From God’s word – Where does our identity rest?


By Toni Ford

Although it is impossible to know everyone’s “story” of life and what experiences in life played a role in who we are today, one true thing is that we all share a common theme. Each and every person is driven by the search for true identity, a desire to be understood and appreciated for who we are.

The longing to seek out something more is not an evil desire, but how we go after that longing and where we choose to settle for that longing can affect us for a lifetime. God gave us the desire to seek the essence of who He created us to be so that He can fulfill it. God created the thirst so we can enjoy Him, the Living Water. Unfortunately, we spend a lot of time and energy looking everywhere else for that fulfillment.

My heart sinks as I see the areas in my life where I have chosen to find identity in my own broken cisterns rather than drinking from the Living Water. When I truly see God for who He is, what seemed like such a good source of legitimacy suddenly pales in comparison to true legitimacy found in God.

That is why it is critical to meditate on the truths of who God is and who we are in Him until it sinks down deep into our spirit, soul and body. In The Institutes of the Christian Religion, John Calvin wrote, “It now remains to pour into the heart itself what the mind has absorbed. For the Word of God is not received by faith if it fills the top of the brain, but when it takes root in the depth of the heart.”

Knowledge alone does not save a person; rather, the surrendered heart is what the Lord is looking for in each of us. Calvin urges us to drink deeply of the Living Water of who God is and what we have because of who He is.

He is Jehovah-Jireh (provider). Genesis 22:14: “Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide.” You can be sure He sees and knows your every need. Matthew 6:8: “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

He is Jehovah-Rophe (healer). Exodus 15:26: “I am the LORD, who heals you.” You are being renewed. Isaiah 40:31: “Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.”

He is Jehovah-Shalom (peace). Judges 6:24: “and called it The LORD is Peace.” You have life and peace. Romans 8:6: “to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”

He is Jehovah-Nissi (banner). Exodus 17:15: “Moses built an altar and called it The LORD is my Banner.” You are led in Christ’s triumph. 2 Corinthians 2:14: “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ.”

He is Jehovah-Rohi (shepherd). Pslams. 23:1: “The LORD is my shepherd.” You are His well-tended sheep. Pslams 100:3: “We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.”

He is Jehovah-Tsidkenu (righteousness). Jeremiah 23:6: “This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.” You are free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:2: “Through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”

He is Jehovah-Shammah (God who is there). Ezekiel 48:35. Matthew 28:20: “Surely I am with you always.” You are continually with God. Psalms 73:23: “Yet I am always with you.”

Lord, I pray that each person reading this column would stop and allow these truths of who You are to sink deep into his or her soul, so much so that our identity and significance would begin to be defined by You more and more each day and less and less by the things of this world. Oh, Lord, how we need Your truths of Living Water deep in our souls.

Note: much of this week’s column came from “The Father’s Business” by Sylvia Gunter. Please check out Sylvia’s ministry for more resources.

If you would like me to join you in prayer, please e-mail me at I would love to pray for you!

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