By Sharon Jaynes—
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV).
Friend to Friend
I don’t know about you, but I get tired of junk mail from credit card companies that tell me I’ve been “pre-approved” for a line of credit. But here’s something I’ll never get tired of: God telling me that I’ve been pre-approved to be His child.
Just before Jesus began his earthly ministry, He traveled to the Jordan to be baptized by his cousin John. As soon as He came up out of the water, the heavens opened, the Spirit descended, and God spoke. “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17).
Just think about that. Before Jesus even performed the first miracle, preached the first sermon, or called the first disciple, God made sure that His identity was clear. He was accepted, approved, and completely loved. And so are you.
So many Christians are trying to earn an acceptance and approval that Jesus has already earned for them. God’s acceptance of you is not based on your performance. That doesn’t mean that we stop trying to do our best to live a God-honoring life. But it does mean that we stop trying to earn acceptance we already have. You have nothing to prove because you have already been approved through the finished work of Jesus on the cross and His presence in you.
The devil will do anything and everything he can to keep you from believing that truth. Make no mistake about it, he knows that you are a chosen, holy, dearly loved child of God who has been created to fulfill a great purpose that God has planned for you. He knows it, and he hates it. His goal is to keep you from believing it. And if he can keep you from believing the truth about your new identity, then he has won.
True confidence comes when the words God speaks about you become more real to you than the lies you’ve believed all your life.
We will always have a choice to believe the God who made us (fearfully and wonderfully, I might add) or believe the deceiver who wants to hold us hostage in the “less than” mentality. Change always begins with a choice.
The voice you believe will determine your destiny, whether you remain in the land of in-between (saved from Egypt but never quite making it to your Promised Land) or venture toward the land of milk and honey—the exciting, adventurous life in Christ that is fraught with miracles, wonders, and life to the full. Identity always comes before activity. Before you can effectively do what God has called you to do, you must take hold of who God has called you to be.
We need to learn how to overpower the lies of the enemy with the promises of God, and we’re going to start right here, right now, by believing the truth about your new born-again identity.
Many of us are driven by a scarcity mentality and see ourselves through the lens of our pre-Christ, spiritually dead existence rather than our born-again, spiritually alive and empowered identity. We are held hostage to the idea that we will never be good enough, when Jesus clearly tells us that through Him, we already are.
So here’s what I want you to do today: allow God to baptize you in the affirmation of your true identity.
You are His daughter.
Whom He loves.
With you He is well pleased.
Heavenly Father, I can never thank You enough for loving me. Help me to stop trying to earn what I already have. Help me to take hold of my new identity and walk in the confidence of a woman who is truly loved.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Read Ephesians 2:1-10 and note what Paul writes about your acceptance and salvation.
Now, this is deep, but I think you can handle it. Read Galatians 3:1-14. Why was Paul fussing at the Galatians? They knew they had been saved by faith, but then they began to what?
Have you ever found yourself turning your relationship with Jesus into a list of dos and don’ts, or a hectic schedule of church work? Why do you think we do that?
Today remember, you are pre-approved!
More from the Girlfriends
This is the most important book I’ve ever written. In Take Hold of the Faith You Long For: Let Go, Move Forward, Live Bold, I reveal the most common reasons we get stuck in our Christian faith. I show you how to break free of all that holds you back, move forward with all that God promises, and live the adventurous faith of bold believing. Leave behind feelings of inferiority, insecurity, and inadequacy that hold you hostage and take hold of the mountain-moving faith God intends. You were meant for more…take hold of God’s truth and thrive.
Also see the laminated True Identity in Christ card filled with verses that fits snuggly in your Bible as a daily reminder of who God says you are! And check out the Lambano Take Hold Necklace made by women rescued from poverty in Haiti and Mexico.