Who am I

Identity In Crisis

Almost every issue facing us today can be solved when our identity is completely rooted in Christ.

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

Colossians 2: 6-7 ESV

Jeremiah was a major prophet in ancient Israel during the latter part of the 7th century BCE and into the early 6th century BCE. He was called by God to prophesy primarily to the people of Judah, warning them of impending judgment due to their persistent disobedience and idolatry.

At the time, the Kingdom of Judah was in a period of significant political turmoil and spiritual decline. The Assyrian Empire had already conquered the northern kingdom of Israel, and now the southern kingdom of Judah was under threat from the rising Babylonian Empire.

Jeremiah lived during the reign of several kings of Judah, including Josiah, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah.

King Josiah’s reign was marked by religious reforms aimed at purging idolatry and restoring the worship of Yahweh, but these reforms were not enough to reverse the overall spiritual decline of the nation. After Josiah’s death, the subsequent kings showed little regard for Yahweh’s commands and continued in idolatry and wickedness.

The main problem facing Judah at the time was twofold: spiritual apostasy and political instability. Despite the warnings of prophets like Jeremiah, the people persisted in their worship of false gods and engaged in various forms of social injustice, including idolatry, corruption, and oppression of the poor.

Culture also played a significant role in the spiritual and moral decay of Judah. The influence of neighboring pagan nations, as well as internal political struggles and social injustices, contributed to the erosion of Judah’s faithfulness to God’s covenant.

In Jeremiah 17, the prophet delivers a message of warning and judgment to the people of Judah. He condemns their trust in human strength and worldly wealth, urging them instead to trust in the Lord. The chapter also contains promises of blessing for those who remain faithful to God, contrasting with the fate of those who rely on human power.

But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.

Jeremiah 17: 7-8 NIV

When people walked in closeness with God, obeying His commands and having an identity firmly rooted in Christ, they thrived as a nation (Joshua, King David, Hezikiah, Solomon at first, ect) In Jeremiah’s time there were small windows where God’s laws were followed, but even then they were only partially followed. Israel and Judah prospered while their kings followed
God’s commands but in the time when Kings were disobedient, their nation was attacked and there was disorder, idolatry, and sin.

We can see this in our culture now as North America and more specifically as Canada moves further and further from Jesus as a Christian nation.

Every decade since WW2 there has been higher divorce rates, fewer people identifying as Christians, homosexuality has become rampant, transgenderism has grown into an identity instead of a mental disorder, there is idolatry, lust, murder in the form of legalized abortion, suicide rates and substance abuse are at all time highs, social media has destroyed an entire generation of young people, people are widely divided on most major issues and legislation has been implemented that undermines the authority of God in our Nation. I don’t believe we are getting better as a society, I believe we are getting worse.

This all refers back to my main point. As we move away from God, as less people place their faith and belief in Jesus, they have lost their identity or never had it to begin with, and as a result the worse off our nation and society becomes. In 100 years we have moved very far from God and much like in the times of the Israelites during Jeremiah’s time, I believe it is an issue of identity.

“we accept the love we think we deserve”

Stephen Chbosky

But let’s examine ourselves – Christians. I believe most if not all issues stem from lack of identity, for example:

Habitual Sins:

Many sins we fall into result from a lack of self worth: including times when
pressured by our peers into sin, these sins can range from smoking, swearing, drugs, gossiping, porn, or other sinful habits that a man of God should actively avoid. These could even carry over into addictions that we don’t even realize such as excessive: tv watching, video games, or general laziness. In extreme cases idolatry, and apostasy.

Negative Relationships:

Dating or spending time with the wrong people. When you are convinced of your worth, you don’t waste time with people you know aren’t right for you or bring you down. It’s been said, “we accept the love we think we deserve” (Stephen Chbosky). In other words our identity impacts our ability to separate ourselves from people who don’t have our best intentions at heart. We need to guard our selves and exercise wisdom about whom we associate with. We are called to keep good company. Jesus once healed a man on account of his friend’s faith.

