“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” — Jeremiah 1:5
Major League Baseball’s top slugger, Aaron Judge, knocked 62 balls out of the park in 2022. It’s easy to see why young players want to mirror his every move on the baseball field.
When my son, Knox, slides on his jersey displaying Judge’s name and number, it’s as if he becomes the Yankees’ star outfielder. Repeatedly, he throws a plastic baseball up to himself in the front yard and smacks it over our makeshift outfield fence. He flips his blue bat and begins a home run trot just like Aaron Judge has done so many times. He envisions the trees as roaring fans and gives them a quick wave as he rounds each white rubber base. The serious look on his face says it all — in that moment, he believes that he is the real Aaron Judge.
Although Knox’s belief about himself may not be rooted in actual truth, it’s a joy to watch him confidently imitate one of his heroes and believe that he’s a major league home run hitter.
As a follower of Jesus, what do you believe about yourself? The simple Christian answer could be that you’re an imitator of Christ or a child of God. Those are great Sunday school answers. By no means are those answers wrong, but when I’m honest, I don’t always feel like that or live in a manner that reflects an identity rooted in Christ (especially when things get tough). Maybe I’m the only one?
Allow me to walk us through an honest assessment and ask ourselves a few questions:
- When fear creeps in about the unknown, do you believe that God is for you and not against you (Romans 8:31)? Do you believe He’s in control?
- When someone demeans you, or the world says that you don’t matter, do you believe that you’re a child of King Jesus with infinite worth (Matthew 10:31, Romans 5:8, Psalm 139:13-16)?
- Do you believe that God’s Spirit is residing in you right now, empowering you to do His work no matter what comes your way (John 14:16-17)?
- When you’re lonely, do you believe that God will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:8)?
- When you fall back into that old habit that you hate, do you believe that you’re a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:16-17)?
- Do you believe that God really is a good Father to you (Psalm 107:1, 1 John 3:1)?
In every single moment as a follower of Jesus, you’re trotting around life’s bases as a loved, Spirit-empowered, child of the King. You’re a new creation being transformed. God is on your side; there’s nothing to fear. The One you follow was raised from the dead! The ways of our world and our own sin work hard to dismantle our true identities. It’s so easy to forget who we are in Christ. But let’s keep these truths top of mind by declaring them daily.
— Ryan Noelte
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