I’ve been thinking a lot about identity recently. Who we are. What makes us the individuals that we are. I just took a long series about being a misfit and what that means, but during the time of writing that series, I’ve been struggling with my identity. Where do I belong and what is my place? These have been questions running through my head. It’s difficult to understand that you are different, yet wonder who you truly are. At the same time, I know who I am, we all do. God tells us that he has made us in his image, so our identity is that we are children of the king, why then is it so hard to accept our identity? I have breakfast with my dad each week, and one morning I was telling him that I felt this way. That I was struggling with who I truly am, and because of that, my mind was trying to convince me that I shouldn’t expect anything big from God. I think many of us feel that way. We don’t “feel” special, even when people say we are, we start to feel like we are worthless rather than worthy. The thing is, feelings can be wrong, God isn’t. My dad told me that I should look in scripture and write out verses that claim who I am in Christ. I honestly blew it off, but then decided to sit down and write. Ephesians 2:10, 1 Peter 2:9, 1 Timothy 1:7, and Galatians 3:26 were all verses I found and wrote down in my bullet journal because they tell me who I am (Look em up, and write em down). After all of these my cynical brain kicked in, and started giving me doubt, then I read 1 Corinthians 3:16 which is so perfect in the way it spoke to my doubt. “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s spirit dwells in you?”
In that verse, God was calling out to me, just like he calls out to you. You are a temple, and a temple is a vessel of worship. The thing we have to do, what each of us must do, is claim our true identity. This past weekend Spider-Man Homecoming, it’s a really awesome movie and I highly recommend it, while watching it, God spoke to me. Now I’m not going to give any spoilers, so don’t worry. There’s a moment in the third act where our hero is trapped under rubble. Peter starts screaming out for help, but there’s no one around to help him, he’s on his own. At least that’s what it seems like. In a moment of desperation, Peter remembers who he is, he starts yelling out, “Get up Spider-Man!” Now you may think that’s cheesy, but just wait. In that moment, he remembers who he is, he remembers the reason he wears the mask, the reason he was bit by a radioactive spider, and the reason he was destined for this greater purpose. He claims his identity, his true identity. It’s one of the best moments in a film I’ve seen in a long time, because it rings so true.
You are the only one who can claim it.
The thing that is so true about our lives, is that the choice always comes down to us. We can choose to live independently from Christ or we can choose to be dependent on him. In serving in ministry over the years, there are many moments where I want to make the choice for people, but I can only create opportunity. That’s the cool thing about God, we always have a choice. It’s up to us if we want to accept our identity or continue on our own. I’ve tried it on my own, but truthfully, I’m pretty bad at it. When you try to face the world alone, you get bogged down and trapped by the rubble, and in those moments, you can’t expect another flawed individual to get you out. In those moments, on a daily basis, we have to choose Christ, remembering who we are. We have to remember that we are vessels of worship, children of the king capable of changing the world.
Awaken the hero inside.
In that same Spider-Man scene (Did I mention you should really go see this flick?), he claims his identity out loud, and looks at a puddle in front of him where his mask had fallen. He looks into the pool and sees his reflection combined into the mask, it all clicks. In our lives, we have to claim our identity and awaken the hero that lies within each of us. Just like the verse in 1 Corinthians 3:16, we are temples, we don’t have to doubt what we were destined for. We are called to serve others and rescue them from the trap of sin. You’re a superhero! Remember how powerful you can be when you claim your identity. It’s the truth about most great hero stories. I took my mom to see Wonder Woman (Another great flick!) and there are moments where people look at Diana and question whether she actually has what it takes, and what they find is that great power was inside her the whole time, she just had to claim her identity. No matter what people have said over you, no matter what shifts life has thrown at you, and no matter what is in your past, you can awaken the hero inside.
I hope this helps you, because it helped me. Our identity is not based in our feelings, our identity is based in Christ. When we remember this, we become a part of something greater. We are temples, and temples are designed to be a vessel of worship. You are a vessel of worship. You are capable of great and powerful things because you are royalty. We are sons and daughters of the king. No matter your past or how bad you think the choices you have made are, you are called worthy by a great creator. So, get up Spider-Man, get up.
Claim your identity and awaken the hero inside.