joy in having a new identity in Christ

write31days-journeying-into-joy-new-identity

 

For way too many years I wore labels. Not the coveted designer kind, more the state-of-mind type people designate to us, or we happily pin on ourselves. Most of mine got attached in childhood and others soon followed suit.

I lost my true identity in a sea of shame, a ditch of guilt and a river of pain. It felt like my head was branded with words like ‘failure’, ‘not enough’, ‘mistake’, ‘unattractive’, ‘rejected’ and ‘unwanted’.  Maybe you’ve worn a few of them, too?

The thing is, unwanted labels can become so intrinsic to who we think we are, so familiar and comfortable we forget we’re wearing them. But they’re speaking lies, sending out false messages, keeping us bound, chained to the past.

Because the truth? We are God’s beloved children first and foremost, given a new identity when we come to faith in Christ. Our old filthy rags don’t fit who we are anymore, yet we cling to them like the latest must-have fashion accessory, and they still stick to us until we realise we can become free of them.

Our minds don’t have to be dressed in ill-fitting garments, because Jesus offers us His own robe of righteousness, a royal cloak and covering, perfectly fit for children of the King of kings.

In order to remember we are covered by Christ’s righteousness, mercy and grace, we have to make a conscious daily choice to put on the identifying clothing of love, joy, compassion and kindness.

We are not the weak saplings we see ourselves as, but strong oaks of righteousness, planted by God for the display of His splendour. Instead of the flawed, misapplied labels from the past, we now answer to words like ‘precious’, ‘honoured’, ‘beloved’ and ‘blessed’.

God sent me to announce the year of his grace — a celebration of God’s destruction of our enemies — and to comfort all who mourn in Zion, give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes, messages of joy instead of news of doom, a praising heart instead of a languid spirit. Rename them “Oaks of Righteousness” planted by God to display his glory” ~Isaiah 61:1-3 – The Message

You offer me

I hunger for affirmation

and thirst for recognition

You offer me soul completion

 

I hunger for acceptance

and thirst for love, romance

You offer me sacred dance

 

I hunger for gainful employ

and thirst for things that destroy

You offer me deep inner joy

 

I hunger for life perfection

and thirst for new direction

You offer me resurrection

©JoyLenton2016

“You’ll get a brand new name

straight from the mouth of God..

No more will anyone call you Rejected…

You’ll be called Hephzibah (My Delight)…

Because God delights in you” ~ Isaiah 62:2-4 – The Message

Dear Father,

May we learn to live defined by who we are in Christ — your blessed, beautiful, cherished, joy-filled adopted children, sons and daughters of the living God, heirs with Jesus —rather then as unwanted, unloved, rejected, scorned orphans of our circumstances.

Help us to remember and rejoice in knowing we have been set free from the past, given a new name and identity. We are redeemed, restored, renewed, forgiven, accepted and made righteous because of your generous mercy and grace.

Thank you for the joy we have from our new identity in you. May we embrace it to the full and gladly share it with others.

Amen

31-days-of-journeying-into-joy-badge

Welcome to the final day of #31days of journeying into joy. Where did October go?! Thank you SO much for being here. I’ve really enjoyed sharing this series with you.

And I have a hunch this journey will be an ongoing faith exercise for you and me, a lifelong pilgrimage to the Father’s loving heart.

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16 thoughts on “joy in having a new identity in Christ

  1. Such a beautiful way to end this series, Joy. Although, as you say, it will still be an ongoing faith exercise. Those past pains can run so deep, but God faithfully heals us layer by layer. This post resonates deep within my heart. May we daily cling to who we are in Christ! Congratulations on writing on this topic for 31 days. I admire your determination and perseverance. 🙂 Have a blessed week! Hugs!
    P.S. I love the pics and their messages! What font is that that has hearts to dot the i’s? I love that! 🙂

    • Trudy, I knew this would speak to you and hoped you would read it. These words you share are so true: “Those past pains can run so deep, but God faithfully heals us layer by layer”, because healing is a process that can take a lifetime. The more we truly see and understand our new identity in Christ, the more we will learn to refute the lies of the enemy. I’ll keep praying for you, my friend.
      The font on this image is called ‘Emily’s Candy’, and you’ll find it at picmonkey.com amongst their options for text. Glad you like it. It appeals to me, too! I like to try out a different look sometimes. Have a blessed week. Thank you SO much for being here. Hugs! xox

  2. As I embraces your beautiful words of truth and love, I was brought back to the threshold of my personal walk with the Lord and this very powerful song of healing.
    ‘I Will Change Your Name’
    It brought me to tears, as I identified with the lies of the enemy.
    And the song continues…
    ‘You shall no longer be called Wounded, Outcast, Lonely or Afraid’
    I wondered if there would ever come forth a day, when the tears would no longer flow, when I would believe and He could change my name.
    And so it was…
    ‘Your new name shall be Confidence, Joyfulness, Overcoming One; Faithfulness, Friend of God, One who seeks My Face.

