Discover Who You Are
Welcome to Season 2 of the You Are You Podcast! This season, we’ll be doing something a little different. Each month, we’ll release a new chapter of a book called You Are You: Celebrate Your God-given Design and Pursue Your Kingdom Calling. It’ll come as an audiobook chapter, through this podcast, and an e-book chapter, through theyayproject.com. Season 2, Episode 1 begins with Chapter 1: Discover Who You Are. Join in as we cover who is God really and why is His opinion so important, God in three persons and His love, who does God say we are and why doesn't the enemy want us to know it, and five reminders of our God-given design.
Chapter 1: Discover Who You Are
*Listen to the chapter on You Are You Podcast on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.*
You are you.
I want you to let that sink in for a second. Whether you’re currently in a mountaintop or valley season, this truth is the same always. So please. Do this little exercise and close your eyes, ask the Holy Spirit to move and help you understand with every fibre of your being that you are you. You. Are. You. And savour that. Spend at least 30 seconds up to as long as you want just marinating in the fact that God made you, that there’s no one else like you, that God has a purpose for YOU.
Too often we let the world tell us who we are. Sometimes it starts small with the pressure to like what’s popular whether that’s in wearing what’s in fashion, drawing in a certain art style, pursuing a seemingly lucrative path… the list goes on. We can get swept away by what we see with our eyes as glamorous, fun, successful. But aren’t those we admire often the most unique? They are focused on their vision even and often against intense criticism. We might want to be them, to have their success… but are we willing to press on even when opposition comes?
Pressing on becomes MUCH easier when we know we’re in God’s will for our life. And for Christians this is the true secret to success.
Success = Find out what God’s will is for you and do it
Your family background, personality, interests, talents, even your looks (love them or learn to love them!) have been chosen specifically for you. Let’s take another second and really reflect on that. When I was younger, especially when life was hard, I would too easily compare my situation with others. If only so and so was different, people would like me more, life would be easier, etc. But that’s a bit disrespectful to God, I think. Who are we to criticize His design, right? How could we possibly know better than God? We might never be flawless but we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and absolutely loved by our Creator.
Let’s find out what He sees in us and make that the only identity we take on.
Because. We’re in for a glorious journey when we make the decision to partner with God.
Who is God really and why is His opinion so important?
If you haven’t come to this conclusion yet, please let me confirm for you - as a sister who loves you dearly - that relying on humans to fill that God-shaped hole in our heart will only result in disappointment. Choose any human whether it be a family member, friend, significant other or authority figure and a quick analysis will show you they’ll never be perfect when it comes to loving you.
All humans sin.
But God is safe. Words cannot capture the essence of how majestic, marvellous, magnificently powerful God is. And God loves you more than you could ever possibly imagine.
Let’s take it to the Bible and read Psalm 145:8-13:
The Lord is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. The Lord is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all His creation. All of your works will thank you, Lord, and your faithful followers will praise you. They will speak of the glory of your kingdom; they will give examples of your power. They will tell about your mighty deeds and about the majesty and glory of your reign. For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. You rule throughout all generations.
In love, with love, humans of course try and express our love for God back. There is a reason countless songs, poems, books, artworks have been created to honour His glory and why we could worship for all eternity and still never get enough. So in our journey of discovering who we are, let’s stop for a second and be reminded of who God is. Because as much as we want to understand our identity, it’s really more important that we understand His.
God in Three Persons and His Love
If you ever start to doubt yourself or your abilities, remember that you are made in the image of God.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)
This truth is quite common knowledge for Christians but I think sometimes we can forget its power too easily. The more we let this truth sink in, the more we understand who God is, the more we are able to understand who we are and partner with God to bring heaven to earth.
While the term ‘Trinity’ is not used in the Bible, the concept that we have one God in three persons is there.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations. Baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).
“This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit. He has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing” (Acts 2:32-33).
“…according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit. For obedience to Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:2)
Have you ever wondered about what this means for your day to day life? To be honest, even with growing up in the church, I understood what the Trinity was but not necessarily how they worked. For example, people often start prayers with “Dear God” or “Father God.” I did, too. But was it wrong to say “Dear Jesus”? Or “Dear Holy Spirit?” The last one sounded a bit unnatural but didn’t pastors often say “Come Holy Spirit?”
Ephesians 5:18-20 explains:
Be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:18-20)
For day to day life, I think this is so impactful because it reminds us of the depths of God’s love for us. That while we were sinners (John 3:16), God the Father, in His great love for mankind, sent Jesus, His one and only Son, to die and pay the price for our sin so we could have eternal life, and then sent the Holy Spirit to help us (John 14:26)… because He knew we’d need help and comfort as we journeyed with Him in this broken world.
There is truly no love like God’s love.
If you’re in a stage where you feel absolutely broken, ask and allow Jesus to fight for you. If you’re in a stage where you feel on top of the world, I pray you remember that you still need God as much as ever. In all seasons of our lives, if we seek first His kingdom, everything else will work out as it should (Matthew 6:33). The moment we start to intentionally or unintentionally idolize other things (relationships, success, money to name a few), we get into trouble.
Bill Johnson, pastor of Bethel Church, reminds us of this in his book The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind:
Every thought and action in your life speaks of allegiance to God or to satan. Both are empowered by your agreement. Renewing your mind means learning to recognize what comes from hell, and what comes from heaven, and agreeing with heaven.