When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”

Luke 5: 19-20 NIV

Shyness or Timidity:

Many people are shy about their faith because they don’t feel like they are a good example, witness, or image bearer of Christ. This can be a combination
of guilt or lack of identity in who we are in Christ. God tells us in 2 Timothy: 1:7 “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” As men we are not to be timid or afraid. I am not saying every man has to try and be the loudest in the room but fear or timidity should never keep us from our God given destiny as a man of God.

Security as a person, our sense of Worth:

Insecurity has a direct correlation to our identity. Whether we have a poor sense of self worth, are insecure physically, mentally, or emotionally, or are plagued by guilt, trauma, ect – identity as children of God and redeemed sons of the King is a light that we need to shine and spend serious time understanding if we are to go forward impacting people for the Kingdom of God. If we have insecurities – it is important to face these, understand why we have them, and ultimately either work on them to eliminate their negative hold on our lives so generationally they don’t continue on or if it is an external issue, perhaps abuse, trauma, or active bullying of some kind, we need to hand these things over to Jesus and see ourselves the way He sees us.

Mannerisms and speech:

How we conduct ourselves, and the speech we use is a direct reflection of who we are. Much of what we say stems from WHO we think we are. Our thinking, and self image are directly related to how we see ourselves and how we can see and uplift others.

By having our identity firmly rooted in Christ we have a much clearer picture of who we are supposed to be.

The result of the warnings delivered by Jeremiah and other prophets to the people of Judah was ultimately the fulfillment of God’s judgment upon the nation. Despite Jeremiah’s efforts to call the people to repentance and turn them back to the worship of Yahweh, the majority of the population and the rulers persisted in their disobedience and idolatry.

As a consequence, the Babylonian Empire, under the rule of King Nebuchadnezzar, besieged Jerusalem multiple times. In 586 BCE, Jerusalem was finally conquered, the temple was destroyed, and much of the population was either killed, taken into exile in Babylon, or dispersed. This event marked the end of the kingdom of Judah as an independent nation and the beginning of the Babylonian exile, which lasted for several decades.

The fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecies of destruction and exile serves as a sobering reminder of the consequences of disobedience and the faithfulness of God to His word. However, even in the midst of judgment, Jeremiah also prophesied hope for the future restoration of Judah and the renewal of the covenant relationship between God and His people. This theme of restoration
and hope is a prominent aspect of Jeremiah’s message, particularly in the latter chapters of the book.

God is still massively at work today. Even though our culture is moving further and further from Jesus, every day people are coming to Jesus and placing their faith in God.

Much like Elijah who when feeling despondent and alone, believing he was the only faithful follower of God left in Israel. God reassured him by saying: “Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.” (1 Kings 19:18, NIV)

Even though Elijah felt like the only one, there were 7,000 people who were loyal followers of God in a time when believers in Yahweh were actively
killed and hunted. What an encouragement from the Lord!

If as Christian’s we can grow in our identity in Christ I believe there could be a
revival in our nation. Where Christian values are reset and God is proclaimed in a way we have never seen – like in the days of the early church described in the book of Acts.

When I think of people who knew their identity, I think obviously of Jesus but also Paul, and the apostles post Jesus’s resurrection. If we went through life with an understanding of God, like Paul the Apostle our nation would look very different. Many Christians are afraid to even share their faith publicly, if our identity was absolute and unwavering I believe it would fix much of the sin in our lives, and give us the strength, courage and authority to speak the truth of Jesus.

The issues we face today with rising levels of anti-Christ through legislation and a nation moving away from God can be solved and corrected by strong men and women of the faith who are committed to correcting the course and being modern day prophets, leaders, and judges.

In the old testament, good times were a result of Kingdoms who were aligned under God’s authority and had their identity as followers of God. When that identity was lost calamity struck.

We can grow in understanding of Christ and everyday look for ways for God to use us to further His Kingdom. But it starts with us realizing who God is fully and who we are in Christ. Once we know these two truths we can move forward with vision, understanding and complete confidence.