ROMANS 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
To be transformed means to be given a completely different appearance or form. To be renewed means to reestablish on a new. The above scripture is speaking to our lives and giving us an action plan for it. That by the renewing of our minds we would ultimately be transformed into who Christ has created us to be.
There truly are a lot of things this present age, world and times has to say about us, about who we are. We are told to see ourselves in the light of all sorts of labels. We apply for an accounting job in an organization and the employers want to see us in a particular way in order for us to be employable and when we apply in another organization we have to look in a totally different way to fit their mold.
Sometimes, it becomes increasingly easy to fall into the whole cycle and completely forget what the one who created us truly has to say about us. Other times we recognize that we have never really known who we are and we utter whispers in the silence of the night asking, “Who am I?”
Studying the story of Moses in the book of Exodus chapter 2, we gain some glimpse into an opposite-of-an-answer to our whispered question. We find out who we aren’t from a part of his life story. I forcefully whisper a pardon for you to first take a moment to read through this chapter. Moses was an Israelite who was forced to live with the Egyptians as Pharaoh’s daughter in order to preserve his life because the Pharaoh at the time was known for his cruelty.
The Israelites were also constantly being maltreated and were in forced labor by the Egyptians. One day, Moses saw an Israelite being beaten and he killed the Egyptian maltreating him and hid his body. However, this was discovered and Moses fled. He went from living in the king’s palace to living in the wilderness.
Who is Moses? I wonder, a murderer, a foreigner, a helpless soul…
Or wait! Who is Moses not? Reading more and through the story of Moses, you will discover the following,
A. Your identity is not based off where you live or have lived. Moses lived in Egypt for a very long time but his identity was never found in that, found in being an Egyptian. The fact that you have been to a jail before, have lived in a prison for a long time, does not make you a prisoner. Yes! The world would argue with this, but only God’s word speak truth and he says otherwise. You can only truly go back to the beginning to find out who God says you are.
So no matter the prison or circumstances you have lived in for a very long time, it isn’t your identity; you might have lived with depression, anxiety, confusion for a very long time like Moses lived in Egypt but if you go back to the very beginning, to the creator, you will see that the Man of Sorrows (Jesus Christ) has indeed set you free and he endured the pain of the cross that you may be set free.
So your identity isn’t that you are depressed or confused. Your identity isn’t in poverty because at the beginning God said “Be fruitful and multiply”. Gen 1:28
It is very difficult for people who have been in the prison system to find jobs, because employers have based off their identity on where they have lived. But God says otherwise and that is what you have to look up to today.
B. Your identity is not based off your actions.
The world has also pushed out this idea thoroughly and continuously that your identity is what you have done, your achievements, success etc and now, we all look up to those things to define people. Sometimes in the form of a curriculum vitae.
Moses was a murderer. Was a fugitive. But could these actions be his true identity. Once again, No! His identity could only be found in God – what the creator has called him to do. The good works God has created him to do. For we have been created in Christ Jesus to do good works. (Eph 2:10)
What picture do you have of your identity? Do you believe you are who the world says you are? Are you trying to line up a series of achievement or successes to come up with an identity for yourself? Do you struggle with your actions? With yourself? Or perhaps, like me you have lived in a prison for too long and you strive to not be defined by it?
The beauty is that we can never be who we say we are but who God says we are. The clay cannot say to the potter what are you making? (Isaiah 45:9) God created us and yes he has a purpose for us and yes he knows us, he knew us even from our mother’s womb (Jer 1:5). We only need to go to him and let him reveal his truths to us.
We only need to be transformed by the renewing of our mind through his word, we only need not to conform to the patterns, the ideas, the labels of this world. Because then, only then, would we be able to prove what God’s perfect will for us is. Moses got to know his, he was supposed to lead the people out of bondage and into the Promised Land. Why can’t we know ours too? Our identity is found in God. Go back to the creator and let him tell you all that you are. Search out his word and make a list of all that he says you are. Share your list with us in the comment section below.
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