, it’s a mistaken view of “who you are” and it causes you to lose joy and peace, as well as hinders your forward movement in what God’s calling you to do.
“The way you are viewed by the world” is always changing because it depends on so many factors that aren’t actually about “who you are”. So you’ll never have a clear and consistent picture of your identity in Christ if you base “the way you think about yourself” on external influences such as how others see you or the world’s measures of your worth.
Which source do you tend to default to for input about your identity–God’s Word? your thoughts? the world?
The only reliable source of “who you are” is what’s revealed about your identity through your relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And this is why the worldly view must be replaced with the spiritual view of yourself, your life, and your purpose.
And one of the most important spiritual views to focus on is seeing yourself the way God sees you. When you look at yourself the way God does, it sets things in motion to grow in clarity and confidence about your identity. This inner transformation of identity makes possible the needed outer transformation toward stepping further into your purpose.
What does God say about you that you don’t fully believe?
The transformation to fully knowing and then actually living out your identity in Christ requires aligning your thoughts, feelings, and actions with God’s truth about who you are, what you’re capable of, and what’s possible. So strategies for growing in your identity require both spiritual and practical steps.
Fully knowing your identity in Christ requires spiritual and practical habits to keep you from shifting away from how God wants you to see yourself and drifting away from what God is calling you to do.
True clarity must come from an accurate and reliable source. And all other perspectives that come to mind must be filtered through the truth from that source. True confidence must be based on a consistent source that doesn’t change based on external factors.
Hebrews 13:8 (NIV) says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” And according to John 16:13 (NIV), “…the Spirit of truth…will guide you into all the truth.” Also, 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV) assures that, “All Scripture is breathed out by God…that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
So God has truly provided you with all you need to get clarity and confidence about who you are and what is possible with His guidance, power and promises.
5 Essential Habits to Fully Finding Your Identity in Christ
Below are 5 essential habits you can weave into your daily life to grow in clarity and confidence about your identity. And these are also important to practice when seeking clarity and confidence about your purpose.
1 – Slowing & Searching
Be intentional about slowing down throughout your day and searching yourself for any self-doubt, fear, or other thoughts and feelings that don’t align with God’s truth about yourself, your life, or your path of purpose.
When can you make time in your day to slow down and search your heart and mind?
Taking moments throughout your day to slow down and reflect on your thoughts and feelings can help you identify any negative beliefs or self-talk that may be hindering your clarity and confidence in your identity. Recognizing that these thoughts exist apart from who God says you are leads you to start to see they don’t define you and that fulfilling your purpose is possible.
2 – Sitting & Seeking
When you become aware of views about yourself and your purpose that are hindering your forward movement in your calling, build a habit of sitting with the Lord and His Word and seeking His truth about who you are, what you’re capable of, and what’s possible with Him.
What negative thoughts do you have about yourself, your life, or your purpose that you can sit with the Lord and seek His truth about?
By intentionally taking time to seek and focus on God’s truth about yourself and your purpose, you can reframe your thought patterns and overcome any self-doubt or negative thoughts that may be getting in the way of your progress.
As you get clear about your identity, your confidence increases. And as you grow in your relationship with God, you’ll be able to hear from Him more clearly about your purpose.
3 – Speaking & Scribing
Regularly focus on speaking out loud and scribing–writing down–the truth to start a shift toward seeing yourself the way God sees you and and believing in God’s vision of what’s possible within you, in your life, and on your path of purpose.
What can you speak to yourself and write about yourself that reflects how God sees you?
This practice reinforces your understanding of the truth of who you are and what you’re capable of in Christ, which leads to greater confidence. It also serves as a mental rehearsal to prepare you to to stand in the truth where you may tend to default to a negative self-image, or to step out in the situations where you might usually hold back–which is especially important when pursuing your purpose.
4 – Standing & Stepping
Identify ways you can start standing in your identity in Christ and stepping out beyond your comfort zone in areas God is leading you. Then take realistic, doable action.
Where do you need to stand in the truth of who God made you to be? How can you step out in faith to let God show you what’s really possible with Him?
When you choose to believe in what God says about you and step out in faith, you begin to see how God is working in and through you, which increases your clarity and strengthens your belief in who you are in Christ. And when you encounter challenges outside of your comfort zone and work through them with God’s help, it also grows your trust in Him and confidence.
This habit will also start to bring you clarity about your unique calling and grow your confidence in stepping further into it.
5 – Sharing & Supporting
Find safe spaces for sharing your vision and challenges with likeminded people, as well as supporting others with your gifts as God provides opportunities to serve.
In what ways do you need support in stepping into your true identity in Christ? How has God equipped you to support others on their journey?
Walking with others also seeking to live out their identity in Christ provides you with encouragement, feedback, and guidance. A community, or even one person you trust, can give you support and accountability to progress on your journey. In turn, as you use your gifts to serve others, you learn more about your strengths and passions, which helps you understand more about your unique contribution to the world and also grows your confidence.
If you’d like to learn about seeking relationships that are beneficial on your path to fully finding your identity in Christ and walking in your purpose, you can read my post 5 Supportive Relationships You Need to Pursue Purpose.
More Help for Finding Your Identity in Christ and Living it Out
Even if you’re growing in clarity and confidence about your identity, old thinking patterns can return and new ones can form that cause you to start to doubt yourself or fear and hesitate on your path forward. This can occur during the season of midlife and beyond when many difficult life transitions tend to occur. And it also usually happens as you move forward on your path of purpose when you encounter new circumstances and obstacles.
If you don’t address these beliefs, thoughts, and feelings not aligned with your true identity in Christ, they’ll negatively affect your self-image and progress in your calling.
God wants you to look in the mirror and see yourself the way He sees you. He wants your answer to the question, “Who am I?” to be what His answer would be–reflecting your true identity in Christ.
This is why I created, as my free gift to you, the…
Practical Guide to Unmistakably Knowing Your Identity in Christ: 2 Simple Tools to Grow Clarity and Confidence.
You can find lots of resources with a list of the many different traits of your identity in Christ, but…
The focus of this knowing your identity in Christ PDF is different. It’s not just to inform you, but to equip and empower you not only in finding your identity in Christ, but in actually living it out.
This resource will help you…
- Take spiritual and practical action to make 10 shifts in focus to embrace your true identity, and…
- Walk you through 5 simple, yet powerful steps to identify thoughts that don’t align with the way God sees you and replace them with the truth.
The doable and effective steps in these 2 tools can easily be integrated into your everyday life to start to move beyond just finding to finally embracing and living out your true identity. And as as result, you’ll be prepared to fully live out the purpose God created you for!
If you’re ready to take steps to begin fully finding your identity in Christ, stop holding back because of thoughts that don’t align with the truth, and start stepping out or walking further in your God-given purpose, you can click here to get your free guide.