There are many teachings in Christendom that cover the gamut. In recent years, there has been a focus on our spiritual identity- who we are in Christ- and for good reason. Believers need to realize the power, love, and grace that is at their disposal and step out in faith to accomplish God’s work in God’s way.
But, can these teachings go overboard in what they teach about our identity? Yes, I think it is possible that we can cross a spiritual line in the sand and go too far in what we espouse.
First and most importantly, we are not God! Listening to followers of the New Age movement, it might sound as if we are. But the scriptures (not to mention earthly reality) reveal that we are not.
One of the best illustrations of this can be found in the Book of Job, which tells the story of how God allowed Job to be tested by Satan. With God’s permission, Satan took away Job’s family, his livelihood, his health—even his respect. Left with only his wife and a broken spirit, Job /lifted up his lament to God.
God has much to say to Job in response to his lament, and at the end, Job’s response is abject humility. He says, “I spoke once, but I have no answer—twice, but I will say no more” (Job 40:5).
God is the Creator. He is the Alpha and the Omega. He was and is and is to come. He is the Almighty. All the “omnis” describe Him: omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing), and omnipresent (all present). God is worthy of all praise, honor, and glory. God is love. His person radiates goodness to all His creation. God is holy. His perfect nature and character are never changing.
But God is also just. Because of His sinless nature, God’s fights against sin, evil, and anything that sets itself up in place of or against Him. Hopefully, we will never think that we are (or could be) God. In his pride, this is what Satan does, and we don’t want to be like Satan. Still, we do sometimes rebel against God’s sovereignty or think we have a better way of doing things.
When this happens to you, try reading the full text of Job 38–41. It is necessary to establish our limitations right at the beginning of any discussion on spiritual identity. Why is this so important? Because the truth about our spiritual identity is so uplifting that, if not seen in its proper context, it could be misconstrued. God says wonderful things about us, but we have to remember that we are still His creation.
We are altogether different from our Maker. We are made of temporal stuff in these bodies of flesh. He is the eternal “I AM.” God is what He is, regardless of time, space, and circumstances. He is a sovereign being, in control of everything. Fortunately for us, He loves His creation and desires to co-labor with us for His purposes and will.
This co-laboring can only occur if we belong to God, and we belong to God only if we receive the person of Christ into our hearts and live by faith. It is God who gives us the gift of faith so that no person can boast before Him, but we still need to respond and offer repentance for a life that is “off the mark” of God’s glory.
When we repent in this way, we have a proper perspective of the God of the Universe and ourselves, as His servants while we are on the earth.