    God IS Love!
    And worth seeking!

    • Hello Bernadette, it’s lovely to meet you! Thank you for stopping by and sharing how the words of a song have ministered to you in this area of identity in Christ. I love these lines: “‘Your new name shall be Confidence, Joyfulness, Overcoming One; Faithfulness, Friend of God, One who seeks My Face.” How beautiful! I’m so glad you have come to a place where tears have been dried and hope restored. We always need to remember how much God loves us and desires to hear from us.
      I hope and pray you will continue to be encouraged in your walk with the Lord. Do drop by again. You’re very welcome to browse the archives here or check out the rest of this series. 🙂

  3. Joy, These are such grace-filled thoughts to end this series with. This is so true: “The thing is, unwanted labels can become so intrinsic to who we think we are, so familiar and comfortable we forget we’re wearing them.” But sadly, we cannot receive His Joy and fullness until we let Him begin to remove those labels, and feel His Presence as He speaks those new names over us. I have loved this series, and the way that you have gently led us to see those things that hinder us from receiving God’s Joy, and then helped us to see the steps along the way that could lead us into a deeper Joy in Him. Thank you, my friend, for always being honest in pointing the way to Jesus. I will miss these daily connections, although we all need a time to rest in Him now too! 🙂 –Blessings and Hugs!

    • Bettie, it’s been quite a month, hasn’t it?! Greatly helped by having you by my side and in my thoughts and prayers. I’m so pleased you’ve found this series helpful, and hope it won’t be too long before these posts find their way into a book. Your faithful, prayerful support has been a huge spur and source of encouragement to me. And I’ve loved your insights, such as this: “we cannot receive His Joy and fullness until we let Him begin to remove those labels, and feel His Presence as He speaks those new names over us.” Indeed, we cannot. Some of them are more resistant to removal than others, but oh what joy to wear the new names we have been given! I will miss these daily connections as well, yet I sense rest is a top priority for a while as we draw this to a close. May God bless, rest and strengthen you, dear friend! xoxo

    • Dear Michael, thank YOU for sharing this blogging journey with me! It’s been made lighter and brighter by your faithful presence and unfailing support. Your friendship is such a gift of grace to me. 🙂 x

  4. Amen! Amen!
    Oh well done, Joy. Thank you for this dynamic series, all the photos and poems and thoughts, the planning, the responding to our comments, the prayers offered for us as well as the work as you wrote . . . so so grateful

    • Oh thank you, Laurie! We did it!! God has amazed me with His wonderful provision, inspiration and grace. I also couldn’t have got through this series without your loving, faithful support, especially for helping to turn things around when I was flagging, low in inspiration and energy. I am SO so grateful for you, dear friend. And beyond grateful to God for His unfailing goodness. xo ❤

  5. God tells us to combat the labels with truth. Did you read my post where I wrote about the label activity we did at a youth event a few weeks ago? I’m so glad God tells us that we are enough, we are loved and so much more.

    • Yes, that’s the way to do it, Tara! God’s Truth always trumps the enemy’s lies. Sorry I missed your post. It sounds like a great activity to do with young people. Listening to life affirming words from Scripture will definitely help turn our minds in a more positive direction. Thank you for being here and sharing this journey into joy. Bless you, friend. xo

  6. “We are not the weak saplings we see ourselves as, but strong oaks of righteousness, planted by God for the display of His splendour.” What a wonderful image! Joy, this is a beautiful reminder of who we are in Christ. I love your poem! When things settle down, I’m going to have to come back and read all of your posts in this series. What encouragement I find here each time I visit.

    Many blessings to you dear Joy! xo

    • Gayl, I definitely need that reminder on my weakest days when I feel anything but strong as an oak! Yet it’s our inner strength which God is developing as we face trials and tribulations, and He uses all we go through to build Christ-likeness in us. Thank you for your kind encouragement. It would be lovely if you could stop by and catch up with previous posts but I know how hard I am finding it to do just that myself. No pressure whatsoever, dear friend. You are warmly welcome here whenever you can stop by! Many blessings and deep soul rest to you as you relax a bit after your sterling writing efforts. Well done for staying and finishing the course! xox

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