Sometimes I wonder if I am doing what I’m supposed to be doing.
I wonder if I’m making a difference.
I have even wondered who I am. I mean who I really am.
These are identity questions.
We ask ourselves identity questions and answer them everyday. Sometimes, despite our best efforts to live in the midst of the Word and Spirit, our negative self-talk pipes in and undercuts what God says is true. When we allow that to happen, we shortchange ourselves and break God’s heart.
Negative self-talk is not what we are supposed to be doing.
Negative self-talk slows our ability to make a difference.
Negative self-talk is not who we really are.
The Lord recently confronted me on this malfunction in my thinking. He said, “Your thinking is morose.” I looked it up, and morose is not a pretty word. It means sullen—even ill tempered. The Lord was spotlighting the battle for my mind—a battle between who He says I am, and who I say I am.
I was horrified and repented. As an act of my will, I decided to give the Holy Spirit access to my inner conversation. This decision has resulted in a daily discipline that is changing the way I think about myself. And it feels great!
It’s really pretty simple. With the Holy Spirit’s help, I have written some words of life about what He says I’m supposed to be doing, how He sees my impact, and who He says I am. I read these words aloud once a day. As I read, the Lord sometimes adds beautiful new impressions, and I joyfully add them to the running document.
Some of my statements are pure scripture or paraphrases of biblical truth; others are encouragements from books, sermons, and wise friends. Some of the Lord’s input is universal—true of everyone. But most is specific and personal. I do not add an idea to my list unless it pierces like an arrow of life and light from my Father. The final document is a treatise of earnest prayers and strong biblical declarations. After saying the truths aloud to myself each morning, I find that the Lord gives me opportunities to act on them throughout the day.
Here’s the surprise: These kinds of words have verdant life in them—They’re taking root and changing me from the inside out. And I can tell you from personal experience that I am feeling different in my core.
Here is a little part of what I say to myself about identity:
- Jesus, You are the great I AM. I choose to be like You and simply BE. I choose to move from knowing I am the bride of Christ—to being the bride. I move from knowing that “all things have become new”—to being new. I move from desiring to channel power and blessing—to hosting Your Presence. I move from talking about You—to being in You and proceeding from You. (Jackie Quarles, wisdom gained from an IHOP Women’s Conference, Feb. 2017)
- I accept my value. I will not know until eternity the part I play in the divine dance, but I do know that my part is valuable. I choose not to wish myself away by foolish comparisons. When I grow up, I want to be just like myself as Jesus created me to be. History would be different if I had never been born. I choose to be influential all the days of my life.
- I choose to meditate on my Creator’s opinion and reverently remember His forethought, His divine will, and His power to complete what He starts. I am proud of His workmanship, and that includes me.
- I walk in humble righteousness. As I do what is right and humble, I release life, hope, and celebration. As I speak life—I speak for God.
- Love is the high calling of my life: You love me, Lord, without partiality. Your love for me is unrestrained. I eagerly return Your love. You are great, but You let me see Your face.
- I am proud of my age. I’ve earned a place among the wise by the way I have responded to the Holy Spirit over many years. I have persevered and gained understanding, discernment, and saintly perspective. I multiply and bear fruit. I am ever closer to my departure. What joy then! But for now, I mature unto Christ.
- I refuse to see others or myself through a distorted lens—the knothole of my pain. Judgments and comparisons wreck relationships, but love heals them.
These statements may or may not speak to your hungry heart. But my encouragement is to write what the Lord says about your identity and say it back to yourself as a daily discipline. The truth sets us free!
Recorded over the month of May 2017