Jesus responded, “Just because I am the one making these claims doesn’t mean they’re invalid. For I absolutely know who I am, where I’ve come from, and where I’m going. But you Pharisees have no idea about what I’m saying. For you’ve set yourselves up as judges of others based on outward appearances, but I certainly never judge others in that way. For I discern the truth. And I am not alone in my judgments, for my Father and I have the same understanding in all things, and he has sent me to you.”
John 8:14-16 TPT
I love this passage. Jesus is so amazing!! These verses come just after He had proclaimed, “I am the light of the world and those who embrace me will experience life-giving light, and they will never walk in darkness.” (Verse 12) The Pharisees were astonished and offended by this declaration. How could Jesus claim such a thing?? They got snarky with Him and accused Him of being arrogant. “You’re just boasting about yourself!” they said. “Since we only have your word on this, it makes your testimony invalid!” (Verse 13)
But guess what? Jesus wasn’t being arrogant or conceited when He said these things. Not at all. He was simply speaking the life-giving truth of who He was!! And the people needed to hear this truth, because it was their chance to have eternal hope!
Oh how beautiful Jesus is. He is our light. We literally do not ever have to walk in the darkness of despair that wraps this world in its tentacles, because Jesus’s light overcomes it; His life can and will flood our lives if we recognize Him as our Savior and declare Him as our Lord.
That’s enough good news right there for us to give thanks for eternity. But something else has struck a powerful chord in me as I’ve meditated on this passage: we can have the same confidence Jesus had in these verses. We too can say, “I absolutely know who I am!” Why? Because we are in Him (“Your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Col. 3:3) and He is in us (“It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” Gal. 2:20). We have become one with Him because of what He has done for us on the cross. Oh Jesus! How marvelous You are to Love us like this. Because of His sacrifice, because of His Love, we can confidently, absolutely, know who we are.
WE ARE FULLY LOVED.
WE ARE REDEEMED.
WE ARE FORGIVEN.
WE ARE CALLED.
WE ARE CHILDREN OF GOD.
WE ARE FREE.
The Lord reminded me of the truth of my identity in an incredible way recently, and I wanted to share it with you in hopes that maybe it will also help you remember who you are, both in Him and to Him. For a long time I bore painful scars caused by rejections (real and perceived) I had endured from different people in my life. In the middle of the night one night, not too long ago, I was overcome with heartache thinking of all the times I felt I had been labeled “defective”, thinking of how people’s opinions of me had mattered so much that I ended up labeling myself “defective” as well. I realized that night that I had lived with this label pasted all over me for most of my life. I had read the label so many times that the lie of it had seeped down to the core of my identity. At the root of my being the words played over and over again – “I AM DEFECTIVE. I AM DEFECTIVE.” It affected the decisions I made, the interactions I had with people, the fears that lurked in my heart, and the way I felt about myself. I considered myself to be unworthy, unqualified, less-than. I felt like a fraud every time I tried to chase my dreams or live into my calling.
There in the middle of the night as these thoughts were pouring through my head, God reminded me of something. He reminded me of a word someone had spoken over me a couple of months before. I was at a retreat with a group of women, and there in the crowd, my shame over what a “fraud” I was, over being “defective” was overwhelming me. But then one of the women came to me and said, “God told me that you are His MASTERPIECE.”
His masterpiece?? How could this be? Here I’d been looking at myself and seeing “DEFECTIVE” flashing at me every time I glanced in the mirror, every time I walked into a room. But God – my God – was declaring that I was His masterpiece. How could I have gotten things so mixed up in my head? I knew that my label of “defective” and His declaration of “MASTERPIECE” could not coexist. I had to believe one or the other.
I know I’m not alone in this. I know I’m not the only one who has been deceived into thinking she’s less than who God says she is. That is the way of the enemy. He can’t steal our salvation, so he does whatever he can to cripple us from walking freely in our identity, a freedom which also results in us living fully into the callings God has for our lives.
This is where our faith gets challenged. This is where we have to make a choice. When we have a revelation of the truth of who God says we are, we can either boldly and confidently BELIEVE HIM, or we can continue to cower behind the lies that have kept us bound, for fear that walking in His truth will lead to disappointment. (And let’s be real – sometimes these lies that we’ve identified with become our comfort zones. We wonder, is it safe to stop identifying this way and walk in Christ-confidence instead?)
BUT HERE’S THE TRUTH: Walking in the confidence of what God says about us will never disappoint, because He always speaks truth – and His truth is not just true today, it’s not just true tomorrow, it is eternally true. I am His masterpiece. You are His masterpiece. And what does that mean? Well, let’s take a look:
1. A person’s greatest piece of work, as in an art.
I am God’s greatest piece of art!!
2. Anything done with masterly skill.
I have been built with the masterly skill of the King of Kings!
3. A consummate example of skill or excellence of any kind.
I am the consummate example of the Lord’s excellence!
4. A piece made by a person aspiring to the rank of master in a guild or other craft organization as a proof of competency.
I have been created by the most competent Creator of all!
Dearest ones, let’s release the lies that have labeled us for so long. Let’s take them one by one before the Father and lay them at His feet. Let’s go into the secret place and allow Him to speak the truth over us. And then let’s go out into the world, and with the confidence of Christ declare,