Our True Identity In Christ

Lately, God is teaching me through seeing parallels between the work He's given me as a teacher and the truths He wants me to own in my walk with Him as a follower.

In my work as a math teacher, I frequently talk about strengthening students' "math identity." I know this isn't something you might think much about, but it's become a powerful label for so much of what I am passionate about in my work.  To increase a student's identity as a math thinker, I am intentional about creating opportunities and an environment that fosters the beliefs a student holds about themself as a mathematician.  When they have this identity they have confidence to take risks, to offer their thinking to others to solve a problem and see solving difficult problems as something to enjoy and choose.  

How then do I hold on to my "Christ identity" as a precious daughter of the King?  What beliefs and practices reinforce His truth about my identity in Him, so that I can confidently go into this world overflowing with what I've been gifted.

It is finished!  Having our identity in Him assures us that the circumstances we live in are only a small sliver of God's unfolding story. The 'what ifs' and 'maybes' are vain imaginations.  Our world has a loving Father.  "It's as if we're looking at a picture and seeing  only what's within the frame.  We've lost the ability to recognize the hand of the artist.  Any causes from outside the frame are dismissed." (Tim Chester; Enjoying God)   He is always working.  Knowing this we can not worry about what others think of us, or even what God thinks of us.  We can trust that He  is always just outside the frame, present and available.  God has done the work, we need to rest in that and risk joining Him in His work beyond our frame.
The practice of gratitude draws us nearer to God.  When we practice gratefulness we are reminded of the divine, the blessings that are hidden in plain sight. Gratefulness is a pause button that allows us to acknowledge His love.  The result of being aware of what we have received from our heavenly Father, is loving others well.  "Christian love is the overflow of God's love to us." (Tim Chester; Enjoying God)  
Scripture calls us to draw near….The discipline of choosing Him regularly and listening to Him speak through His Spirit is what will anchor us.  "Ponder and meditate on it day and night, making sure you practice everything written in it…...Strength! Courage!  Don't be timid; don't get discouraged, God, your God, is with you every step you take." (Joshua 1: 8-9)  Who wouldn't want to claim that promise!  As our identity grows we will choose Him. We will want to spend time walking with Him and joining in His kingdom plan.  Our desire to hear His voice will increase and strengthen our identity in Him.  

He's been gently encouraging me to claim my own identity, not as a mathematician, but as Christ's chosen daughter.  As my core beliefs change and take on more of His truth I know I will more confidently believe I am His and beloved.  From this place of truth and strength, I can act confidently to take risks, engage with others from an overflow and choose Him as my first source of comfort and hope.

Michelle Hackstadt

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