Sobering, right? It might seem difficult to take absolutely every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ but that is exactly what we’re called to do in 2 Corinthians 10:5. But we’re not alone, thank God for His precious Holy Spirit which lives inside of every single Christian. It’s amazing that we have God living inside of us. I pray we continue to pursue God with all of our hearts, allow Him to lovingly pour out and refine us, and walk in relationship with Him DAILY. Because we’re here on earth right now, in this very time and place for a reason. Let’s figure out what that is and enjoy life with God!
Who does God say we are and why doesn’t the enemy want us to know it?
Realizing how much God values humans changed my life. One book that explains this well is I Give You Authority by Professor Charles H. Kraft, now retired, of Fuller Theological Seminary. In his book, he reminds us that humans are created only a little lower than God:
When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers— the moon and the stars you set in place— what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them? Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor. (Psalm 8:3-5)
And that as children of God, Jesus said He wants us to do even more than He did while He was on earth:
“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. (John 14:12)
When we don’t realize our value and our rights, we can overlook opportunities to partner with God. Professor Kraft explains this saying,
I believe that satan attacks us primarily in the area of self-image. He is desperately afraid we will discover who we are and make life difficult for him. Like a mouse bluffing an elephant into fearing a creature with much less power, the devil bluffs us and often wins because we do not know who we are.
So let’s open our eyes and let our rights sink in. Let’s not let the enemy deceive us for one more second. And don’t be afraid. Whenever I’m tempted to fear, I remember the verse a Pastor prayed over me, in a season where I was about to step out and do my best to serve God with my all:
But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. (1 John 4:4)
Know there is nothing you can’t handle with God fighting for you.
5 Reminders of our God-given Design
Whenever you want to be pumped up and on fire for your purpose, soak yourself in God’s truth. The Bible is best of course but God may also lead you to Christian books, podcasts, even Christian Pinterest boards to remind you of His truth. God loves you, my friend! God delights in you and has fun things for you to do. Seek Him and believe His promises. He will not let you down.
1. You are a child of God
In many cultures, bloodlines matter. People can diminish a person’s value simply because of the family they were born into. If this ever happens to you, don’t believe the lies. Remind yourself that you come from the greatest family of all. You are a princess in God’s kingdom, literally, and His blood flows through your veins.
But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. (John 1:12)
And if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. (Romans 8:17)
More than that, He chose your earthly family too and we know He doesn’t make mistakes.
Hold onto the truth of who you are.
2. You are a temple of the Holy Spirit
You matter. Your life was paid for by the blood of Jesus and He wants the best for you. He wants to see you happy and thriving, walking in His Plan A for your life. And you want that too, don’t you?
But I get it. Life on earth isn’t easy. We want to obey God but there are temptations everyday. Even when we get that inner prompting from the Holy Spirit to say no, sometimes temptation overwhelms and we fall into sin. Sometimes we’ve been trying to break the power of a certain sin over our lives and falling causes us to condemn ourselves, simmering in sadness for disobeying.
With God by your side, you can always overcome. You can grow stronger and rise up like the lionness God made you to be. Once I heard Joyce Meyer describe the act of obeying God as “punching the devil in the eye” and I quite liked that. Let’s help one another be on guard because the enemy is always prowling around trying to trip us up (1 Peter 5:8) and to commit to no longer living for the pleasures of our flesh but pursue holiness in all we do (1 Peter 1:15) for Christ alone.
3. You are chosen
Sometimes the worst feelings of rejection can come from not being chosen. Or from being chosen and then rejected from a friend, significant other, even a family member. These experiences aren’t easy but let’s remember we have been chosen by the One. You have been carefully crafted by God to live, to exist at this very time, in this very place and God has good plans for you. He promises.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. (John 15:16)
Take comfort knowing you are God’s chosen child.
4. You are connected to Jesus
In life, we’re often told it’s not good to be needy. It’s unattractive and turns people off. And to be honest, I think there’s truth to this because no human can ever fill another person’s needs and the pressure to do so can be overwhelming. Only God can do that. That’s not to say being needy is bad though, not when it comes to God. In fact, the God of all creation wants us to stay attached to Him at all times.
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
So thankful that we’re supposed to abide in and be extensions of Him. Through His vine, He gives us exactly what we need to bloom and blossom. How exciting it is to see what sorts of fruit he’s planned for our lives.
5. You are special and unique
Sometimes I just sit and marvel at God’s amazing creativity. When I was younger, I used to struggle with envy a lot. In retrospect it wasn’t that I wanted someone else’s life or skills, not really. What I wanted was their sense of purpose and being successful in their known purpose. When oh when would I find that thing I was made to do?
If this is you, friend, let me share that I found my purpose... when I asked God.
It baffles me that it took me so long to realize this… I hope it takes you less time! Because when we read the Bible, it’s clear that God knows what He’s doing.
O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand! (Psalm 139:1-6)
And yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand. (Isaiah 64:8)
Be reminded that God has specific answers for your specific situations, and longs for you to live out the good works He’s prepared in advance for you to do (Ephesians 2:10). There is only one you.
God’s opinion is the only one that matters
Seek God and He WILL answer you
Embrace what makes you YOU
Step (further!) into your God-given plan
God, who do you say I am?
God, what is your will for my life?
God, is there anything you want me to stop or start?
God, how can I grow deeper in love with you?